Edmund and Ethel Sprague House // 1929

In the inter-war period, Norman Revival houses took off in popularity (though never at the same level as Tudor or Colonial Revival styles), partially due to returning soldiers who served in Normandy France in WWI. Many plans include a small round tower topped by a cone-shaped roof, resembling the grain silos of the ancient Normandy style. The architecture is characterized by steep, conical roofs or hipped roofs and round stair-towers. The style is much less common in the Boston area, but this notable example in Waban Village, Newton, was too good to pass by without snapping a photo! The home was built around 1929 for Edmund and Ethel Sprague. Edmund is listed in directories as a landscaper for trees and shrubs.

Stetson House // 1897

Waban is full of eclectic homes from the end of the 19th century, and this example is probably my favorite! The Herbert and Georgia Stetson House was built in 1897 and demonstrates how elements of the Colonial Revival style were incorporated into a less rigid Queen Anne style plan. Herbert was a lumber dealer, and likely used his own product in his home. The mixture of ornament includes Colonial
Revival style pedimented dormers, a Palladian motif window, oval windows, and a modillion cornice in combination with bays, oriels, a dramatically overshot gable roof, and a swept dormer reminiscent of the Queen Anne style. Together, the composition is perfection, and really makes you stop and analyze all the details!

Hovey House // 1897

In 1897, tailor Charles L. Hovey and his wife Bertha, had this house in Waban built for their family. The architecture really stands out as an eclectic blending of styles, common at the end of the 19th century, when architects and builders would design homes to exhibit architectural details from multiple styles, all under one roof. The shingled house has a steep gable roof and three gabled dormers, which reflects Queen Anne theme. The diamond-pane windows and the technique of cantilevered dormers and the second floor overhanging the first, is First Period-Medieval in style, a unique interpretation of American architecture. What do you think of this home?

Tower-Wyman Farmhouse // pre-1790

One of the oldest extant homes in Waban Village, Newton, is this 18th century farmhouse which is an excellent example a Federal-period home in the Boston area. Dates of construction for this house have ranged from c.1765 to 1790. The earliest recorded ownership of 38 acres of land at this location is attributed to Eleazer Hyde (1664-1731), one of Newton’s earliest citizens and one of a long line of Hydes in Newton. From 1772 to 1791, the house was owned by Josiah Starr. Immediately after, this property was owned by a housewright named Capt. Ebenezer Richardson, who possibly built or re-built this house in the current configuration. Thaddeus Tower owned the land from 1844-1866, when the City of Boston took a portion of it in 1848 for the new Cochituate Aqueduct, which ran right behind his home. Not long after, Thaddeus sold the farm to Edward Wyman, a linen importer from Roxbury. He subsequently
sold it to his brother Dr. Morrill Wyman in 1869. Dr. Morrill Wyman sold 150-acre property to developers, never appearing to have lived in the home, after the railroad came west from Boston in 1886 and increased the value of the surrounding farmland, later known as the village of Waban. All of the land was developed with homes, and all that remains of the old farm is the farmhouse seen here.

Ellis House // 1926

In the land of storybook Tudor houses, this one might just be the most magical of them all! Located on Chestnut Street in Waban Village of Newton, you’ll find this stone Tudor cottage set behind a circular drive. The house was built in 1926, in the interwar period (between WW1 and WW2), a period of rapid suburban development in this part of Newton. The house was first occupied by a Seymour Ellis, who according to newspapers, had a rabid dog! The house exhibits a strong gable to the street which incorporates a massive chimney inside. The gable also sweeps out to form a catslide roof, that incorporates an arched garden gate.

Emmett House // 1917

This refined brick Tudor Revival house in the Waban Village of Newton was built in 1917 for Lila and James Emmett. The couple hired Boston architect Edward B. Stratton to furnish plans for the home, which fits in to the early 20th century neighborhood. The symmetrical home has two gables at the facade which frame the central bay with a segmental pediment at the entrance.

John Parry House // 1895

In 1895, Waban Village was in the middle of its massive development period, when half of the homes in the neighborhood were built within 10 years. One of the earliest in this neighborhood was this investment property by John E. Parry, a businessman and major developer. This house appears to have been rented at first, but was listed as vacant for some time in the city directories. Eventually it was purchased and has been lovingly maintained to this day. The design is a regional take on the transitional Shingle and Colonial Revival styles, this one with a really unique cross gambrel roof.

Lawrence Luellen House // c.1908

Some really interesting history and architecture with this one! Located in Waban Village in Newton, Mass., this gorgeous Mission Revival style house is one of a few in the style in the Boston area. The Mission Revival style was popularized on the West Coast in California in the late 19th century. Rather than continuing to adopt imported East Coast architectural styles, these California architects recognized the value of their own historic surroundings, where the Spanish Colonial mission heritage of California and the Southwest, the beautiful mission chapels, with stucco walls, red tile roofs, and bell towers led to the new revival. The style never took off in New England, which followed its own Georgian and Federal Revival styles, emulating historic Colonial-era homes here. This Newton home was built around 1908 for Lawrence W. Luellen, an attorney and inventor, who made a big invention, disposable paper cups! It is true. Lawrence Luellen wanted to do away with the ubiquitous “tin dippers” he saw in public buildings and railway stations after realizing all that sharing might be transferring disease. In 1907, he took out a patent and create a new, clean and individual drinking cup. After his invention went global, he sold his Newton home and moved to New Jersey, inventing…cup dispensers!

F. W. Webster House // c.1895

When William C. Strong began developing land on the farm he purchased in Waban, he built a few homes to market the new neighborhood, and rented some of them for additional income. This really unique home was one of them. It was built around 1895 and exhibits elements of the Shingle and Colonial Revival styles. The home was eventually purchased by Frederic W. Webster, who was an alderman in Newton. The blocky proportions of this house and the prominent overhang of its hip roof are prevalent motifs in late 19th century adaptations of the Shingle Style. The style is even more evident at the recessed center entrance with curved reveals, and the diamond shingle motif at the second floor. Nods to Colonial Revival are the garrison (second floor overhanging the first, and the central dormer.

William C. Strong House // 1907

In 1875, William C. Strong, a nurseryman from Brighton, MA, purchased the 93-acre Staples-Craft farm in Newton. He established a large nursery on the grounds and promoted construction of the Circuit Railroad, which connected the rural section of Newton to the Boston and Albany rail line in 1886, thus establishing the village of Waban. Due in great measure to the efforts of Strong and other developers, Newton’s youngest village grew rapidly as the once isolated farm area gave way to a vibrant suburban community. He built commercial structures and people began to flock to the village, for the new housing and easy-access into Boston by rail. Strong had a house built by architect Herbert Langford Warren in 1896 and lived there for years before having this house built in 1907, when William was 83 years old. The house was occupied by Strong for just a couple years until he moved away to Manhattan. The Arts and Crafts style home was purchased by Esther Saville Davis.