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Sears House

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1892, Rotch and Tilden. 287 Commonwealth Ave.

Volumetrically equivalent to their Mason House at 211 Commonwealth Avenue of ten years earlier, Rotch and Tilden's Sears House abandons the red brick and quaint domesticities of the Queen Anne in favor of a cool imperial grandeur limned in limestone. At the extreme right of the facade, a Corinthian-columned entrance portico wears its anthemion cresting, repeated at a smaller scale at parapet level, like a diadem. Set within Ionic architraves, ground-floor windows open to semi-elliptical, densely filigreed bronze balustrades. As the unusually battered second- and third-floor window surrounds are much more plain and unvaried, these balconies might have been used more effectively at the piano nobile to offset such severity.

Writing Credits

Keith N. Morgan


What's Nearby


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

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Massachusetts

Buildings of Massachusetts: Metropolitan Boston, Keith N. Morgan, with Richard M. Candee, Naomi Miller, Roger G. Reed, and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2009, 175-175.

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