Otis House Museum

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Otis House is the last surviving mansion in Bowdoin Square in Boston's West End neighborhood. Charles Bulfinch designed the house for Harrison Gray Otis, a lawyer who was instrumental in developing nearby Beacon Hill, served in Congress, and was a mayor of Boston. In 1796, Harrison Gray Otis and his wife, Sally, lived and entertained lavishly in this elegantly furnished home designed by their friend Bulfinch. Visitors learn about the Otises, their young family, their servants, and the people who loved here after them, when the building was a genteel boarding house. The house portrays both high-style living in the Federal era and the cycles of change in a dynamic urban neighborhood. Tours are offered Friday - Sunday, 11 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. with tours every half hour. Last tour is at 4:30 p.m. Walking tours of Beacon Hill are offered the first Saturday of the month, May through October at 11 a.m. Museum Shop open 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

05/13/2019
Historic New England’s extensive wallpaper collection contains more than 6,000 individual samples of wallpaper, histor...
02/15/2019

Historic New England’s extensive wallpaper collection contains more than 6,000 individual samples of wallpaper, historic photographs of wallpaper in situ, and ephemera dealing with the wallpaper industry. Block printed in green, white, and black on light blue background, this c. 1797 sample from the Otis House has a duty (or tax) stamp on the reverse.

Historic New England presents "Program in New England Studies," an intensive week-long exploration of New England decora...
02/11/2019

Historic New England presents "Program in New England Studies," an intensive week-long exploration of New England decorative arts and architecture from Monday, June 17 to Saturday, June 22, 2019.

At Program in New England Studies you’ll learn about New England culture from the seventeenth century to the Colonial Revival through artifacts and architecture.

For more information: https://my.historicnewengland.org/800/801

Neo-classical style, influenced by the aesthetics of ancient Greece and Rome, emerged as a vital part of architectural d...
02/08/2019

Neo-classical style, influenced by the aesthetics of ancient Greece and Rome, emerged as a vital part of architectural development at the end of the 18th century. This was largely due to the excavations of Pompeii and Herculaneum in 1738. The Otis House, pictured here, reflects the popularity of this style, elements of which can be found in many of its architectural details.

In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Sally Foster Otis would have had a very busy schedule managing the many facet...
02/05/2019

In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Sally Foster Otis would have had a very busy schedule managing the many facets of the Otis household and entertaining. Her style of dress, with a pleated bodice and ermine-collared velvet cloak, was very fashionable in the 1820's and 1830's. Everything about this portrait speaks to wealth, social accomplishment, and style--exactly what we would expect of Mrs. Otis.

This Christmas Eve, the Beacon Hill Bell Ringers will be performing in Beacon Hill for the 94th year! Come to Louisburg ...
12/20/2018

This Christmas Eve, the Beacon Hill Bell Ringers will be performing in Beacon Hill for the 94th year! Come to Louisburg Square to hear traditional Christmas favorites performed on the original handbells.

The program begins at 8:00 p.m. on December 24 on the front steps of 13 Louisburg Square. All are welcome for free, and the Ringers will hand out song books and sleigh bells to accompany the English handbells.

The tradition began in 1924, when Margaret Nichols Shurcliff and her children rang Christmas carols in front of their home. A joyful gathering of neighbors joined them, and the celebration eventually grew. The picture below is from one of the first years of the bell-ringing.

For more information about the program, contact Pamela Madigan of the Beacon Hill Bell Ringers at 617-680-3393.

See Otis House like they did in 1796, by candlelight! Join us as a guest of the Otis family next Thursday evening.http:/...
08/24/2018
Otis at Night

See Otis House like they did in 1796, by candlelight! Join us as a guest of the Otis family next Thursday evening.

http://shop.historicnewengland.org/HGO-AFTERHOUR-9972/

Otis at Night: Thursday August 30, 7:00 p.m.- 9:00 p.m.. . Otis House, 141 Cambridge Street, Boston, Mass.. . Enjoy a summer evening in the Otis House

In 1900, Boston had the most breweries per person of any city in the country! And many of them were established by Irish...
08/21/2018
Twilight Talks, Lost Breweries of Roxbury and Jamaica Plain

In 1900, Boston had the most breweries per person of any city in the country! And many of them were established by Irish and German immigrants.

Join us tonight at Otis House to learn more. This event is cosponsored by The Victorian Society in America, New England Chapter.

http://shop.historicnewengland.org/HGO-TWILIGHT-3-8057/

Twilight Talks, Lost Breweries of Roxbury and Jamaica Plain: Tuesday, August 21, 5:30 p.m. courtyard reception, 6:00 p.m. talk. . Otis House, 141 Camb

In just a few weeks, join us for a walk through Beacon Hill to explore its most-Instagrammable spots. It will be led by ...
07/15/2018
Instagrammable Beacon Hill

In just a few weeks, join us for a walk through Beacon Hill to explore its most-Instagrammable spots. It will be led by one of our Guides, Matthew Dickey (@_madickey_).

http://shop.historicnewengland.org/HGO-BHWT-3-7091/

Instagrammable Beacon Hill: Saturday, August 4, 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. . . Otis House, 141 Cambridge Street, Boston, Mass.. . Join Matthew Dickey (@_madick

On this day in 1848, Harriot K. Hunt visited a Shaker community in Harvard MA as part of her medical education. Hunt liv...
07/07/2018
Dr. Harriot K. Hunt Visits the Shakers

On this day in 1848, Harriot K. Hunt visited a Shaker community in Harvard MA as part of her medical education. Hunt lived at Otis House in the 1830s and became the first woman admitted to Harvard Medical School.

https://www.massmoments.org/moment-details/dr-harriot-k-hunt-visits-the-shakers.html?utm_source=Mailchimp&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=eMoment

On this day in 1848, Dr. Harriot K. Hunt of Boston, one of the nation's first female physicians, made a visit to the Shaker community in Harvard. She found much …

We are open for free tours all day today! Celebrate the 4th in the grand style of Harry and Sally Otis.Tours run on the ...
07/04/2018

We are open for free tours all day today! Celebrate the 4th in the grand style of Harry and Sally Otis.

Tours run on the hour and half hour from 11-7:30pm.

06/02/2018

We're open for free today! Stop by for a tour until 4:30.

What's your favorite part of the Otis House experience? For some, it's the striking color scheme.
05/11/2018

What's your favorite part of the Otis House experience? For some, it's the striking color scheme.

Spring has arrived at Otis House!
04/27/2018

Spring has arrived at Otis House!

Tonight! Evening tours at Otis House. Stop by after work and say hello.
04/18/2018

Tonight! Evening tours at Otis House. Stop by after work and say hello.

We're open late tonight. Stop by and see us in a new light.
04/11/2018

We're open late tonight. Stop by and see us in a new light.

It might be pouring outside, but it's warm and bright inside Otis House this evening! Stop by and see us until 7:30.
04/04/2018

It might be pouring outside, but it's warm and bright inside Otis House this evening! Stop by and see us until 7:30.

Winter is back! Check out this view of Beacon Hill from the Historic New England offices attached to Otis House.
04/02/2018

Winter is back! Check out this view of Beacon Hill from the Historic New England offices attached to Otis House.

Historic New England Mellon Conservation Fellow Liah Spilove Cox is working on the dining room door at Otis House. She a...
03/29/2018

Historic New England Mellon Conservation Fellow Liah Spilove Cox is working on the dining room door at Otis House. She and other members of the Collections Services Team are getting everything ready to welcome visitors when the house opens for the season on April 4.

Historic New England
03/21/2018

Historic New England

While the weather forecast might make it hard to believe, we’ll be opening the doors to most of our seasonal house museums in just a few short months. The first property to welcome you back? Otis House Museum, reopening on 4/4!

This 1796 Federal-style estate is the oldest surviving mansion in Bowdoin Square in Boston’s West End neighborhood. Charles Bulfinch designed the house for Harrison Gray Otis, a lawyer who was instrumental in developing nearby Beacon Hill, served in Congress, and was a mayor of Boston.

P.S. – Otis House will now offer extended hours on Wednesday evenings, closing at 7:30 pm on these days. Join us after school or work for a tour of one of Boston’s most interesting architectural landmarks.

Plan your visit today: https://www.historicnewengland.org/property/otis-house/

Otis House is now open for the season!Want to stop by after work? We'll be open even Wednesday evening until 7:30. Come ...
03/15/2018

Otis House is now open for the season!

Want to stop by after work? We'll be open even Wednesday evening until 7:30. Come and see us in a new light.

Tours are always free for members of Historic New England and residents of Boston.

Otis House Museum's cover photo
02/22/2018

Otis House Museum's cover photo

Love that afternoon light! We'll be re-opening for regular public tours on April 4th.
02/12/2018

Love that afternoon light!

We'll be re-opening for regular public tours on April 4th.

You may be interested in seeing the Beacon Hill Bell Ringers on Christmas Eve, a 92 year-old tradition!This year the pea...
12/18/2017

You may be interested in seeing the Beacon Hill Bell Ringers on Christmas Eve, a 92 year-old tradition!

This year the pealing of Christmas carols on English hand bells will be heard on Beacon Hill yet again. The tradition goes back 92 years and three generations. The Beacon Hill Bell Ringers will regale crowds with holiday melodies starting at 8:00 PM on Christmas Eve in front of 18 Louisburg Square. Dress warmly and bring a small light to read the carols. All are welcome.

Beacon Hill Bell Ringers
Christmas Eve, December 24
8:00 to 8:45 PM
On the steps of 18 Louisburg Square, Beacon Hill, Boston

Missed us before we closed for the season? We are still open for special group tours! https://www.historicnewengland.org...
12/12/2017
Otis House Group Tours | Historic New England

Missed us before we closed for the season?

We are still open for special group tours! https://www.historicnewengland.org/visit/book-a-private-tour/otis-house-1796-boston/

Learn about the house for the nearly 100 years it served as a boarding house, or discover the women who lived and worked at Otis House since 1796. Have another topic you're interested in? Let us know!

Learn about the Otises, their young family, their servants, and the people who lived here after them, when the building was a genteel boarding house. Otis House portrays both high-style living in the Federal era and the cycles of change in a dynamic urban neighborhood.

It was so fun to host our neighbors and the Beacon Hill Civic Association Saturday as they prepared garlands to hang on ...
12/05/2017

It was so fun to host our neighbors and the Beacon Hill Civic Association Saturday as they prepared garlands to hang on every gas lamp on Beacon Hill. What an accomplishment!

The first picture shows our Courtyard filled with the greenery before it was cut.

Address

141 Cambridge St
Boston, MA
02114

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