City and State: Boston, MassachusettsListed: 1985
Type of district: National Register historic district, Massachusetts State historic district, local historic district
Address: 76-96 Harvard Avenue
The attached row of houses built in 1903 was the first row constructed on Harvard Avenue, which had previously been home to only single family, frame houses. In subsequent years, other developers followed suit and constructed multifamily buildings on Harvard Avenue. The Georgian Revival houses were designed by Stephen Brennan and Sidney Vaughan with a piano nobile, or raised primary floor, which was common in Boston’s Beacon Hill.
The houses were built by Benjamin Whitney, who likely intended to be the developer because he had sold all of the houses by 1904. In 1907, half of the houses were owned by Francis Whittier, a doctor who lived in one of them. The rest of his units were rentals, as were the remaining six houses in the row. The renters were generally middle class professionals, and included lawyers, an accountant, a pianist, and salesmen. In the mid 20th century, a number of the houses were converted to apartments, continuing the rental history of the row.