Waltham, MA
Waltham, Massachusetts
United States

Stonehurst is one of the most notable collaborations between Frederick Law Olmsted and architect Henry Hobson Richardson.

About Stonehurst

Stonehurst, also known as the Robert Treat Paine Estate, is one of the most notable collaborations among neighbors, friends and colleagues of Frederick Law Olmsted and architect Henry Hobson Richardson. In this collaboration, Olmsted designed the estate of philanthropists Robert Treat and Lydia Lyman Paine with the intent of creating a mountainous summer escape outside of Waltham, a suburb of Boston.

Stonehurst allowed Olmsted to experiment with the concept of “a forest lodge for the summer…bold, rustic and weather-proof…set high…supported by a terrace boldly projected…highly picturesque in its outlines and material.”

Olmsted and Richardson selected a glaciated hilltop site affording southern exposure with a view to the drumlins of Newton. Inspired by the natural landscape, the pair used massive glacial boulders sourced from the site to construct the house and terrace. “I have never done any of the kind that I liked as much,” Olmsted wrote of his terrace.

In 1886, just before the project was completed, Richardson died, making it one of his last commissions.

In 1974, the estate was donated to the City of Waltham. In keeping with Olmsted’s vision for public parks as drivers of democracy, the site is now a publicly-owned National Historic Landmark and conservation area that welcomes thousands of visitors annually.


    Thomas M. Paine

    Thomas M. Paine

    Thomas P. Lang

    Bret Morgan

    Thomas M. Paine


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