George Dexter House // 1885

The George Dexter House on Sewall Avenue in Brookline was built in 1885 and designed by architect S. Edwin Tobey. George B. Dexter was part-owner of Dexter Brothers which was one of the two most prominent manufacturers of paints and oils in New England (the other being Cabot Co.). Dexter hired Tobey to design a wood-frame house for his family which combined shingles and clapboards, as well as a variety of other wood trim, which would display his companies products. According to an article, Dexter also stained and painted the interior a variety of colors to showcase the wide range of options his company had.

The home is a great example of the Queen Anne/Shingle style with some early Colonial Revival elements. The Dexter House features a hipped roof and overhanging eaves supported by broad rafters, with a large front porch. The veranda and undulating oriel are especially gorgeous which showcase the ability of shingles to wrap around any shape of feature. The home was converted to a two-family in the 1920s.

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