Located on Charles Street in Beacon Hill, Boston, you’ll find this charming Tudor style commercial building, which appears as if it was plucked from the England! The Studio Building was built in 1914, and replaced a livery stable on the site (not really necessary with the growing popularity of the automobile). The building was designed by the architectural firm of Loring & Leland for William Coombs Codman of the Brahmin Boston family as an investment. The building was constructed on a prominent corner lot with commercial/retail use at the ground floor and artist studios above. Just six years after the building was complete, Charles Street was widened, and the building was shaved back over 10′ with all new openings seen here.
Anyone that has followed me for long knows I am obsessed with two architecture styles, Dutch Renaissance and Colonial, and Tudors! Set back way off the street in Hopedale, Mass., sits this rambling Tudor Revival country estate. Built in 1926 for Eben Sumner Draper Jr. (1893-1959), the son of Massachusetts Governor and Draper Corporation owner Eben Sumner Draper, the home provided a secluded escape for the rich millionaire. The home was designed by Boston architects Bigelow & Wadsworth, and replaced his father’s Shingle style country mansion “The Ledges”. The new Draper mansion was highlighted in numerous architectural magazines shortly after it’s construction, which highlighted the amazing brickwork, layout, and interior finishes, all of which remain to today! This spectacular home is over 14,000 square feet and has 17 bedrooms, several located in the staff wing, 10 full baths and 4 half baths, an in-ground swimming pool, gazebo, tennis court, and landscape design attributed to the notable landscape architect Warren Manning. In the 1960s, the home sold out of the family and was used as a home for adults living with developmental disabilities, mental illnesses, physical disabilities, the facility has since sold the Draper mansion and occupies the former carriage house.
Echoing some design motifs from the nearby Gahm House (last post), this home showcases the Tudor Revival style, but mixed with Arts and Crafts and Colonial Revival details. Adapted from a house built in the 1850s, the home was enlarged in 1906, from plans by Andrews, Jaques and Rantoul an architectural firm of wide acclaim. Adolph Ehrlich (1868-1952) and Marion Ratchesky Ehrlich (1877-1966) had the home built as a refuge from the hustle-and-bustle of busy Boston. Adolph was born in Boston and at the age of 11, began work in the textile business. He climbed the ranks and became a partner in a clothing company before becoming director of the Jordan Marsh Department Store Company from 1925 until his death in 1952. His wife Marion was heavily involved in social causes until her death, including the Louisa May Alcott Club, a settlement house in Boston for young, predominantly immigrant girls.
Located in the stunning Longwood neighborhood of Brookline, MA, the Gahm House stands out not only for its size, but stunning details and architectural design. This house was designed in 1907 by the architectural firm of Hartwell, Richardson & Driver, one of the premier firms of the region at the time. Joseph and Mary Gahm hired the firm to design their new home the same year the firm designed a bottling plant (no longer extant) in South Boston for Mr. Gahm’s business. Joseph Gahm was a native of Wurtemberg, Germany, who emigrated to Boston in 1854 and initially worked as a tailor. In the early 1860s, Gahm opened a restaurant in Charlestown, by the late 1860s he added a small bottling operation to this business. The bottling business soon expanded to such an extent that he was able to give up the restaurant business and open a large bottling plant in 1888. He eventually moved operations to South Boston where there was more room for transportation and shipping capabilities. Their stuccoed house in Brookline is especially notable for the well preserved carvings at the entrance, which include: faces, floral details, lions, and owls perched atop the newel posts. What do you think of this beauty?
Located across the street from each other in Brookline, the Pastan Houses are an excellent example of how architectural tastes can change from one generation to another. The William Pastan House was constructed in 1936, and is Tudor Revival in style. The home has a projecting square entry tower with castellated roofline and interesting mixture of materials and textures. The first owner, William Pastan raised his family in the home, attending the synagogue a couple blocks away. By 1963, Pastan’s son, Harvey became a successful engineer and built a home near his parents for his own family, though in a very different aesthetic. The Modern home features boxy forms, prominent covered parking spaces, and expanses of glass.
Which house would you prefer, William’s (1936) or Harvey’s (1963)?
Residential architecture of the early decades of the 20th century is among my favorites as the Tudor Revival movement took off and was sometimes mixed with other revival styles at the time, creating really unique homes. The Glacy House in South Brookline, MA was built in 1930 as one of the earlier homes in the Walnut Hill development. It was likely designed and built by Walter L. Fernandez, a contractor who appears to have design-built a handful of spec homes to help get the neighborhood’s development going in the early stages. This home was originally occupied by George and Mary Glacy. George later worked as Vice President of the Boston & Maine Railroad, though he later got into legal trouble for hiring companies for railroad projects where he had financial interests, becoming indicted in an antitrust case by a Federal grand jury. The home features a first floor constructed of stone and brick with half-timbering on the floor above. The building is topped by a terracotta red tile roof, which is fairly uncommon for the region.
Herbert Almon Chaffee and Irma Chaffee had this Tudor home built by 1931 for their family in Fairfield, Connecticut. Mr. Chaffee was the Vice President and Assistant Treasurer of the City Savings Bank of nearby Bridgeport. Chaffee also at that time worked as Vice President of the A.W. Burritt Company, a lumber mill that produced building supplies and also operated as a real estate company that bought land and constructed on it. The home he had built clearly showcased the company’s work and features hallmarks of the English Tudor Revival style, with half-timbering, slate roof, and jettying (upper floor slightly overhanging the first).
The Waban Branch Library was designed by Gifford LeClear of the architectural firm Densmore, LeClear & Robbins in the Tudor Revival style in 1929. The village of Waban, in the aims of constructing a new public library for the established suburban neighborhood, gathered over $63,000 for the designing, construction and furnishing of the new branch library in Newton. The building is constructed of brick and faced with limestone at the entrance, stone trim exhibits some carvings of books and other library-oriented objects, the building topped by a slate roof.
Located in Agawam Center this interesting architectural example of a late-Tudor Revival school building really caught my eye. The building replaced a 1870s town hall and two-room schoolhouse which were both outgrown as Agawam’s population increased due to the proximity of nearby Springfield. The architect was Paul B. Johnson, who was based out of West Springfield and ran a small architectural office there. He attended Cornell and MIT for architectural training and worked primarily around Springfield. The school building is constructed of a deep red brick, laid in varied relief for a rough faced surface and a cast stone Tudor arch around the main entrance for contrast. The school was later renamed after Benjamin Phelps, the first superintendent of schools in Agawam.
The Williams House on Carlton Street in the Cottage Farm neighborhood of Brookline was built in 1935 and is a great example of a Tudor Revival residential design. The home was designed by architect Harry Morton Ramsay, who completed over 75 residential commissions in the town of Brookline alone. He specialized in Tudor and Colonial Revival designs prior to WWII and after, he practiced in Ranch and split-level homes. This property is a late Tudor Revival constructed of red brick with stone detailing. The small oriel above the front door, decorative bargeboards at the gable and metal casement windows add much texture to the building.