The Otis House

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141 Cambridge Street , Boston, MA, USA

The Otis House Boston Reviews

jenniescharm jenniesc…
88 reviews
Elegant Federal-style Mansion in Boston's West End May 19, 2012
One of the few survivors of the redevelopment of the West End, the Otis House represents what was once Boston’s most elite eighteenth-century neighborhood. Designed by Charles Bulfinch, the Otis House was built in 1796 for Harrison Gray Otis. Otis was a lawyer who made a fortune developing nearby Beacon Hill, served in Congress, and was a mayor of Boston, while Bulfinch was one of the most important architects working in post-Revolutionary Boston.

The house’s design reflects the classical proportions and delicate detail of the Federal style, including a heavy emphasis on symmetry and classical window shapes. It’s both grander and larger than most houses in Boston from this time period.

What impressed me the most is the many lives of the house – large mansion in a wealthy neighborhood, clinic in an increasingly commercial area and boarding house in a working class district along with the meticulous attention to detail paid during recent restorations. From using chemical analysis to determine paint colors and reproducing wallpaper based on the smallest of fragments to reviewing inventories of similar homes and furnishings, the Otis House is an accurate reflection of the times in which it was first built.

All visitors to the house receive a guided tour – believe it’s the only way to see the inside. Tours are scheduled on the half-hour and last about 45-50 minutes. The last tour is at 4:30 p.m.

Admission: $8 adults / $7 seniors / $4 students / Free for Historic New England members & Boston residents.
The Otis House
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