Enoch Robinson Round House // 1854

One of the most unique homes close to Boston is the Enoch Robinson House, built in 1854 by its original owner. Enoch Robinson (1801-1888) was a noted inventor and businessman. Born in Boston, he apprenticed to his gunsmith father in a variety of trades including glass-cutting. Robinson moved to East Cambridge in 1825, and entered the New England Glass Company. He developed a patented method of pressing glass furniture knobs in 1826. In 1837, he built a furnace and factory in Boston to manufacture knobs and established a lock business in 1839. With his sons, Robinson operated the lock business for many years. He moved to Somerville in 1847 and built his unique house in 1856.

The house is located on Atherton Street in the Spring Hill neighborhood of Somerville and stands out among traditional late-19th century homes nearby. The home diverts away from Octagon homes because who needs corners anyways. The exterior of the Round House features two flush stories, with a third stepped back behind battlements. The home was vacant by the 1970s until in 1986, a restoration program, led by students from Boston’s North Bennet Street School did a small amount of work renovating the exterior, but the project fell apart and the house remained in a state of decay. The home was purchased by a contractor in 2007 who worked with the Somerville Historical Commission to restore the home to its former glory. It is now a single family home.

Somerville Museum // 1925

Located at the end of Westwood Road, facing Central Street in the Spring Hill neighborhood of Somerville is the gorgeous Somerville Museum (Somerville Historical Society). The Museum building is a two-story Federal Revival building, executed in red brick, with brick quoins at its
corners. The front façade has an enclosed pediment, with a circular window in the middle. The centrally placed double entry doors on Central Street are surmounted by a fanlight with interlaced mullions and has a Federal Revival pedimented surround.

In 1897, a group of businessmen, religious, social, cultural, educational and municipal leaders came together to found the Somerville Historical Society with many of these founding members were descendants of the original settlers. Between 1925 and 1929, the building was built as place for the members to meet and organize their artifacts and library. Designed by George Loring and William Dykeman, the building is a very well-preserved example of the Federal Revival style.

Elbridge W. Newton House // 1898

This home was built for Elbridge Newton, a graduate of Tufts University who produced music textbooks as a music editor and resided at his home until his death in 1940. Elbridge is said to have been the agent who sold many of the lots along Westwood Road, likely due to his connections with wealthy individuals in Boston, Cambridge and Somerville.

The home is a transitional Colonial Revival, Queen Anne and Shingle style home. The cross-gambrel house features a conical tower at the side which has multiple stained glass windows. The amazing front porch is supported by Tuscan columns and has been restored by 2012 by the owners.

Charles Bradshaw House // 1899

This house was built for Charles Bradshaw, who moved into a new home in his newly laid-out Westwood Road subdivision just a block from his former home, which was located at 175 Summer Street. When built, the home was considered one of the nicest in the neighborhood and is the purest form of Colonial Revival architecture on the short street. The home features a fan transom with sidelights at the front door, Corinthian columns and pilasters, and a large broken scrolled pediment. Sadly, it has been “vinyled” like many homes in Somerville, but despite this, it retains much of the original detailing and is well-maintained!

Edwin D. Sibley House // 1895

This Shingle style home features prominent elements of the Colonial Revival style which include the Palladian window at the gambrel dormer, decorative garlands, and massing. The home was built for Edwin D. Sibley, who was born and raised in Boston. He later graduated from Harvard Law School in 1881. He practiced law in downtown Boston before purchasing a new home in Somerville on the newly platted Westwood Road subdivision. In Somerville, he worked in various boards and commissions and later became Mayor of Somerville.

Charles Bradshaw House // 1884

This late mansard brick house in Spring Hill, Somerville was developed by Charles Bradshaw, a developer who later developed Westwood Road nearby shortly after. The home at 175 Summer Street, was designed by George Loring, an architect who also lived in Somerville.

The home is interesting in that it’s a late example of a Second Empire Home in the region. It features a Flemish gable and turned porch stick work.