Pollen House // 1961

Built into the side of Fisher Hill, this Mid-Century Modern home in Brookline depicts the sleek lines and materiality synonymous with the style. The home was designed by the architectural firm of Arthur H. Cohen and Abraham J. Goldberg, which lasted only a few years and was completed by 1961. Abraham Pollen, an eye doctor, and namesake of the Arthur Pollen Archives at Mass. Eye and Ear, resided in the Modern home for most of his professional life. Vertical glass panels and tongue and groove boards with batten strips characterize the home along with the prominent garage entries facing the street.

Fisher Hill Reservoir Gatehouse // 1887

Located at the center of Fisher Hill, an Olmsted-designed neighborhood in Brookline, is a 10-acre park with raised earth and a depression in the middle. At first glance you may think its just been playing fields and open space for as long as the neighborhood has been around, but upon closer inspection (and geeking out over the gatehouse), you can learn much more!

The Fisher Hill Reservoir was built in 1886-87 as an early component of the Boston Water Board’s expansion of its high service system. The gatehouse was likely designed by Boston City Architect, Arthur Vinal, who also
designed the Chestnut Hill High Service Pumping Station (now the Waterworks Museum) completed the same year. The gatehouse has a granite substructure, stone main floor, and brick second story. Brownstone is used for quoins and window heads, including the oversized voussoirs above round-arched openings in the main floor.

Aerial photograph of Fisher Hill Reservoir in 1931. Courtesy of Digital Commonwealth.

Providing water for the area for over 60 years via a large open reservoir, the land was eventually abandoned by the state as newer facilities were constructed and distribution changed after WWII. The site and gatehouse sat abandoned for decades until the Town of Brookline purchased the parcel from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for use as a municipal park. The landscape architecture firm of Klopfer Martin Design Group kept the earth structure as a historic reference to the site’s context within Brookline and greater Boston, and conveyed the site’s history as a reservoir, using both spatial and interpretive elements and signage, as well as delivering a contemporary, and programmatically rich park, worthy of its Olmstedian context.

Malcolm Eaton House // 1915

This grand Colonial Revival mansion in Brookline was built for Malcolm H. Eaton (1890-1932), a restauranteur who co-owned the renowned Thompson’s Spa chain in Boston with his father Charles. Thompson’s Spa, a since long-gone chain in Boston that grew to about a dozen units in the 1930s, began as a soda fountain – a “spa” — selling non-alcoholic “temperance drinks.” Open year round, it provided both cold and hot drinks from lemonade and orangeade to “beef tea” whatever that is. Charles Eaton was a graduate of MIT who in 1880, after briefly practicing as an architect in his home town of Lowell MA, had invented an electric telephone signaling device that he sold to Bell Telephone. For some odd reason he chucked that career and joined his brother-in-law (named Thompson) in running a wholesale drug store in Boston, which later evolved to the Thompson’s Spa chain. When Charles died in 1917, Malcolm and his two brothers helped oversee the expansion of the chain and brought it to the neighborhoods of Boston. Malcolm with his earnings from the successful spa, hired the architectural firm Chapman & Frazer to design this high-style Colonial Revival home when he was just 25 years old.

Ralph Stewart House // 1907

This Colonial Revival home facing the corner of Dean Road and Druce Street was built in 1907 for Stewart and Mary Stewart in the Fisher Hill area of Brookline. Mr. and Mrs. Stewart were friends of Walter H . Kilham, senior partner in the firm of Kilham & Hopkins, who designed this home for them. Stewart was an attorney who worked at Choate, Hall & Stewart law firm (still active) in Boston. The architectural firm of Kilham & Hopkins designed a large number of residences and schools in and around Brookline, where Kilham lived. The Stewart House is an excellent example of their historically sensitive interpretations of Colonial Revival style design. Of particular note with this home is the large, arched stair-hall window over the front door and the entry treatment.