|Venue name:||Otis House Museum|
141 Cambridge Street
at Staniford Street
|Opening hours:||Open Tours every 30mins 11am-4.30pm Wed-Sun.|
|Transport:||Bowdoin or Charles/MGH T .|
|Price:||Admission $8; $4-$7 reductions; free Boston residents.|
Built in 1796, this was the first of three residences designed by Bulfinch for his friend Harrison Gray Otis. A representative in the US Congress and, later, a mayor of Boston, Otis only lived here with his young wife for four years (believe it or not, the impressive Federal-style mansion was considered only a 'starter home' for the new couple). After Harry moved on, the house became a medical spa for ladies' complaints, with steam baths and massage, then a genteel boarding house. It has now been painstakingly restored to its 18th-century appearance, and contains some of the original furniture. A 45-minute guided tour offers a unique insight into the life of a Boston socialite. Even the fire bucket (all neighborhood residents were obliged to rush to the scene of a fire with one in hand to create a water chain) is still in place, hanging behind the grand staircase.