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413–415 Commonwealth Avenue and 485–487 Commonwealth Avenue

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1890, McKim, Mead and White; 1897, R. Clipston Sturgis.

Fin-de-siècle American transcriptions of eighteenth-century British terrace houses, these paired dwellings revive later and earlier interpretations of the form, respectively. Though often compared to Charles Bulfinch's works, 413–415 Commonwealth Avenue seem instead to invoke not the bowfront facades of Beacon Hill but rather the flat house fronts of Federal-era Manhattan familiar to the New York–based McKim and his partners. The detailing of the limestone and Flemish-bond brick is very fine. At 485–487 Commonwealth Avenue, working with red brick sharply contrasted with white limestone trim and window sash, R. Clipston Sturgis affects a vocabulary inflected with the Anglo-Dutch accents of Stuart London as more recently revived by Richard Norman Shaw.

Writing Credits

Keith N. Morgan


What's Nearby


Keith N. Morgan, "413–415 Commonwealth Avenue and 485–487 Commonwealth Avenue", [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, 197-198.

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