Located in Brookline, Massachusetts, 92 High Street, built in 1882, was designed by one of the foremost architects of the Shingle Style: William Ralph Emerson. His peers include Peabody & Sterns, Bruce Price, and McKim, Mead & White, selections of whose work can be seen below. Yet this house, with its charming red shingles placed atop the red brick ground floor, steep rooflines, stylistic flourishes, intricate woodwork, and substantial chimney work exude a sense of casual, welcoming New England hospitality—a warm respite from the interminable white winters. Deep, rich colors blend with well-made, wooden decorations, creating a feeling of summer, of sunsets, of organic beauty even on the bleakest of days. This American architectural regionalism is quite striking in its development, implementation, and legacy, as it helped set the stage for today’s open concept living to thrive.
To me, it is this rustic American regionalism that enlivens architecture and helps tie it to the landscape. It is this innate informality—a relationship with not over nature—that I am drawn to; the locus of form and function is a fascinating space for me as it intersects in many points and at many different angels. Just as California ranch homes exude their own casual elegance, New England shingle style homes convey the same style of easy, breezy luxury, just in a sturdier, climate appropriate, and wonderfully textural, exterior of shingles and stone. Similarly, the inviting, side entrance provided by the understated porte-cochere, is a unique, period correct, detail that truly mesmerizes me with the front façade and its numerous details, some delicate, some pronounced.
Located behind the stone gates of Tuxedo Park, New York, architect Bruce Price’s 1886 Travis Van Buren House, is a magnificent example of the Shingle Style in all of its relaxed, at ease resort town comfort. While the exterior may seem severe, it is covered in organic, multifaceted materials and opens into large spaces that spill both into one another, as well as the numerous outdoor terraces from which you can enjoy the heady Ramapo Mountain air.
McKim, Mead and White’s 1883 Isaac Bell House, located in the exclusive summer resort of Newport, Rhode Island, is a defining moment of the Shingle Style; this home, with its broad, plentiful porches, dynamic façade, use of curves and gables, provides constant wonderment for all who enjoy it, whether it be via visual or physical interaction with the structure.
Kragsyde, the George Nixon Black House, designed by Peabody & Stearns sand completed in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts in 1882, reveals a more fantastic, more engaging form of the Shingle Style, a form which allows for function to subjugate form in one of the most glorious ways—arches, terraces, bay windows, rugged chimneys, and cupolas magnificently interact with the rocky seaside landscape. This situation is admirable for its more its very American, very Maximalist aesthetic.
The Victor Newcombe Residence, McKim, Mead & White’s 1881, Elberon, New Jersey commission, is a shingled, turreted manse that helped define the Shingle Style. Casual floor plans with massive halls from which the rest of the interior radiates from, center the plans, and can be readily seen here in the Newcombe Residence,
The interiors of 92 High Street do not disappoint: richly carved wood paneling, multiple original fireplace mantels, built-in bookcases, and large windows abound in this home. The warmth the flooring, mantels, and paneling give the spaces is immeasurable; I can just see dark olive and burgundy damask papered up to the ceiling above. Beautiful antique gas (since electrified) light fixtures would be mixed with clean European midcentury pieces to create a nice contrast within the spaces, creating a place where the contemporary and past worlds circulate.
The second floor of this home continues the gracious, comfortable Shingle Style details with finely carved fireplaces and multipaned windows in each room. In these spaces, I see more period details, such as papered walls and large, fourposter beds accompanied by light fabrics and art pieces, to create a light, modern space within a Shingle home. Indoor plants, from palms to figs, abound in my concepts for this home.
The exterior space afforded 92 High Street, as it sits on half an acre, is quite expansive, allowing for multiple garden rooms and spaces. The sitting area with fountain in simply divine, yet I would add a formal lawn, raised beds, a cutting garden, rose garden, and a miniature parterre, so as to maximize the space and growing seasons.
92 High Street
The floor plans mirror the similar, easy breezy flow of the Shingle Style homes listed above. The living room, library, hall, and dining room have a wonderfully organic flow between them as well as with the rear kitchen and family spaces. Up the delightful balustrade, the second and third floors offer multiple bedroom suites, each spacious and light filled—each just calling for a little period personalization.
The carriage house is a magnificent entertainment venue for the home with its open floor plan and secluded guest quarters.
The informal regionalism displayed in 92 High Street is staggering—each paneled room and mantel is a unique work of art that calls out for similarly treated and adorned rooms, both indoors and out.
Located on an approximately 24,000 square foot lot, 92 High Street encompasses a 6,988 square foot main house as well as a 3,465 square foot carriage house, which total over 10,000 square feet of covered, heated, and insulated living space. Jennifer and Susan Rothstein, of Hammond Residential Real Estate’s Rothstein Team, represent the $4,200,000 listing.
Please note that the 92 High Street is the property immediately south of the one highlighted below.