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Isaac Melvin House

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1842, Isaac Melvin. 19 Centre St.
  • Isaac Melvin House (Peter Vanderwarker or Antonina Smith)

Isaac Melvin of Cambridge became one of the outstanding Boston-area architects working in the Greek Revival style. His own house surpasses conventional models of New England builder's guides and suggests the influence of the English Regency style. The main block is built in the plan of a Greek cross, with the three principal gable ends having full pediments and a hexagonal cupola at the crossing. Symmetrical porches (one of which had the original square piers replaced by Doric columns in 1900) flank the gable facing the street. Greek Revival ornament popularized in publications by Minard Lafever embellishes the exterior and interior. Melvin sold his house in 1846, suggesting that it and a twin next door, now demolished, were speculative ventures.

Writing Credits

Keith N. Morgan


What's Nearby


Keith N. Morgan, "Isaac Melvin 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, 299-299.

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