Mellen T. Bird House // 1898

This Queen Anne & Colonial Revival home on Abbottsford Street in North Brookline was built in 1898 as part of the Graffam Development, which was platted and built out between 1894 and 1907. Peter Graffam, the developer, was from Malden who worked in the Ames Building in Boston, and purchased the land which later became the Graffam neighborhood. Previous owners of this area had been the Sewall family in the 17th century (Judge Sewall was the presiding magistrate at the Witch Trials in Salem); Israel Thorndike, an early 19th century Boston merchants; and Henry Blaney who, in 1874, lived on nearby Babcock Street. Over half of the lots were built without an owner and later sold by a real estate company.

This house at #43 was designed by Luther Greenleaf of the firm of Greenleaf & Cobb, who designed many of the homes in this development. The house is a great blending of Queen Anne and Colonial Revival styles, and has a case study in dormer treatments. The home’s first live-in owner was Mellen True Bird, a businessman who owned a stationary store named M.T. Bird & Co. Bird lived in the home until the end of his life where he moved to 50 Commonwealth Avenue in the Back Bay neighborhood of Boston with his wife.

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