Quincy, Mass. Historical and Architectural Survey
39-41 Grandview Avenue
The Wollaston/Forbes Hill neighborhood of Quincy is bounded by the M.B.T.A. tracks (east), Furnace Brook Parkway (south), Adams Street (west) and Beale Street (north). In 1869 the Wollaston Land Associates purchased an initial 300 acres on and near the Wollaston Hills for the purpose of developing a status residential area. This was a portion of the tract allotted in 1636 by the Town of Boston to William Hutchinson, the husband of Mistress Anne Hutchinson. When the development began in 1870 there was but one house in the entire section from the railroad tracks to Adams Street to the Milton line. The development accelerated after George F. Pinkham, the business manager of the Associates, got the Old Colony Railroad to issue free passes good for three years to anyone purchasing a house lot from the land company.
The land on which the double residence of 39-41 Grandview Avenue is located formerly belong,to George W. B. Taylor, a Boston paper merchant and one of the first "settlers" and principal landowners in the Wollaston Hill area. It was from Taylor that the Wollaston Land Associates acquired more land to expand their development. It is Taylor's pre-1870 house that is referred to in the above paragraph. Johnathan Dexter Record, a Boston dry plates manufacturer, built the new house at 39-41 Grandview Avenue in the early 1890's. Record sold to Edgar B. Hunt, a Boston hides dealer in 1906. Hunt's ownership was brief, by 1907 the property had been acquired by Henry S. Epes, a naval architect at the Electric Boat Company, 107 East Howard Street, manufacturer of submarine boats. The Epes stayed in residence until after 1935.
BIBLIOGRAPHY and/or REFERENCES
William Churchill Edwards. Historic Quincy, Massachusetts. 1957. p. 297.
H. Hobart Holly. ed. Quincy: 350 Years. 1974. p. 51.
Vincent J. Scully, Jr. The Shingle Style and the Stick Style. Yale University Press. 1971.
D. Foster Taylor. "Wollaston As It Was In 1870's." (written in 1946). Quincy History. Quincy Historical Society, January 1985.
The Shingle Style which followed the exhuberant Queen Anne Style was favored for sea side and suburban homes. The trend began with the grandiose shingled summer homes of McKim, Meld and White in the 1880s and continued with the fine Shingle Style houses of William Ralph Emerson in Massachusetts and John Calvin Stevens in Maine. They were characterized by quiet compact massing, enveloping roofs which were often gambreled, simple classic details and the use of weathered shingles to "wrap" the house. It was considered an American derived architecture which was influenced by the early weathered clapboarded and shingled 17th century houses then being studied with great avidity. The continued interest in the architectural past of the East Coast led soon after to the Colonial Revival Style.
This is one of the grandest Queen Anne houses in the area with the status symbol of the period: a tall three story corner tower. Its completed roof, asymmetrical silhouette, varied wall materials and irregular fenestration all contribute to make it an impressive picturesque component of Grandview Avenue. The wall articulation is particularly decorative and agitated. In the large gable with a roofed overhang is an oriel window surounded by scalloped shingles (see photograph) and the third floor of the tower with the hexagonal roof is walled with shaped shingles. All the elevations move with projections such as bay windows, tower, porches with the turned posts, roof overhang and dormers. Of particular note are the Richardsonian Syrian arches on the second floor porch which were once probably unglazed. They recall the entrance of the 1882 Crane Library by H. H. Richardson. It will be recommended that this fine property be included in the proposed National Register Wollaston Hill Historic District.