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Shirley-Eustis Place Study report

The Boston Landmarks Commission has posted a study report on the proposed designation of Shirley-Eustis Place in Roxbury as a Landmark under Chapter 772 of the Acts of 1975, as amended.

Shirley-Eustis Place includes the:

  • Shirley-Eustis House (33 Shirley Street)
  • Shirley-Eustis Outbuilding/W. Elliott Woodward Rental House (42-44 Shirley Street), and
  • Ingersoll-Gardner Carriage House (24 Rockford Street).

Shirley-Eustis Place is a collection of three historically and architecturally significant mid-eighteenth- through early nineteenth-century wood-frame buildings constructed in Roxbury and Brookline, and associated with notable individuals in state and national history. 

The grand Shirley-Eustis House (constructed 1746–1749) is a high-style Georgian house designed by the first colonial American architect, Peter Harrison. The house was built for Massachusetts colonial governor William Shirley (1694–1771). It is one of the last remaining colonial governor’s mansions in the original 13 Colonies. The house has further historical significance as the home of Massachusetts governor William Eustis (1753–1825) and his widow Madame Caroline Langdon Eustis (1781–1865). The house was updated with Federal-style renovations during the Eustis years. The property also has significance as an example of early twentieth-century Colonial Revival and historic preservation movements. The changes made to the Shirley-Eustis House in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries -- including moving the mansion to facilitate the construction of Shirley Street and additional housing, as well as its conversion first into a rooming house and later to apartments --are also significant as a reflection of Roxbury's social history and the urban development of Boston.

The Shirley-Eustis Outbuilding/W. Elliott Woodward Rental House was constructed circa 1750 as an outbuilding, possibly a barn, for Governor Shirley. The outbuilding was converted into a duplex following Caroline Eustis’s death. It is historically significant for its association with the Shirley and Eustis estates. It is also architecturally significant as an unusual surviving example of mid-eighteenth-century timber-frame outbuilding construction and later as a representative example of multi-family housing from the mid-nineteenth century in Roxbury. Preliminary research also suggests that the Shirley-Eustis Outbuilding once housed enslaved people and therefore may be one of only two still-standing slave quarters in the northeastern United States. 

The Ingersoll-Gardner Carriage House is architecturally significant as a well-preserved example of an early nineteenth-century carriage house, and historically significant for association with notable families. However, it does not have historical associations with Shirley-Eustis Place, as it was moved to this site from another location to protect it from demolition.

Read the Shirley-Eustis Study Report

(Report amended as of July 30, 2021)

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 July 27, 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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