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Fenway Court, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

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1900–1902, Willard T. Sears and Isabella Stewart Gardner; 1933 office annex. 280 The Fenway.
  • Interior (Peter Vanderwarker or Antonina Smith)

The greatest interior space in Boston lies behind the uncommunicative tan brick walls of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. After the death of her husband, Jack, Isabella Stewart Gardner began to develop plans for a new residence and museum along the Back Bay Fens. Using Willard T. Sears as her executive architect, Mrs. Gardner designed a framework for her expansive and diverse art collection and for the architectural and sculptural fragments that ornament the interior and exterior of the museum. In the central courtyard, covered by a glass roof and overlooked by the galleries on four levels, Gardner and Sears incorporated arcaded windows imported from Venice and set within walls of pink stucco. A rich display of plants from the museum's greenhouse fills the courtyard with color at all seasons. Hidden behind high walls, further gardens line the west and south sides of the museum, and a coach house with red-tile roof and Baroque scrolls stands in the gardens to the south.

Writing Credits

Keith N. Morgan


What's Nearby


Keith N. Morgan, "Fenway Court, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum", [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, 188-189.

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