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George P. Fernald House

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1894, George P. Fernald. 12 Rock Hill St.
  • George P. Fernald House (Peter Vanderwarker or Antonina Smith)

George P. Fernald designed and built this imposing Neo-Colonial house atop Rock Hill on land he acquired with his brother, Albert. Although both men were architects, George is known primarily for his Colonial Revival murals in houses designed by Little and Browne, while he was their draftsman. These murals include those in the Joseph Thorpe House (BS14), as remodeled for Mrs. Ole Bull, and in the renovated 1780s Hamilton House in South Berwick, Maine (1905–1906). Fernald reused here interior elements from a Federal-period house in Providence, Rhode Island. The portico of the White House in Washington, D.C., inspired the pedimented two-story portico, originally flanked by curved staircases; and the ballroom of the Count Rumford House (WO6) in Woburn provided a model for the one-and-a-half-story barrel-vaulted ceiling of the original dining room. The western facade originally faced Sicilian-inspired gardens (now lost), laid out to take advantage of the hilly site.

Writing Credits

Keith N. Morgan


What's Nearby


Keith N. Morgan, "George P. Fernald House", [Medford, 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, 410-411.

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