Richardson Building // 1895

Located across from the Federal style Unitarian Church and Romanesque style Masonic Temple and rounding out the nicest intersection of Burlington Vermont, I present, the Richardson Building. The Richardson Building was constructed in 1895 by developer Albert Richmond, and can be classified as Chateauesque with its rounded bays surmounted by conical roofs and finials, showing the complexity of a French Chateau. The building was likely constructed for a commercial interest as an income property with retail at the ground floor and professional offices above. In 1911, the famous building was purchased by Frank D. Abernethy, who purchased his partner’s share of their business and created the Abernethy’s Department Store, soon the largest department store in town. Despite being a prominent, long-term fixture on Church Street, Abernethy’s went out of business in November 1982. The building was later renovated and new tenants moved in.

Burlington Savings Bank // 1900

The Burlington Savings Bank building, constructed in 1900, is one of the most architecturally sophisticated buildings in Downtown Burlington, Vermont. The design uses a brick and brownstone facade with prominent wall dormers and a corner tower with conical roof which harkens back to the chateaus and estates of Europe. The recessed corner entrance is framed by free-standing Ionic columns which support a brownstone segmental arch, which helps command the corner presence. The Burlington Savings Bank opened for business on January 1, 1848, and operated under that title until 1988 when it merged with the Bank of Boston to become the Bank of Vermont, which in 1995, was purchased by KeyBank. The corner building is now occupied by Citizens Bank, which continues this buildings legacy as a castle of finance in the city.

The Charlesgate // 1891

One of the most grand apartment hotels in Boston, The Charlesgate, serves as one of many architectural anchors for the Back Bay neighborhood from Kenmore Square. The apartment hotel was constructed in 1891 and so named after the Charlesgate Park which was created by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted as part of the glorious Emerald Necklace park system. The Back Bay Fens was the first park designed by Olmsted for the City of Boston. Creating the Back Bay Fens was as much a sanitary as an aesthetic project, because the water was heavily polluted and often stagnant; Olmsted envisioned Charlesgate as the meeting point of the Back Bay Fens with the Charles River. The apartment hotel was actually designed and was financed by the architect, John Pickering Putnam, and members of his family. The basement and first story are constructed of Indiana limestone with the remainder of brick, with limestone trimmings. A picturesque effect is obtained by grouping the bays in pairs, and surmounting each pair with gables in the Queen Anne style, and by relieving these features against a high roof of green slate. The building originally featured 30 apartments and has since been reconfigured into over 50. The architectural landmark is one of the best statement-pieces in the neighborhood, and shows that apartment design can be done very very well!

Larz Anderson Carriage House // 1889

This large and imposing brick and stone structure, located in Larz Anderson Park in Brookline, was once the carriage house of “Weld”, the estate owned by Larz and Isabel Weld Anderson. Constructed in 1888, it was inspired by the Chateau de Chaumont-Sur-Loire in France and designed by Edmund M. Wheelwright, the city architect of Boston. First constructed to house a working stable, it later served to house and maintain the Andersons’ growing automobile collection. After Isabel Anderson’s passing in 1948, the collection was entrusted, at Isabel’s bequest, to the Veteran Motor Car Club of America. The VMCCA then established the nonprofit organization that is now known as the Larz Anderson Auto Museum. The former mansion suffered from vandalism in the 1950s and caught fire, later demolished by the Town, who could not afford to rebuild the home.

Boston Free Hospital For Women // 1895

Boston’s Free Hospital for Women was founded in 1875 by Dr. William Henry Baker. Baker wanted a hospital dedicated to treating diseases that inflicted women, offering free medical care to poor women and serving as a teaching hospital to Harvard Medical School. In the beginning, the hospital sat on East Springfield Street in the South End and was home to one of the first cancer wards in the country. Due to increased demand, it moved to a larger facility in Brookline in 1895. It was designed by architects Shaw and Hunnewell. Trimmed in limestone, details include string coursing, arched windows, carved keystones are seen all over. The hospital campus was sited perched on a ledge overlooking the Muddy River and the Frederick Law Olmsted Emerald Necklace park system on the Brookline side. In 1980, the Boston Hospital for Women merged with Peter Bent Brigham Hospital to form Brigham and Women’s Hospital. The former site of the hospital in Brookline was converted into luxury condos in 1989, which it remains as to this day.

Mount Williams Reservoir Gatehouse // 1914

An adequate water supply for the residents and industry of North Adams was from the late 19th century, an issue of paramount importance to residents. For the next several decades the population grew at such a high rate that a reservoir was required, and in 1914, the Mount Williams Reservoir was planned and constructed. Land was selected where a small Brook passed through and a concrete core dam was designed and built that year to impound the brook. At the waters edge, a gatehouse, once perched upon the shore like a castle, is decaying. The gatehouse is a cylindrical brick structure clad in stucco, capped with a red tiled conical roof. The structure remains active to this day with a more modern structure nearby providing support to North Adams’ waterworks system.

Marguerite Terrace // 1891

Marguerite Terrace (my favorite of the Beaconsfield Terrace buildings) in Brookline was built in 1891 and exhibits the Chateauesque style, evoking French design. Designed as part of the Beaconsfield Terrace complex on the Knapp Estate of residences with private amenities, the building was designed by Carl Fehmer, showing his amazing range in design. Through the use of yellow brick and fieldstone walls, conical roof towers, and a center pavilion with a steeply pitched roof, the building stands out for its amazing detailing.

Wellesley College- Music Hall // 1881

Front facade, photo taken 2020.

One of the most stunning buildings on Wellesley College’s campus is Music Hall, built in 1881. The hall is surrounded by the Clapp Library to the west, the Houghton Memorial Chapel to the north, and Tupelo Point to the south.

ca.1881 photo from Wellesley College Digital Collections

Designed by the renowned architectural firm of Ware & Van Brunt, the building was financed by Henry Fowle Durant, the college’s founder. Mr. Durant gave the architects minimal design guidelines; the most notable were that Music Hall should be built on solid ground and that it should be close to College Hall and Stone Hall, but far enough away so the noise from recitation rooms would not interfere with academic and administrative activities in the other buildings.

Photo taken 2020.

The red brick building sits atop a granite foundation and features decorative terra-cotta trim. Two stunning turrets extend the height of the building and are capped with conical roofs. In the central bay between the turrets, the main entrance sits recessed behind an arched opening. I would consider this building as “Chateauesque” in style for its proportions, recessed and protruding planes, and massive conical towers which dominate the facade.

Detroit Publishing Company photograph ca. 1905

By the turn of the 20th century, the College desired an auditorium that was larger than the one presently in College Hall, yet smaller than the 900-person space in the new chapel across the street. Caroline Hazard, the president of Wellesley College at the time hired Providence-based architects Angell and Swift, who had recently completed “Oakwoods”, her residence at the college. The Gothic Revival addition, known as Billings Hall, features similar materials and design features, yet the massing and style clearly distinguish it as a later addition.

Billings Hall. Photo taken 2020