The Manship House was built on a four-acre lot in a sparsely settled area of Jackson when it was a city of about 3,000. Although the city has grown up around the house, it stands in its original setting of native trees and shrubs, some of which may have been planted by Manship himself.
One of the few examples of Gothic-Revival residential architecture in Mississippi, the Manship House was inspired by a design in A.J. Downing's Architecture of Country Houses, a popular nineteenth-century pattern book in which an almost identical house is pictured. Manship adopted the plan to a southern climate by adding floor-to-ceiling windows and a central hall for ventilation.