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Preserving the Past: NH's Historic Law Office Spaces
New Hampshire prides itself on its sense of place. Those who live here – or, at least, those who have lived here long enough to absorb it – identify with the state's unique social, cultural, political, agricultural and industrial history.

Perhaps it's because lawyers have played such a prominent role in shaping that history that today's practitioners place such value on preserving it.

Responses poured in quickly when we asked Bar members for examples of law offices in New Hampshire's historic buildings. Attorneys from across the state shared photographs and stories, both historical and personal, depicting the buildings in which they practice law every day.

Several New Hampshire attorneys and firms have won awards for their stewardship and restoration of these historical places. Their preservation efforts promote the idea that New Hampshire's heritage and traditions remain vital parts of the state's identity, its economy and the "New Hampshire Way" of practicing law.

– Kristen Senz
  • Manning & Zimmerman
    87 Middle St., Manchester, NH
    Built: 1890

    The Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman was built in 1890 as part of the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company Housing Districts

    These buildings were constructed for Amoskeag "Overseers" and their families. They were originally built, along with tenement buildings for the workers, to house both workers and overseers from a single mill together.

  • Seufert, Davis & Hunt
    59 Central St., Franklin, NH
    Built: 1914

    The Sulloway Mansion in Franklin had been abandoned after a fire in the early 1980s, but the "bones" were still good, so attorney Chris Seufert purchased it in 1989 and converted it to a law office.

    Built about 100 years ago by mill and railway tycoon Alvah Sulloway, who was also a former mayor of Franklin, the mansion was a gift to his son, Richard, who later inherited his father's business interests. Richard lived in the house with his wife, Bertha, pretty much until his death, less than a week before his 90th birthday. The building changed hands a few times before the fire, after which it sat for years, exposed to the elements.

  • Seufert, Davis & Hunt
    59 Central St., Franklin, NH
    Built: 1914

    LEFT: This arched doorway, which leads to the law office's conference room and law library, formerly led to the mansion's dining room and scullery. Much of the wood flooring and many of the light fixtures are original. The bathrooms contain original ceramic tile and Italian marble.

    Over the years, various Sulloway family members have traveled from around the country to visit "their" mansion and repatriate various Sulloway relics, such as the original Currier & Ives lithograph now re-hanging above the fireplace mantel in the great room, antique Persian carpets now back into their original places, and vintage photographs taken during family events.

  • Hayes Soloway
    175 Canal St., Manchester, NH
    Built: 1913

    Hayes Soloway is on the second floor of the historic R.G. Sullivan building, which for 88 years housed the 7-20-4 Cigar Company. As one of the premier cigar makers in the country, Roger Sullivan made cigars with pure Havana tobacco and imported Sumatra wrapper. The company, which operated from 1875 to 1963, took its name, 7-20-4, from the company's original address, at 724 Elm Street.

  • Hayes Soloway
    175 Canal St., Manchester, NH
    Built: 1913

    As described in the advertisement on the left, Roger G. Sullivan started his business in 1874 at the age of 20. Competition was difficult early on, and he had only one employee, but the quality of the product set these cigars apart. On the company's 50th anniversary, it was selling 80 million cigars annually and employed 1,500 people. Its annual payroll was $2 million, and an equal sum was paid to the government for import and stamp taxes. Roger Sullivan passed away in 1918, leaving the business to his family.

  • Hayes Soloway
    175 Canal St., Manchester, NH
    Built: 1913

    The interior of the offices at Hayes Soloway.

  • Gallagher, Callahan & Gartrell
    214 N. Main St., Concord, NH
    Architect: John Leach
    Built: 1826

    The lot where 214 now sits was laid out in 1726 as one of the original lots for the settlers of the Plantation of Penacook, and was assigned to Jacob Abbott.

    After the American Revolution, Major Daniel Livermore acquired the property. In 1806, a charter was granted for the Concord Bank. However, the grantees disagreed over management and location. This resulted in two banks being created - the Lower Bank and the Upper Bank. Both banks operated under a single charter until the charter expired, roughly 20 years later.

    The Upper Bank occupied a portion of the Livermore residence until it began business under its new name, the Merrimack County Bank.

    214 North Main's occupants have ranged from banks (Merrimack County and New Hampshire Savings) to insurance (Merrimack County Fire Insurance Company) to the Merrimack County Registry of Deeds, to the Selectmen's office, to the law offices of soon-to-be President Franklin Pierce, law offices of former Congressman Charles Peaslee, to one of New Hampshire's early historians (Dr. Nathaniel Bouton), and the New Hampshire Historical Society.

    Gallagher, Callahan & Gartrell purchased the building in August 1977 and has been there ever since.

  • Gallagher, Callahan & Gartrell
    214 N. Main St., Concord, NH
    Architect: John Leach
    Built: 1826

    These bottles, found during the excavation for the building's first renovation, are believed to have been from when Franklin Pierce had a law office here. He was known for discarding his empties directly out his window.

  • Normand & Associates
    15 High St., Manchester, NH
    Built: 1885

    Located on a small side street just a stone's throw from Elm Street, this house was built by the Jones family, which was active in Amoskeag Savings Bank and also owned the local quarry that was the source of most of the granite curbing in downtown Manchester.

    In the 1930s, Mrs. Jones sold the home to former Manchester attorney Arthur Connelly's grandmother. She used it as a home until it was converted by her son to the Sullivan and Connelly Funeral Home, which was at the time the prominent "Irish" funeral home in Manchester.

    Funeral Director Connelly was Arthur Connelly's uncle. Sullivan, his partner, was former Manchester attorney Henry Sullivan's brother and the uncle of Manchester attorney Kathy Sullivan.

    In 1942, Funeral Director Sullivan was commissioned as an officer and scheduled to be shipped out to the Pacific to fight in World War II. On Thanksgiving weekend, a few weeks before he was scheduled to be shipped out, he went down to the famous Cocoanut Grove in Boston with his date and unfortunately perished in the Cocoanut Grove fire, along with 491 other people.

  • Normand & Associates
    15 High St., Manchester, NH
    Built: 1885

    LEFT: This 1885 house on High Street has retained many of its original architectural details, including this winding staircase with carved wooden railing.

    TOP: The logo for the Franco-American business/social club is still visible on one of the building's glass doors. Club Jolliet moved to another location in Manchester in 1988.


    The Connelly family sold the Manchester property in the late 1960s to the Manchester Franco-American business/social club called Club Joillet. In 1988, attorney James Normand purchased the property.

    After Normand purchased the property in 1988, retired Marital Master Henry Sullivan contacted Normand to ask to move into the building. He stated, "Jimmy, I want to end my practicing years in my brother's building. Do you have room for me?" Henry Sullivan continued to quietly practice law and visit his office every day for several years until his retirement.

  • Wadleigh, Starr & Peters
    95 Market St, Manchester, NH
    Architect: Dennis Mires (contemporary)
    Built: 1950s

    The Wadleigh offices are comprised of three buildings: The first one, built in the 1950s on Market Street, was the first building in Manchester built specifically to be a law firm. In 1980, construction started on the northeasterly building, and when both buildings proved to be too small for the growing firm, the historic millyard apartment building on the corner of Market and Canal Streets was purchased and renovated. Amoskeag Industries owned the building until 1940 and provided housing for their superintendants there.

  • Wadleigh, Starr & Peters
    95 Market St, Manchester, NH
    Architect: Dennis Mires (contemporary)
    Built: 1950s

    Local architect Dennis Mires designed a modern connector for the three buildings. The modern connector is set back from the street so that anyone looking up or down Market Street will only see the brick buildings.

  • Wadleigh, Starr & Peters
    95 Market St, Manchester, NH
    Architect: Dennis Mires (contemporary)
    Built: 1950s

    In addition, Mires designed an internal connector bridge with aluminum siding, which is a nod to the way some of the old buildings in the millyard are connected.

  • Wadleigh, Starr & Peters
    95 Market St, Manchester, NH
    Architect: Dennis Mires (contemporary)
    Built: 1950s

    In 1997, Wadleigh was awarded the Historic Preservation Award by the Manchester Historic Association for its dedication and commitment to the preservation of Historic Resources in the City of Manchester.

  • Casinghino Law Office
    84 Bay St., Manchester, NH
    Architect: H.H. Richardson
    Built: 1882

    Many consider architect H.H. Richardson to be one of the three greatest American architects of all time. One of his most famous buildings is the Trinity Church in Boston.

    Richardson designed this Victorian building in 1882, for Charles Chandler, who was then the president of the Amoskeag Bank.

  • Casinghino Law Office
    84 Bay St., Manchester, NH
    Architect: H.H. Richardson
    Built: 1882

    Attorney Gary Casinghino bought the building a couple of years ago from attorney William Craig, who received a historic preservation award during his ownership of the building.

    The Manchester Historic Association included the building on a historic tour last fall.

  • Devine Millimet
    111 Amherst St., Manchester, NH
    Architect: Edward L. Tilton
    Built: 1933

    111 Amherst was the hub of federal and postal activity in the Queen City for 52 years.

    This is the site of two former post offices that served the Manchester area. The first, an imposing granite Victorian structure, was constructed with funds donated by Frank Carpenter in 1888 as the city was flourishing with the prosperous Amoskeag Manufacturing Company.

    When more space was needed by the post office, plans for additions to the existing building were drawn up, but the public is said to have objected because the addition was not compatible with the style of the original Victorian building. To solve this dilemma, in 1932, philanthropist Carpenter, who had donated money for many buildings in this area including the Manchester Public Library, offered to pay the New York City architectural firm of Tilton & Githers to design an entirely new building. Well known in Manchester, Edward L. Tilton was the architect of the Currier Gallery of Art, the nearby library and the historic association building next door. And despite the irregularity of privately funding a public building, the government accepted the offer.

  • Devine Millimet
    111 Amherst St., Manchester, NH
    Architect: Edward L. Tilton
    Built: 1933

    Left: The Revere Bell, now a lobby centerpiece, was once housed in the Amoskeag woolen mill and used to summon the workers.Most likely cast in the 1830s when the Revere Copper Company was operated by the sons of Paul Revere, it was presented to Mill Agent William P. Straw when he retired in the 1930s. Eventually, the bell was given to firm partners Judge Norman Stahl, Matt Reynolds and Joe Millimet.

    In the 1980s much of the postal work was relocated to a south Manchester facility. By 1985 the post office was declared surplus property. When no federal agency, nor state, county or local government entities expressed an interest in the building, an auction open to private firms was scheduled and advertised nationally as required by federal statute. This caught the attention of Devine attorneys, and the firm purchased the building for $2.5 million at auction on Dec. 17, 1985.

  • Wescott Law
    28 Bowman St., Laconia, NH
    Built: 1852

    The Laconia firm of Wescott Law, formerly Wescott, Dyer, Fitzgerald & Nichols, has called the old Bowman Street School home since 1985. Built in 1852, the Bowman Street School is one of Laconia's oldest buildings, and was Belknap County's first brick schoolhouse. Originally a one-story structure, the Bowman Street School underwent its first renovation in 1874 when a second story was added.

    The building served as a school until 1929 when it was condemned by the state and subsequently purchased by the Veterans of Foreign Wars, which used it until 1952. It was then reacquired by the City of Laconia and put back into service as an elementary school for the children of Laconia's south end. It remained a school until 1975 when Woodland Heights School was opened, at which time ownership reverted to the VFW which made it available to various organizations including Planned Parenthood, Headstart and the Laconia Senior Citizen Center. Upon the tenants' decision to relocate, the building was purchased and lovingly renovated by the current owner, Bowman Street Associates, comprised of several of the attorneys of the then Wescott, Millham & Dyer law firm.

  • Wescott Law
    28 Bowman St., Laconia, NH
    Built: 1852

    The original school bell from the Bowman Street School was presented to the firm by Mary Orton of the Laconia Historical Society and is on display in the office lobby.

    Today, the lobby proudly showcases numerous photos taken throughout the building's history, as well as the original school clock that was presented to the firm by the last principal of the Bowman Street School, Helen Hill. The building receives daily compliments from clients, visitors and former students who appreciate its beauty and history as much those who work within its walls.

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