Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Art History

First Advisor

Charles Brownell


The Longfellow House in Cambridge, Massachusetts is one of America’s best known historic homes. Built in 1759 by Major John Vassall, the grand house exemplified Colonial English tastes and was at the center of a cycle of Colonial Royalist mansions. After the American Revolution, however, the house quickly became a symbol of American patriotism. Occupants ranging from General George Washington and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow each added to the legacy of the house. Early in the nineteenth century, the Longfellow House’s distyle portico- pavilion traveled to Canterbury, Connecticut, becoming a colloquial house-type. Aided by its connection to General Washington and its appearance in two World’s Fairs, the house gained further popularity around the American Centennial. This thesis provides the most expansive history of the house’s impact on American architecture to date and is the first to connect the house to both the Greenhouse at Mount Vernon and Connecticut’s “Canterbury Style.”


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2014