The area of Nantasket Beach in Hull was in the late 19th century, a hotbed of taverns, thievery, and brothels. To counter this, the Metropolitan Park Commission of Greater Boston acquired about 25 acres at Nantasket, which included roughly one mile of shoreline extending north from Atlantic Hill in 1900. The initial appropriations provided for only minimal facilities, such as a bathhouse and a few incidental buildings, one of which was a waiting room for those arriving or departing from the new railroad station (since demolished) at the beach. The MPC hired the Olmsted Brothers landscape architects to design the paths and landscaping for the new park, and they worked with architects Stickney & Austin who designed many of the early buildings. Stickney & Austin designed this stucco-clad building with clock tower to provide shelter from the elements and summer sun for visitors of the reservation. The building is a blending of the Arts and Crafts and Spanish Revival styles, both common at the beginning of the 20th century. The building now houses the Paragon Park Museum, after they relocated the Paragon Park Carousel next door to this building.
“Puddingstone” // 1927
Located across the street from Larz Anderson Park and the former Larz Anderson Estate, this stunning Spanish Revival home, built in 1927, was constructed as a guest house for visitors of Larz and Isabel Anderson. Between 1925-29 the Andersons constructed three guest houses outside the estate on Goddard Avenue. The designs were intended to call to mind places the Anderson’s had visited. “Puddingstone”, was named for a nearby outcropping of puddingstone on the Anderson estate, and was modeled after a house the couple had seen in Santa Monica, California. The Andersons used the buildings occasionally as guesthouses for relatives or friends who came for long stays at Weld, especially when Larz and Isabel were not in residence there. But for the most part, the houses remained empty and it was only after Larz’s death in 1937 that Isabel disposed of them. She donated them to Boston University for use as the Brookline Campus, who in turn, sold them off as private residences years later. Built in a Spanish Colonial style, it features a red terra cotta tile roof, adobe-colored stucco walls, and a center entrance framed by an elaborate cast stone surround in a Spanish Baroque style. To the right of the front door, a clathri (grid/lattice in architecture) over a window can be found in a blind arch.
Sears Estate – Dexter Southfield School // 1922
Located in South Brookline, the former estate of Anna Sears stands high on a hill, surrounded by later buildings of the ever-growing Dexter Southfield School. The Sears Estate was built for Anna Sears, a widow who was married to the late Richard Sears, a photographer. The home was designed in 1922 by Walter Kirby as part of a 49-acre estate which, in addition to the main house, included three guest cottages, garages, and a barn. The estate remained a private residence until 1945, when it became a seminary for the Catholic Foreign Mission Society of America. The campus was acquired by the Dexter Southfield School in the 1960s who relocated from the Cottage Farm area of Brookline. The stuccoed exterior, red tile roof, door surround, balconies and iron window grilles and sconces are characteristic of the Spanish Revival style.
Ellery Residence // 1918
This mansion was built in 1918 for William and Bessie Ellery and is located on Fisher Avenue in Brookline. Mr. Ellery was direct descendant of William Ellery, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and worked as a wool dealer and made a fortune in Boston. During WWI, Ellery served as colonel in the Quartermaster Corps and in WWII, he served as a wool appraiser for the Department of Agriculture. Before all this, he and his wife sought an escape from the ills of the city by building a home in the streetcar suburb of Fisher Hill, to get away from Downtown Boston. The couple hired Edward Nichols, an architect who has fallen so under the radar, I have not been able to locate much about him! He designed this stunning stuccoed Spanish Revival mansion that features a large entry with central pergola, a rounded arch veranda at the second floor, and a hipped tile roof with dormers. The interior is pretty great too from the listing photos!!
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.