Otis House I, Boston

Otis House I, Boston

The First Harrison Gray Otis House in Boston is a National Historic Landmark, located next to the Old West Church. Built in 1795–96, this house was the first of three properties designed by noted American architect, Charles Bulfinch, for Massachusetts politician and Federalist lawyer, Harrison Gray Otis. It is notable as one of the earliest three-story brick houses that came to represent the Federal style of architecture, and its interiors show the influence of Robert Adam.

Simplest of the three houses designed by Bulfinch for Otis, its design is said to be inspired by a William Bingham house that Bulfinch saw in 1789 in Philadelphia, which in turn was derived from a house in London. The building is three stories tall, five bays wide, 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 six feet tall.

The house was purchased in 1916 by the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities (now Historic New England) for use as its headquarters. It was originally located about 40 feet forward of its present location, but was moved 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. The house underwent a careful restoration in 1960, attending to the brilliantly colored wallpapers, carpeting, and high-style furnishings, based on meticulous historical and scientific research led by Abbott Lowell Cummings. It is open year-round for tours for those interested in learning about the family life in the Federal era in the U.S.A. and the later history of the house, when it served as a clinic and a middle-class boarding home.
Sight description based on wikipedia

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Otis House I on Map

Sight Name: Otis House I
Sight Location: Boston, USA (See walking tours in Boston)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Boston, Massachusetts

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Create Your Own Walk in Boston

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Historical Churches Walking Tour

Historical Churches Walking Tour

Boston's great churches are among the most precious of the city's numerous architectural jewels. What makes them special are their unique styles, elegant facades and long history.

Starting with the Old North Church, which towers in the city’s North End, this journey surely feels like taking a step back in time. Legend was made there, in the very place that Paul Revere waited for...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.6 Km or 2.2 Miles
Beacon Hill Historic Houses Tour

Beacon Hill Historic Houses Tour

Boston’s historic neighborhood of Beacon Hill is quite a charm! One can spend hours here, admiring the elegant uniformity and restraint of the architecture; at times, perhaps, imagining people from the past in their horse-drawn carriages. Federal-style and Victorian row houses, narrow streets lit by antique gas lanterns, brick sidewalks and lavender-hued windows adorn the area, which is...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 Km or 1.3 Miles
North End Walking Tour

North End Walking Tour

The North End was the city's first neighborhood, and one that has been key to its fortunes, having become a hub of commercial, social and intellectual activity by the 1750s. Later known as Boston's Little Italy, it has been home to Italian immigrants through much of the 20th century, and still retains a certain Mediterranean flavor in its many restaurants, cafés, and specialty shops. In...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.0 Km or 0.6 Miles
Boston Shopping Areas

Boston Shopping Areas

One of the top shopping destinations in the US northeast, Boston has a strong network of interesting stores, galleries and boutiques to visit along with its many high-class shops, some of which are nestled inside historical buildings. Shopping here in more than one way mirrors the city itself: an amalgamation of classic and vanguard, the handmade and the high-end, and both local and international...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 Km or 2 Miles
North End Food Tour

North End Food Tour

Boston’s North End is famous primarily for its Italian food. By far not as big as New York's Little Italy, this one-square-mile waterfront community is the oldest in the city, and is packed to the brim with a cornucopia of Italian eateries – restaurants, cafes, espresso bars, pizza and sandwich shops – lined next to each other within just a few short blocks to ensure visitors both a...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.8 Km or 0.5 Miles
Boston Introduction Walking Tour

Boston Introduction Walking Tour

The capital of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Boston is one of the oldest cities in the United States which played a key role in the country's struggle for independence. The city was founded in 1630 by Puritan settlers from England and witnessed many events of the American Revolution, including the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party, the Battle of Bunker Hill, and the Siege of Boston....  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 Km or 1.4 Miles

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