The Paine Estate was the country home of social reformer and philanthropist Robert Treat Paine. Romantically name ‘Stonehurst’ by the Paine family, they chose the name for their 100-acre country property in Waltham, MA by paying homage to the incredible beauty of the stony, glaciated land that was situated on a “wooded hill,” or hurst in old English. Stone + Hurst.
The Paine family owned Stonehurst for over a century in the 1800’s, and occupied it only seasonally. It was a summer house where friends and family members found a welcome refuge from the urban heat and congestion of Boston.
An American Masterwork
What’s remarkable about the house is that it was the last collaboration of architect Henry Hobson Richardson and landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted – two of America’s most famed architects and Boston-based visionaries - considered both to be fathers of America’s coming of age in the 19 century. Stonehurst is considered an American masterwork with its stunning stonework covered in plush ivy and its shingled style, Arts & Crafts design.
Richardson and Olmsted worked closely on dozens of commissions. Their cooperative designs for public parks, commuter rail stations, public libraries, community centers, and country houses like Stonehurst reshaped America's designed landscape.
Called the father of modern architecture in the U.S. for his bold concepts and fluid floor plans, Richardson anticipated the organic architectural style of Frank Lloyd Wright almost 75 years prior.
Olmstead, the father of the public park movement in America, believed that natural and the built could meld into a harmonious landscape.