You are here

Isaac Royall House

-A A +A
c. 1692; 1733–1737; 1747–1750. 15 George St.
  • Isaac Royall House

With two completely different formal elevations constructed of wood framed into a partially brick structure, the Isaac Royall House remains one of the most architecturally unusual Georgian-era houses in New England. John Usher erected the late-seventeenth-century core, a two-story single pile gable house whose profile is visible in the brick end walls. Issac Royall enlarged it in the 1730s by adding a saltbox extension on the west side and a three-story facade on the east. This clap-boarded elevation features aproned windows, a modillioned cornice, and quoining.

Isaac Royall Jr. inherited the house in 1739 and a decade later raised the brick rear to a full three stories, more than doubling the interior volume. Rusticated to simulate ashlar masonry, the new west facade features a more traditional Georgian arrangement with full-height corner pilasters and pediments over the first-and second-floor windows. He probably added much of the very elaborate interior woodwork, including a stair hall modeled on the John Hancock mansion (1737) in Boston. The property also includes a large two-story half-wood and half-brick outbuilding that was used in the past for slave quarters, a unique survival in New England. Since 1905 a nonprofit group has maintained the house and opened it to the public.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Keith N. Morgan
×

Data

What's Nearby

Citation

Keith N. Morgan, "Isaac Royall House", [Medford, Massachusetts], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/MA-01-MD2.

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, 406-407.

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.

, ,