The Harmon Noble House, also known as Sunnyside, is one of Essex’s grand homes on Merchant Row that enjoy a marvelous view of Lake Champlain across the street. Sometimes called the Noble-Schreiber House, this stately brick mansion was built in c. 1835 by one of Ransom Noble’s sons, Harmon Noble. His brother, Belden Noble, built his home Greystone next door.
This property once included several outbuildings, one of which — an octagonal one-room schoolhouse that resembles a decorative garden gazebo on the front lawn — still remains today.
“Although its basic configuration is Federal in style, the broad proportions of its entry portico with Greek key fretwork in the frieze acknowledge the newly emergent Greek revival architecture of the 1830s.” (“Essex: An Architectural Guide.” 28)
The Harmon Noble House’s Greek Revival front entryway portico offers a late example of the Federal style, demonstrating the transitional nature of this home. A central entryway facing Lake Champlain is flanked by two windows placed symmetrically on either side of the doorway. The front facade bears a strong Federal character despite some Greek Revival design details. The small front porch is ornamented with a Greek key (a motif comprised of nested, interlinked squares of differing sizes) on all three sides of the porch’s architrave.
Over time the Harmon Noble House has undergone some cosmetic changes. Once the windows were all shuttered, but now they are exposed and show off their simple lines. Today the home shows off its red brick exterior, but photographs (c. 1880) show that once the bricks were painted with a light color (Images of America: Essex on Lake Champlain. 114).
Like Rosslyn, the Harmon Noble House includes multiple chimneys, a reminder of the importance that was once placed on fireplaces to heat a home.
Additional Resources for Harmon Noble House
This map (with satellite image overlay) will help you locate the Harmon Noble House and see how its location relates to other historic buildings in the historic district.
View Discover Essex on Lake Champlain in a larger map
References for Harmon Noble House
“Essex: An Architectural Guide.” Essex Community Heritage Organization, 1986.
“Essex Village Historic District.” Living Places. Ed. Julia Gombach. The Gombach Group, 2010. Web. 28 Nov. 2012. .
Everest, Allan Seymour. Our North Country Heritage; Architecture Worth Saving in Clinton and Essex Counties. Plattsburgh, NY: Tundra, 1972. Print.
Hislop, David C., Jr. Essex on Lake Champlain. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Pub., 2009. Print. Images of America.
“Historic Essex.” Historic Essex. Essex Community Heritage Organization. Web. 28 Nov. 2012. <http://www.essexny.org/>.
McNulty, George F., and Margaret Scheinin. Essex; the Architectural Heritage. Burlington, VT: Queen City Printers, 1971. Print.
Smith, H. P. History of Essex County: With Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers. Syracuse, N. Y.: D. Mason &, 1885. Print.