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American Mile


Perched atop a hill in the American Mile historic district of Concord, Massachusetts, and patterned after the Longfellow House on Brattle Street in Cambridge, this circa 1900 residence is a remarkable example of Georgian Revival architecture. Originally constructed for Charles Hovey Pepper, a renowned landscape and portrait painter, this home is situated near Authors’ Ridge, an area where many notable authors lived including Louisa May Alcott and Henry David Thoreau.

Considering the historical context of the residence and coinciding with a significant architectural renovation, the design of the landscape utilizes a series of broad gestures to preserve and refine the character and quality of the grounds. Framing the main body of the residence, a stand of London plane trees is complemented by layers of playfully grouped boxwood, while a broad retaining wall adds structure to the landscape.

At the side of the residence, an intimately sized fountain terrace provides contrast to the scale of the grand front and rear yards, where layers of hydrangea and perennials encompass the circular garden. Underplanted with frames of boxwood and set along a lush perennial walk, a pair of London plane trees in the rear recall the design language of the front. The landscape as a whole has been elevated to a level of thoughtfulness and composure that matches the stature of the architecture.

Collaborators: RBA Architecture, Wellen Construction, R. P. Marzilli, Diane Murphy Interiors; Photographers: Chris Rucinski, Neil Landino

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