Isabella Stewart Gardner House, Addition

150-152 Beacon Street
Boston, Mass.

Year Built: 1882
Year Demolished: ca. 1902

The house was constructed of cut brownstone, a tower ballooned out from the front entrance up to the mansard roof. The windows on the 5th floor were squared off behind a railing, looking somewhat like a light house.

There was a balcony inside the house over the entrance. Ceilings were left without ornamentation, although there was a low-relief Renaissance border decorated the widest of a series of cornice moldings. A small triangular ornament occupied each corner of the white plaster ceiling.

There were fireplaces surmounted by mantelpieces of intricately carved wood, painted white, replete with little columns, shelves and niches. Balustrades on the stairs were variously turned and elaborately carved.

This house was built in 1866 and was demolished in ca. 1902. In 1882, renovation work comprised combining two adjoining town houses into one residence to accommodate Isabella Stewart Gardner’s growing art collection. An elegant staircase was incorporated into the new entrance hall. Embedded into the interior fabric of the building were many objects from Gardener’s collection. Stewart’s new house at Fenway Court (designed by Cummings & Sears), incorporated so much of the Sturgis and Brigham interior fabric of these buildings, that they were demolished.


References

• "John Hubbard Sturgis," American National Biography, Oxford University Press, 1999, American Council of Learned Societies ("Isabella Stewart Gardner’s homes ‘Green Hill’ in Brookline (1882) and 152 Beacon Street in Boston (1882) were designed to house her growing art collections").

• Brigham & Spofford," Illustrated Boston, Metropolis of New England, American Publishing and Engraving, New York, New York, 1889, p. 196 ("John L. Gardner").

• Henderson Floyd, Margaret, Architecture after Richardson: Regionalism before Modernism, University of Chicago Press, 1994, p. 385 (interior elements removed and used at Fenway Court, requiring demolition).

• Boston Directory, 1875, John Gardner noted.

• "Boston's Fabulous Mrs. Gardner: A Son for 2 Short Years," Louise Hall Tharp, Boston Globe, November 9, 1965, p. 14.


Images


<<< Back to Design List


Architecture
Home Page