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Nickerson-Pickman House

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1895, McKim, Mead and White. 303 Commonwealth Ave.
  • Nickerson-Pickman House (NRD)
  • Nickerson-Pickman House (NRD)

Built the year their Boston Public Library (BB42) was completed a few blocks away in Copley Square, 303 Commonwealth Avenue represents the last Back Bay house by McKim, Mead and White. Although its debt to Alexander Parris's David Sears House (BH12) is as unmistakable as the Beebe House's (BB50) resemblance to Parris's Appleton and Parker houses (BH11), the Nickerson-Pickman house attains a monumentality greater than its model, despite both its narrower elevation and the shallower radius of its bowfront. An exercise in exacting symmetry and imperturbable self-possession, the austerity of the granite facade is honored by the sparseness of the ornament, which relieves the whole from plainness by the exquisiteness of its modeling and execution.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Keith N. Morgan
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Citation

Keith N. Morgan, "Nickerson-Pickman House", [Boston, Massachusetts], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/MA-01-BB69.

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