You are here

Joseph Thorpe House

-A A +A
1888, Arthur Little. 168 Brattle St.
  • Joseph Thorpe House (Peter Vanderwarker or Antonina Smith)

One of the first and certainly the most inventive of New England architects to reclaim colonial forms for modern architecture, Arthur Little here created a pastiche of Federal period buildings. In 1882, Little published Early New England Interiors, a selection of his drawings of details from colonial houses. More than a decade later, this large residence still betrayed that vignette attitude. Unlike other Colonial Revival designers who were by the 1890s disciplining picturesque variety, Little reveled in a complicated and quirky design. The street front is actually the rear elevation, with its projecting service wing flanked by a monumental portico. The rear entrance facade, originally overlooking a generous lawn and garden, is symmetrically organized. Today architect Graham Gund has claimed that lawn as part of the site for his center-block residence (2001), only partly visible beyond Little's building.

Writing Credits

Keith N. Morgan


What's Nearby


Keith N. Morgan, "Joseph Thorpe House", [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, 352-353.

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.