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Slated For Demolition, Manchester's Historic Chandler House Purchased By Currier Museum

picture of very ornate victorian-era living room
Manchester Historic Association

The Diocese of Manchester has agreed to sell a historic property to the Currier Museum after years of stalled negotiations and rejected offers. 

The 150-year old Chandler House, an ornate Queen Victorian style home with 30 rooms totalling nearly 10,000 square feet, is located across the street from the museum.

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The Diocese announced plans to demolish the structure, drawing ire from the Manchester Historic Association and a plea from the city’s Mayor Joyce Craig to find a way to save the structure. 

“For almost five years we have explored numerous options to sell, subdivide, or preserve the Chandler House in some way, without success,” said Bishop Peter Libasci. “We are pleased that through the experience of a friendly meeting and a fruitful exchange of ideas, the Currier has stepped forward with a plan to do so.” 

The Chandler House formerly served as a residence for Catholic bishops in the city. It has fallen into disrepair and will need renovation before it can be opened to the public. The sale, which was announced Wednesday, will also require approval from the city. A purchase price wasn’t immediately released to the public.

“The Chandler House is a beautiful 19th-century residence that tells the story of New Hampshire’s dynamic past,” said Alan Chong, the museum’s director, in a press release announcing the sale.

“The Currier Museum is proud to help preserve it for the benefit of the community in collaboration with the Diocese of Manchester, our long-time neighbors.” 

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The museum, which also owns two Frank Lloyd Wright-designed homes in Manchester, says it plans to open some sections of the home to tours, while reserving other rooms in the house for office space.

"I'm thrilled a resolution favorable to all was reached, and the Chandler House will be saved, said Mayor Craig in a statement.

"I want to thank Bishop Libasci and the Diocese of Manchester and Dr. Alan Chong and the Board to Trustees of the Currier Museum of Art for working together to ensure this historically and architecturally significant building in Manchester is saved for generations to come. I'm also grateful for the support and advocacy expressed by our community in preserving this piece of Manchester's heritage."

Todd started as a news correspondent with NHPR in 2009. He spent nearly a decade in the non-profit world, working with international development agencies and anti-poverty groups. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University.
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