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Wirt Dexter House

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1899, Little and Browne. 393 Commonwealth Ave.

Repeating its red brick but changing the brownstone trim to limestone to suit the lighter taste of the day, Arthur Little here adapts George Snell's earlier W. S. Dexter House at 18 Exeter Street (BB49) in a manner that his clients must have found both fashionable and familiar. It ought to have been, as they were Dexters themselves. Somewhat unusually, the rusticated stone base is set behind a screen of Ionic columns. Above the ground floor, the flat facade is two bays wide; those at the piano nobile are of exaggerated height, opening onto an ornamental iron balcony, below two limestone panels. Diminishing in height at the upper floors, all the windows are the flat-headed, multilight Venetian type, capped with splayed limestone lintels, again à la Snell, with louvered window shutters underscoring the parallel.

Writing Credits

Keith N. Morgan


What's Nearby


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

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