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.

Arnold Fenner Mansion // 1855

Considered to be one of the best-preserved Italian Villas in the state of Connecticut, the Fenner Mansion on Main Street in Plainfield, CT, is a head-turner! The home was built for Arnold Fenner (1794-1871), a mill-owner in Plainfield, who lived in sight of his business. The Italian Villa with the characteristic box-like form, flat roof, veranda, belvedere, arched shapes, and bay windows; the plethora of brackets, quoins, canopies, balustrades, and jigsaw scalloped decoration epitomizes the Victorian taste for abundant architectural detail at the time.