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158 Brattle Street

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1884, William Ralph Emerson.

The evolution of Colonial Revival from irregular exuberance to contained symmetry can be seen in this transitional house. Emerson, a nephew of poet Ralph Waldo Emerson, was an early student of New England colonial architecture. In this house, he designed a balanced composition of three bays topped by dormer windows, creating the first symmetrical Colonial Revival house in Cambridge. At the second-story front, however, he pushed out the facade, supporting this projection with foliage corbels on columns flanking the entrance door. The picturesque earlier pattern of Colonial Revival design is well represented by a slightly later house at 168 Brattle Street.

Writing Credits

Keith N. Morgan


What's Nearby


Keith N. Morgan, "158 Brattle Street", [Cambridge, 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, 352-352.

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