Adriance Cottage is the quintessential Williamstown residence. Built in 1872 by John Adriance, Williams class of 1855, it has been a fraternity house, a family residence, and for years the home of a renowned professor. It offers rare opportunities to live with history and participate in its preservation.In its almost 150 years, Adriance Cottage has experienced multiple updates and enlargements. The various owners have observed design integrity and preserved the core historic features and graciousness of this fine home with its unique features and ceilings as high as ten feet. Three wonderful 19th century gaslight fixtures, for example, still illuminate the entrance hall--but now with LEDs. More recently, a decades old electric circuit, originally installed to power an early model clothes dryer, was updated and moved to provide a charging station in the enormous attached garage for the current owner's electric car.
Although it has a Main Street address, the house is set back approximately 300 feet and screened by dozens of mature trees, making it unseen by anyone driving or walking along Main Street. Indeed, surrounded by over 3.5 acres of lawn, fields, gardens and towering trees, Adriance Cottage is largely invisible even to its neighbors.
Abutting the College's properties along South Street, Adriance Cottage is a mere quarter mile to the Clark Institute and less to the '62 Center for Theater and Dance; most other popular College venues and Spring Street are but a few minutes farther. While there are other residences this close to the College, few, if any, offer the history and elegance, privacy, expansive grounds, custom poured concrete and mosaic pool, and quiet and bucolic setting truly unique to Adriance Cottage.
When a home is as well built and maintained as Adriance Cottage, there is no need to forego modern amenities. Integrating them will often take some extra thought. The eat-in kitchen has been up-dated to include Wood-Mode cabinets, Corian counter-tops, an induction cooktop and and extra-wide electric oven. Two top-of-the-line Lochinvar furnaces have recently been installed and provide back-up for one another. And a solar hot water system and over-sized hot water tank provide copious hot water.
Just inside the front door is a photo of Adriance Cottage taken not long after construction. On the reverse side is a list of former residents, possibly incomplete but still impressive. It's a worthy group to consider joining.