Harrison Gray Otis House

Harrison Gray Otis House, (First)
1st Harrison Gray Otis House, 141 Cambridge Street.
Harrison Gray Otis House is located in Massachusetts
Harrison Gray Otis House
Location Boston, Massachusetts
Coordinates 42°21′40.75″N 71°3′52.38″W / 42.3613194°N 71.0645500°W / 42.3613194; -71.0645500
Built 1795
Architect Bulfinch,Charles
Architectural style Other, Federal
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference # 70000539[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP December 30, 1970
Designated NHL December 30, 1970
Harrison Gray Otis House, (Second)
2nd Harrison Gray Otis House, 85 Mount Vernon Street
Harrison Gray Otis House is located in Massachusetts
Harrison Gray Otis House
Location Boston, Massachusetts
Coordinates 42°21′29.89″N 71°4′3.22″W / 42.3583028°N 71.0675611°W / 42.3583028; -71.0675611
Built 1802
Architect Bulfinch,Charles
Architectural style Federal
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference # 73001955[1]
Added to NRHP July 27, 1973

There are three houses named the Harrison Gray Otis House in Boston, Massachusetts. All were built by noted American architect Charles Bulfinch for the same man, Harrison Gray Otis.

First Harrison Gray Otis House

The 1st Harrison Gray Otis House built in 1796 is located at 141 Cambridge Street, next to the Old West Church in Boston's West End. It is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and, further, has been designated a U.S. National Historic Landmark.

This house is now owned by the Historic New England organization, and is open as a nonprofit museum.

Although similar to the other two houses, it is the simplest and in that way perhaps the most appealing. The design is said to be inspired by a William Bingham house that Bulfinch saw in 1789 in Philadelphia, in turned derived from a London example. The house is three stories, in five bays, with elegant string courses. Today's graceful entrance was added after 1801. Above it is a fine Palladian window, and above that a lunette. The third floor is very short; ceilings are just over 6 feet tall. Floor plan is in the Colonial fashion, with two rooms on either side of the central hallway. The kitchen was in an ell.

The house was originally located about 40 feet from its present location, but was moved by the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities (now Historic New England) in the 1920s after it was threatened by the widening of Cambridge Street. The original cellar was lost during this move. The house is now connected to a group of row houses on Lynde Street, which serve as office and program space for Historic New England.

Second Harrison Gray Otis House

The 2nd Harrison Gray Otis House is located at 85 Mount Vernon Street. It is a fine, large, Federal-style mansion in densely developed Beacon Hill. It is listed on the National Register.

Here Bulfinch has made the 1st floor, with his characteristic recessed brick arches, here ornamented with Chinese fretwork balconies in iron. The facade has four bays, with somewhat odd use of Corinthian pilasters on the 2nd and 3rd floors. There is a roof balustrade and a largish, octagonal cupola. Otis lived here until 1806.

Third Harrison Gray Otis House

3rd Harrison Gray Otis House on Beacon Street

The 3rd Harrison Gray Otis House is located at 45 Beacon Street. Completed in 1806, it is now the home of the American Meteorological Society. This is the last and largest of the houses, also built in the Federal style, and the residence of Otis until his death in 1848. Its four stories are organized into five bays. The center entrance has a small, rectangular portico with delicate pairs of Ionic fluted columns. The modest ground floor, now faced in stone, originally had the recessed brick arches typical of Bulfinch houses. When built, the house was freestanding, surrounded by the Boston Common and English gardens.

See also


  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-01-23. 

External links