When physician William Mercer, an army surgeon in the War of 1812, had this stucco-covered brick house built, Canal Street was still a fashionable residential address. The three-story, side-hall house has an angled side bay and an attic ventilated by narrow horizontal windows covered with iron grilles. The importance of the second story as the main living area is emphasized by its extra height and is also expressed in the tall windows with pediments and the continuous iron balcony that fronts them. Marble was used for the entrance piers, sills, and entablature. Uneven subsidence has caused the front door lintel to slant downward on one side. Mercer was a generous philanthropist who funded St. Anna’s Orphan Asylum (OR132) and St. Elizabeth’s Home of Industry (OR160). The Boston Club, a social club for men, was organized in 1841. Named for a popular card game (not the city of Boston), the club has occupied the building since 1884.
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Boston Club (Dr. William Newton Mercer House)
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