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Richards-Follett-Pfaff (Stanhope) Stables Study Report

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Published by:

Landmarks Commission

The Boston Landmarks Commission has posted a study report on the proposed designation of the Richards-Follett-Pfaff Stables as a Landmark under Chapter 772 of the Acts of 1975, as amended.

The Richards-Follett-Pfaff Stables (commonly known as the Stanhope Stables) are the earliest surviving block of stables related to the development of Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood. Their location epitomizes an important early trend in urban planning to locate stables away from upscale residences and construct them of fireproof materials, even before such requirements were in place.

The placement of the Stables close to two major railroads facilitated travel for the owners, who were typically prominent businessmen and industrialists. The Stables also represent an important stage in the development of urban transportation, as Boston first relied on horse-drawn vehicles and personal horses, before transitioning to automobiles. The exterior fabric represents these changes in use as the stables were adapted to suit the evolving needs of the community.

The Stables are a rare surviving example of a Panel Brick-style stable, one of only a few known in the state. As the design of noted and prolific Boston-based and regional architect Nathaniel J. Bradlee, the Stanhope Stables are a rare example of one of his works interpreting an emerging stylistic vocabulary in a utilitarian building. They are also important as one of Bradlee's works constructed before the Boston Fire of 1872, which destroyed many of his earliest buildings.

Read the Richards-Follett-Pfaff Stables study report

There are two ways to provide feedback on this potential landmark designation:

  1. Written feedback can be provided by visiting this link: feedback form.
  2. The study report will be discussed at a public hearing on September 28, 2021. Members of the public are invited to attend this hearing and provide comments there as well. Please look for the meeting notice in the public notices section of our website. 
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