The Harrison Gray Otis House
Boston, MassachusettsThe epitome of high-style taste in Boston at the turn of the 19th century is revealed by the preserved interior design of this once home to Harrison Gray Otis and his family. The structure exemplifies the elegant life led by Boston's governing class after the Revolution. Harrison Gray Otis made
Gracious Hosts and HostessesVisitors may see Otis' office, with its concealed safe, the formal rooms downstairs prepared to receive guests and the family living quarters on the second floor. The reserved classical exterior of brick and stone barely hints at the brilliant colors, the imported wallpapers and carpets and the opulent furnishes within.
Moving up to Beacon HillOtis and his family lived here for only four years before moving to a still larger house designed by Bullfinch on Beacon Hill. Beacon Hill was a new neighborhood which Otis and four partners developed around 1800. With the gradual shift of wealth to Beacon
Society for the Preservation of New England AntiquitiesIn 1916 SPNEA acquired the house to provide headquarters for its staff and the growing collections. William Sunmer Appleton, SPENA's founder and the country's first full-time preservationist, began the lengthy process of restoration. The preservation efforts required meticulous examination of inventories, visual documents and physical evidence, including microscopic paint analysis. The ground floor of
Today, the Otis House and the 1806 Old West Church beside it comprise a historic enclave amid the bustle of downtown Boston. Between May and October, Saturday walking tours explore daily life in the bustling neighborhood of Beacon Hill during the early years of the Republic. For further information regarding the Harrison Gray Otis House and SPNEA call (617) 227-3956.
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Last Updated: September 23, 2015