Bernard Jenney House // 1908

This stunning home in Brookline’s Cottage Farm neighborhood was built in 1908 for Bernard Jenney, the assistant treasurer of the Jenney Oil Company. Stephen Jenney, had founded Jenney Oil Company in Boston in 1812, as a kerosene, coal and whale oil producer. By the 1860s, Bernard Sr. and his brother Francis took over the company which became known as the Jenney Manufacturing Company. The newly established company focused primarily on production and distribution of petroleum products for factories and businesses. The Jenney Manufacturing Company took off in the early 1900s due to the proliferation of personal automobiles in Boston and they expanded a new manufacturing center in City Point, South Boston, which had a capacity of 500 barrels of oil a day. Jenney auto oil and gasoline became a major supplier and after Bernard Sr.’s death in 1918, under Bernard Jr.’s leadership, the company began to develop gas stations in New England. The company continued into the 1960s when it was acquired by Cities Service, later rebranding as Citgo. Jenney resided here until his death in 1939. According to the 1935 Brookline street list, the occupants included his daughter’s family Mary & Francis Brewer, three maids and a laundress. The house was acquired by Boston University in 1963 and has long served as the home of former president John Silber.

The architectural firm of Kilham & Hopkins was hired to design the home, which is French Renaissance Revival in style. The home itself is an architectural landmark. When it was published in ‘The American Architect’ in 1910, the house was described as, “A Study in French design of the Louis XVI period”. Additionally, the home (of course) featured a vehicle garage as the family must have had some cars based on the line of work. The home is now listed for sale for a cool $4,888,000 price tag!

Tewksbury Town Hall // 1920

The town of Tewksbury, Massachusetts was colonized in 1637 and was officially incorporated in 1734 from the town of Billerica. The town was historically home to at least two raids by native peoples during the infamous King Phillip’s War, which killed dozens of men, women and children settlers. The town is named after Tewkesbury, England, likely inspired by some of the original settlers. The town grew as a rural village until it became a suburb of adjacent Lowell and Andover, Massachusetts. The town’s older Town Hall building burned in 1918, and funding was quickly acquired to erect a new, suitable building for the town. The Boston-based architectural firm of Kilham & Hopkins was hired and they designed this gorgeous Colonial Revival building. The symmetrical building features a main two-story block with a rear and side wings. The facade features three entrances with recessed fanlights above. A slate roof is capped by a towering cupola, which adds an additional flair to the building. The structure was so well-designed, it was featured in the Architectural Record in 1919, a national publication.

Bennett House // 1913

Seemingly constructed in the early 19th century as a Federal style home, this house in Brookline was actually constructed 100 years later in 1913 as a Federal Revival mansion for real estate developer and mortgage broker Henry Bennett. The home was originally located on Walnut Street, opposite the First Parish Church (featured in the last post), but was moved away from the street in 1935, to front a smaller street, Hedge Street, developed by Martin P. Kennard. The stunning home was designed by the architectural firm of Kilham and Hopkins, both of whom attended MIT and designed many stunning properties all around the region in the early 20th century, many in Revival styles.

Edith C. Baker School // 1937

At a time when many public school buildings around Boston were designed in the Art Deco or early Modern styles, the Edith C. Baker School in South Brookline went back to basics and represents a nod back to Colonial era design. The whitewashed red brick building was designed and built in phases as the neighborhood surged in population, tied in with the re-emergence of the economy after the Great Depression. The opening of the West Roxbury Parkway in 1919 and the Hammond Pond Parkway in 1932, both precipitated subdivision of the farms in South Brookline for residential development. The first section was completed in 1937 (what is shown in the photo) by plans from the local architecture firm of Kilham, Hopkins and Greeley, who also designed an addition just a year later for the un-forecasted growth in the neighborhood. More additions were added in the decades following WWII, thankfully just as additions and not a scraping of the site which seems to be all the rage now. The school was named as a tribute to Edith C. Baker, a longtime member of the Brookline School Committee from 1900 to her death in 1942.

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.