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Charles Ward House

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1872, Cummings and Sears. 121 Commonwealth Ave.
  • (Damie Stillman)

Perhaps the most lively local example of the Ruskinian Gothic style, 121 Commonwealth Avenue sports a facade of red brick and buff sandstone trim, further enlivened by glazed tile accents, below a polychrome slate roof. The mansard's dormers rise to improbable, turretlike heights, further adorned by iron cresting. While such a wide array of materials and motifs might seem striving or restless in less competent hands, the architects impart an order to such richness through the dominant polygonal bay, producing a design that is lively without being showy. Unsympathetically altered in the early 1960s, the entrance has recently been restored to its original appearance.

Writing Credits

Keith N. Morgan


What's Nearby


Keith N. Morgan, "Charles Ward House", [Boston, Massachusetts], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

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