Overlooking the Brookline Reservoir, this stunning eclectic Victorian home and matching carriage house showcase the wealth seen in the town lasting centuries. This home was built in 1896 for Frank Sweetser, then President of the Boylston Insurance Company in Boston. He previously lived in the Back Bay neighborhood of Boston and craved more space, moving to suburban Brookline. Sweetser hired the architectural firm of Winslow and Wetherell, who that same year designed the iconic Steinert Hall in Boston. This home is a glorious mix of Queen Anne and Shingle styles, with the irregular massing, projecting bays and dormers, massive chimneys and continuous shingled siding.
This home in Brookline was built for Lewis Perrin in about 1869 in the fashionable Second Empire style, which dominated New England in the 1860s. Perrin was a commission merchant and partner in Newman and Perrin, his father‘s company. Lewis was given a parcel of land adjacent to his father’s home to erect his own home. He ended up renting the home as a double house as he moved into a larger home nearby. By the 1890s, the home appears to have been converted to a single family home, and the double entry was replaced by a large Federal Revival entryway with sidelights and fanlight over the door.
In 1824, the Town of Brookline voted to build a two story “Town House” to accommodate many functions including schooling, town meetings, religious services, and temperance lectures to serve the growing town. The structure was to replace an older brick schoolhouse which served as a school and housed some town functions. The structure was built in the manner of earlier European town or market halls, with a meeting room on the second floor and other public functions (in this case a school) on the first. Its location near the former town green was later deemed unfit for the town’s population center, which shifted closer towards Boston before the Civil War. Brookline built a second town hall in the 1840s, and the original structure was converted to the high school (the current building was constructed in 1965). Eventually, the former town hall was purchased by the First Parish Church in 1890, eventually connected to it by 1906.
Located next to the Jeremiah Hill House on Kennard Street in Brookline, this home appears to have taken its architectural cues from its older neighbor. The home was built in 1897 for Francis and Sarah Swan, in the Neo-Classical style, which employed design from Classical Roman and Greek architecture and saw its resurgence in the late 19th-early 20th centuries as a revival from the Greek Revival period in the early-mid 19th century. Mr. Swan, the first owner of this home was vice-president of the Brookline National Bank (later
the Brookline Trust). He sold the home just three years after it was completed, to Francis H. Davenport, a physician. The home was designed by architect Frank Manton Wakefield, who previously trained in the offices of Henry Hobson Richardson and lived nearby in town.