Stoughton House

Henry Hobson Richardson, 1882

Renovation: Architectural Resources Cambridge, Inc., 1990

Mrs. M. F. Stoughton commissioned Richardson to design her house in 1882, only a year after he started to work on Sever Hall in Harvard Yard. Described by Henry-Russell Hitchcock as “perhaps the best suburban wooden house in America,” it is a horizontal L-shaped mass where the use of shingles instead of clapboards allowed for rounded features and continuous, non-rectangular forms.

As in Sever Hall, the stairway is expressed in a towerlike projection with conical roof on the inside corner. Next to the stair is the front entrance in a recessed two-story porch. Windows are composed of many small panes with heavy muntins. Originally the roof had wood shingles and the wall shingles were smaller, but these have been replaced. Additions and interior alterations have been made to Richardson’s design, but the home retains its defining features.