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Charles W. Ellis House

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1869–1870, Hammatt Billings. 170 Otis St.

The Charles W. Ellis House is one of only a few known examples of a residential design by Hammatt Billings, an architect and illustrator very highly regarded during the mid-nineteenth century. His illustrations for important works of fiction, such as Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852) and Little Women (1869), and popular periodicals, such as Ballou's Pictorial Drawing-Room Companion, made him a household name. Billings maintained his own architectural practice, but also hired out as a designer for other Boston architects. Massachusetts governor William Claflin, one of his patrons, engaged Billings to design a house for his daughter and son-in-law, Charles Ellis. The Ellis House is a Mansard-style dwelling with a tower and multiple verandas on a hillside site overlooking the Claflin Estate.

Writing Credits

Keith N. Morgan


What's Nearby


Keith N. Morgan, "Charles W. Ellis House", [Newton, 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, 490-490.

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