A National Historic Landmark, the Mansion was erected in 1747 by William Shirley. Designed by “America’s first Architect”/ Father of American Palladianism, Peter Harrison, it is an architectural treasure. American Architecture vol. 1 1607-1860 notes was it considered to be the finest New England House for the late 1740’s and the “most purely Palladian House in America”. It was remodelled several times between the late 1700’s and 1820. Fully restored to c. 1820 in 1985, “Shirley Place” might best be described as a quintessential Georgian beauty wearing the best of Federal attire designed by Charles Bulfinch.
The only remaining house in America originally built by a British Royal Colonial Governor it has had many owners, including William Eustis, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. William and his wife Caroline Langdon returned the estate to the level of social prominence enjoyed during the Shirley era. In 1824 it was the site of a fete for the Marquis de Lafayette.
Tours are available year-round by appointment. Admission is free for SEHA Members, $8 for adults; $5 for students, seniors (65+) and residents of Roxbury and Dorchester. We are a Blue Star Museum.
Additional parking is available behind the Ralph Waldo Emerson School (now Dudley Street Neighborhood Charter school) directly across from Shirley Place.