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Sumner Hill Historic District

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1850–1924. Bounded by Seaverns and Carolina aves. and Everett and Newbern sts.

The Sumner Hill residential neighborhood extends east from Monument Square (JP10) and the Loring-Greenough House (JP9). The area is named for General William Sumner, whose house (1852) stands on a crescent-shaped street at the top of the hill (10 Roanoke Avenue). An attorney, legislator, and developer, Sumner retired to his Jamaica Plain residence on land obtained through marriage into the Greenough family. Perhaps not surprising for a man born in 1780, Sumner's house is a rather conservative interpretation of the Italianate style with a strong neoclassical overlay. Opposite the Sumner House rises St. John's Episcopal Church (Revere Street at Roanoke Avenue, NR/NRD), a stone Gothic structure with a powerfully massed corner tower, built in 1882 to designs by Harris M. Stephenson.

The highest concentration of restored late-nineteenth-century houses occurs at the base of the hill behind the Loring-Greenough House. William Ralph Emerson designed 15 Greenough Avenue (1880, NRD) and probably its neighbor at 9 Greenough Avenue. The style is basically Queen Anne, although with Emerson's own distinctive decorative trim. A third house in this group, at 7 Greenough Avenue (NRD), explores the Colonial Revival for an L-shaped house with gambrel roofs. Constructed in 1893, it was by the short-lived partnership of Clarence H. Blackall and George F. Newton, architects of the Tremont Temple (BD5.1) in Boston.

Writing Credits

Keith N. Morgan


What's Nearby


Keith N. Morgan, "Sumner Hill Historic District", [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, 270-271.

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