| Located in the center of 134 acres of woodlands and meadows is
the Robert Treat Paine Estate, also known as Stonehurst. Robert Treat Paine
and his wife Lydia built a fine but modest Mansard-style summer house in
Waltham in 1866. In 1884, Mr. Paine engaged the famous architect H.H. Richardson to design a great addition to
his summer house. The first story of the Richardson addition is constructed
of massive glacial boulders and features a Syrian arch, a well-known signature
of the architect. The second floor of the mansion is sheathed in weathered
shingles, with three stone towers rising from the ground. The house is situated
on a spectacular rise selected by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted,
who also designed the gardens and terrace.
The interior of the Paine House is the largest remaining domestic interior designed by H.H. Richardson. The great hall, with its terra-cotta red walls and stenciled Japanese designs, anticipates the flowing spaces of modem architecture. Another significant feature of the Paine Estate is the great staircase, one of the most famous in American architecture. With its carved, paneled woodwork, magnificent marble and tile fireplaces, and original furnishings, the interior of the Paine House is unequaled in the work of H.H. Richardson.