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Proctor House

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1891, Hartwell and Richardson. 273 Commonwealth Ave.

As Romanesque robustness and the selfconscious quaintness of the Queen Anne alike began to pall, by about 1890 local architects were seduced by the restraint of Beaux-Arts classicism somewhat before the World's Columbian Exposition spread this gospel to the land at large. While some examples of the genre may seem too austere and others too ornate, at 273 Commonwealth Avenue, Hartwell and Richardson appear to have struck the proper balance, adapting the massing and detailing of the Algonquin Club (BB51) to a more suitably domestic scale. Though its fenestration pattern would appear symmetrically drawn in elevation, a cylindrical bay to the left swells forward, providing a welcome frisson of asymmetry as it helps to knit the breadth and pallor of the limestone facade into its context of red brick bowfronts.

Writing Credits

Keith N. Morgan


What's Nearby


Keith N. Morgan, "Proctor 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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