Situated on a tree-dotted hill overlooking rolling green space, Bath’s Hyde School appears, at first glance, like your typical picturesque private boarding school. But take a closer look and you may notice that the main block of the building, with its ornate entry porch and detailed window treatments, looks distinctly residential. That’s because the 1913 Colonial Revival structure was initially designed as a private home by renowned architect John Calvin Stevens. Known first as Elmhurst, and later as Hyde Mansion, the estate was built for John Sedgewick Hyde, son of Civil War general and Bath Iron Works founder Thomas W. Hyde. Set on 120 acres, the property encompassed 21 rooms, impeccably landscaped gardens accessed by a series of terraces — and one of Maine’s first indoor swimming pools. John Hyde, who became president of BIW in 1905, was only able to enjoy three years at Elmhurst before his death in 1917. His heirs donated the home and grounds to educate and house handicapped children and adults in the mid-1900s. In 1966, it became a college preparatory school that now serves over 170 students.
Portland-based writer Julie Senk holds degrees in history and historic preservation and provides property surveys and architectural analyses to homeowners and businesses. To learn more about her work, visit northernvernacular.com.