The Historic Loring-Greenough House

The Historic Loring-Greenough House

Nick Siemaska
Aug 8, 2011

Name: Loring-Greenough House
Location: Jamaica Plain — Boston, Massachusetts
Size: 3-story colonial
Year built: 1760

The Loring-Greenough House was built in 1760 in a neighborhood of Boston that is now called Jamaica Plain. The house is one of the few pre-Revolutionary War homes still standing in the country and its current presence provides a rare glimpse of the architecture, design, general history of America's early beginnings.

I was lucky enough to have a tour by Edward Stanley, the President of the Jamaica Plain Tuesday Club, which cares for the house. So before we get to the design, let's talk the history of the house in brief.

When Commodore Loring was obliged to leave Boston in 1774 for his allegiance to the Crown, the house, which was considered a mansion back then, was temporarily used as a base for the America's first military leaders, as well as those wounded in action. By 1784, the house became the property of David and Anne Greenough, and whose descendants would own the house until 1924.

Now, the furnishings of the home were largely taken by the Greenough family when they sold the property in the early 20th century, so almost all of that now resides in this National Historic Landmark was either donated or purchased to reflect the furnishings of a late 18th century to 19th century homes in the Boston area.

Although the interior design is largely dated and out of fashion for some, there are several little bits in this home that will definitely spark a bit of inspiration for those looking for an American rustic look in their own home.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Loring-Greenough's Style: American Rustic, namely 19th century furnishings and objects.

Inspiration: The surrounding Jamaica Plain community and its rich history.

Favorite Element: There is a cast iron vault on the first floor that was installed by the Greenough's in the 1850's.

Surprising Find: When the Loring family was rushed to leave the house in 1774, one of the Loring children stashed some toys (Revolutionary GI Joes!), coins, and silverware in the closet. It wasn't until over one hundred years later that these prizes were found tucked away in a closet. The objects are now kept in a frame for all to see.

Antiquated technology There is a system of levers throughout the rooms that used use to attach themselves to differently pitched bells, used for calling on servants. The bells still remain in the kitchen.

Inspirational Interiors:





    • 18th Century Bread Oven
    • 1901 iron coal stove

OBJECTS (until next year at Brimfield Antique Show)

    • Antique Tea Boxes
    • Antique Noise Maker
    • 19th Century Washstand
    • Colonial Doorstopper
    • 19th century toilet
    • Spindles

Thanks to Edward Stanley for the tour of the great Loring-Greenough House!

Images: Nick Siemaska

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