Nannau was entered onto the National Register of Historic Places on November 8, 1984 [1]   because of the local and national reputation of its original owner—David B. Ogden— and as a shining example of shingle style architecture on Mount Desert Island.

18 - Nannau 1
Annual meeting of the Abbe Museum at Nannau

David Odgen’s humanitarian work included founding Saint Saviour’s Episcopal Church in Bar Harbor, extensive work during World War I with the American Red Cross, and fundraising efforts for Japanese disaster relief .[2]   Raised in a well-known New York family, [3] his family’s arrival in Bar Harbor for the summer season was sometimes noted by local newspapers .[4]  In one such article, the construction of a new cottage for the Ogdens in 1904 is mentioned, [5] and it is likely Nannau.

Nannau was designed by the Boston architectural firm Andrews, Jaques, and Rantoul, and this version of shingle style architecture was later described in The Country House as “‘An excellent example of shingle work.’” [6] Popular from the 1880s–1900s, shingle style architecture is an American style taking inspiration from seventeenth century colonial designs and is now considered part of the New England landscape, especially in coastal towns. [7]  While never mass-produced, its popularity on Mount Desert Island was likely due to its “practical and economic” [8] advantages as it withstood the fluxing climate better than most architectural styles of the time.

By Marisa Higgins

[1] National Register of Historic Places. Nannau, Bar Harbor, Maine. National Register #84000322.

[2] Ibid.

[3] “David B. Ogden.” Prominent Families of New York. New York: The Historical Company, 1897 (434).

[4] New York Times. “Bar Harbor’s Social Life.” June 12, 1904.; Reilly, Wayne E. “Bar Harbor awash in wealth, fashion.” Bangor Daily News. July 10, 2006.

[5] New York Times 1904.

[6] Register #84000322; Hooper, Charles Edward. The Country House. Garden City, New York: Doubleday, Page & Company, 1913 (211).;view=1up;seq=23.

[7] Register #84000322; Bryan, John M. “The Breakwater Cottage.” Maine Cottages: Fred L. Savage and the Architecture of Mount Desert. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2007 (70-73).; “Architectural Style Guide.” Historic New England. accessed September 29, 2015.

[8] Ibid.

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