Thomas Aspinwall Davis House //

The area known as the Lindens in Brookline Village was once an apple and cherry orchard known as Holden Farm, owned by James Holden. Holden had married Lucy Aspinwall Davis, a widow who had multiple children from her previous marriage. After Holden and his new wife died, the Holden farmland was split between the heirs, and Thomas Aspinwall Davis bought up the shares from his brothers. He envisioned the farmland could be a subdivision in a rural setting of large homes on large lots. The result, the Lindens area is the earliest planned development in Brookline and was laid out as a “garden suburb” for those wishing to escape the growing congestion of Boston. As originally conceived in 1843, it reflected the latest ideals of planned residential development for a semi-rural setting with curvilinear streets and small parks. Many homes were built in the 1840s in prominent styles at the time, Greek Revival, Gothic Revival and Italianate.

One of the largest homes, built for Davis, was located to face Linden Park. The home is a blending of Gothic Revival and Italianate styles with a central gable adorned with decorative bargeboards and belvedere at the roof. The home had a gorgeous Gothic Revival porch which was removed in 1903, when the home was turned northward to face Linden Place. The front porch was replaced with an Arts and Crafts portico and lost much of the original detailing. While the neighborhood lost the original bucolic appeal at the turn of the century due to infill construction, many of the original 1840s homes remain.

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