The house at 6 Oak Street in Worcester was built in 1906-1907. It was the home of Ransom F. Taylor, son of Ransom C. Taylor (d.1910), a wealthy real estate developer who became Worcester’s largest property owner. According to Historic Homes and Institutions and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs of Worcester County, Massachusetts, Vol. II (1907), Ransom Frederick Taylor
was born in Worcester[.] He married Virginia Byrd Chapman, of York, Pennsylvania. He was educated at the Highland Military Academy, Worcester, and Phillips Andover Academy. He has for a number of years been associated with his father in business and has shared the management of his property largely. In recent years he himself has been a large investor in real estate and is accounted as one of the shrewdest and most accurate judges of the values of real estate in the city.
The house was purchased by Becker College in 1955 and is now a dormitory called Merrill Hall, named for civic leader and trustee of the college, Everett E. Merrill.
The Tudor Apartments, designed by S.J.F. Thayer and built in 1885-1887, are at 34½ Beacon Street at Joy Street in Boston. Construction of the nine-story building so close to the Massachusetts capitol led to a height restriction law for the area. The Queen Anne-style building combines a variety of architectural styles. The design makes particular advantage of natural light on the Joy Street side of the building. Built as an apartment hotel, for much of the twentieth century the Tudor housed both apartments and offices. In 1999, it was renovated and converted into seventeen exclusive luxury condominiums.
The Nathan Appleton House, at 39 Beacon Street, and its partner, the Daniel Parker House, at no. 40, were designed for the two former business partners by Alexander Parris, a noted Boston architect. Built in 1818, a fourth floor was added to both houses in 1888. These two bowfront row houses which are transitional between the Federal and Greek Revival styles, at one time mirrored each other more closely, but the Appleton house had an extra window added on each of its floors. Nathan Appleton was a pioneering textile manufacturer. The marriage of the poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, to Appleton‘s daughter, Fanny, took place in the house in 1843. From 1914 into the 1990s, the building housed the Women’s City Club of Boston. In more recent times, it has been subdivided into condominiums. There is a video of the house’s exterior on YouTube.
No. 77 Mount Vernon Street in Boston is part of a row of Greek Revival Houses constructed in 1836-1837 on the site of the former Bulfinch-designed mansion of Jonathan Mason. These buildings are set back 30 feet from the street, in line with other earlier houses in this block. It later nineteenth century, the house at no. 77 was the home of Sarah Wyman Whitman, an artist and graphic designer who created book bindings for Houghton Mifflin. Whitman‘s work appeared on books by such authors as Sarah Orne Jewett, Celia Thaxter, Lafcadio Hearn and many others. In 1936, the house became the headquarters of the Club of Odd Volumes, a society of bibliophiles founded in 1887. The club had previously rented space in a large building across the street.
An earlier entry on this blog featured no. 59 Mt. Vernon Street in Boston together with nos. 55-57, but this house is architecturally and historically significant and deserves it’s own seperate entry. Considered to be the great example of Greek Revival architecture on Beacon Hill, the 1837 house was designed by Edward Shaw, an architect and author of such works as Civil Architecture (1831), Operative Masonry (1832), and The Modern Architect (1854). The house was home to Thomas Bailey Aldrich, who replaced William Dean Howells as editor of the Atlantic Monthly in 1881. Aldrich was also an author and poet. Images of the house’s great Greek Revival doorway appear in two books about Aldrich: The Life of Thomas Bailey Aldrich (1908) by Ferris Greenslet and Crowding Memories (1920) by Lilian Woodman Aldrich.
Dr. William Ellery Channing was a leading Unitarian preacher and theologian, who was minister of the Federal Street Church in Boston from 1830-1842. Asher Benjamin designed the 1835 house at 83 Mount Vernon Street, on Boston’s Beacon Hill, where Channing and his family lived from 1835 until his death in 1842. Among the distinguished visitors at the house was Charles Dickens, who had breakfast with Channing in 1842. Dr. Channing’s nephew was William Ellery Channing, the Transcendentalist poet.
William Hickling Prescott was an important nineteenth century historian who is best known for his works, History of the Conquest of Mexico (1843) and History of the Conquest of Peru (1847). The latter work was written in a house that Prescott lived in on Beacon Street in Boston from 1845 to 1859. The 1808 house (on the left in the photo above) was designed by Asher Benjamin and features Greek design motifs and a Federal style doorway. William Makepeace Thackeray, a friend of Prescott, visited the house. Thackeray was as inspired to write his novel, The Virginians (1859), after seeing two crossed swords displayed in the home, one belonging to Prescott‘s grandfather (Col. William Prescott) and one by Prescott’s wife’s father (Capt. John Linzee), each on opposing sides at the Battle of Bunker Hill. The Prescott House is now a museum and the headquarters of the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.