James H. Gardner House // 1923

My favorite part about the Boston suburbs is the sheer number of well-preserved early 20th century residences. The collection of Colonial Revival, Tudor, and Arts and Crafts style houses found in Waban Village, Newton, are among my favorites. This two-story stucco-clad house enclosed by a slate gable roof with exposed rafter ends was built in 1923 from designs by architect Harry Morton Ramsay. Ramsay was hired to design dozens of middle-upper class houses in Newton during its period of rapid development in the early 20th century. The original owner was James H. Gardner, who lived here with his family and a maid for a couple decades.

Goodwin House // 1902

This house in the small town of Richmond, Vermont was built in 1902 for I. H. Goodwin, a partner of the Richmond Underwear Company, which started in 1900. Goodwin and his partner J. S. Baker were brought from Peekskill, New York to the small town of Richmond to create and manage a new industry to revitalize the town, a program funded by the citizens. The home Goodwin had built for his family is a great blending of Shingle and Arts and Crafts styles, common in the early 20th century. The house was unique in that it was the first in town to feature electricity, though taken from the factory’s generator next door.

Asbury Grove Bates Library // 1910

Located near the Asbury Grove Chapel in Hamilton, MA, this Craftsman style library building shows how the camp evolved into the 20th century. The library was constructed in 1910 with a rectangular floor plan and is enclosed by a hip roof with deep eaves lined by exposed roof rafters, consistent with its Craftsman-style design. The L.B. Bates Memorial Library was named after the first chaplain for Asbury Grove, who contributed a large number of books to start a library. By the late 19th century, camp meetings were declining in popularity across the United States. This change had as much to do with society’s movement away from the religious fervency of the 18th and 19th centuries as with the ease of travel caused by extensive railroad construction and the introduction of the automobile

Paul Hunt House // 1905

A rarity in Massachusetts, this Spanish Revival style home stands out among the large homes of Brookline. Located at 63 Powell Street in North Brookline, this home was built in 1905 for Paul Hunt, who is most famous for his father and uncle. Paul Hunt was the son of William Morris Hunt, a leading painter of Boston in the 19th century and the nephew of Richard Morris Hunt, one of the most prolific American architects of all time. Paul Hunt became a developer and contractor of sorts in Bar Harbor, Maine, where his mother had a summer cottage.

This house can be classified as Spanish Revival as it is a has a stucco exterior, low-pitched roof of terra-cotta tiles, and rounded arched openings. You can see that on the rightmost side of the home on the second floor, a sleeping porch appears to have been enclosed. Sleeping porches were very common in early 20th century where screened balconies would allow residents to sleep outside, for two main reasons. First, air-conditioning was not available at the time and summer nights would get very hot, and second, it was believed that Tuberculosis and other lung-related illnesses could be cured or staved by providing fresh air.

George Treat House // 1926

The Treat House was built between in 1926 for George W. Treat, the president of E.H. Rollins and Sons, a stock brokerage firm located at 200 Devonshire Street in Downtown Boston. The house was built toward the end of the extended period of development of Braintree, which boomed in the last quarter of the nineteenth century and continued into the 1920s and 1930s. Though the main body of the house is constructed of brick masonry with little decorative trim, the entry porch is the focus of a Renaissance-inspired door surround combined with picturesque rusticated stonework. This mixture of medieval and early Renaissance decoration is common in the Tudor Revival architectural style.