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William Dean Howells House (Redtop)

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1878, McKim, Mead and Bigelow. 90 Somerset St.
  • William Dean Howells House (Redtop) (Peter Vanderwarker or Antonina Smith)

Redtop is significant for both its architect, Charles F. McKim of New York, and its client, novelist William Dean Howells. McKim began experimenting here with simplified massing shown in the broad gable of the entrance elevation, deserting the more picturesque forms of his earlier work. Within, he provided a generous entrance hall wrapped by the staircase. Named Redtop for the cedar shingles that originally covered the roof and upper story, the house was used by Mr. and Mrs. Howells from 1878 until 1882. The Howells House retains the characteristic elements of McKim's Shingle Style designs and was his first of many distinguished commissions in the Boston area.

Writing Credits

Keith N. Morgan


What's Nearby


Keith N. Morgan, "William Dean Howells House (Redtop)", [Belmont, 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, 428-429.

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