Otis House

Second and Third Otis Houses

Second Otis House, c. 1800

Preserved with relatively few changes to the exterior, the second of three houses that architect Charles Bulfinch designed for Harrison Gray and Sally Foster Otis was built in 1800 on Mt. Vernon Street, and is composed of a lower arcaded story ornamented with monumental Corinthian pilasters above. The house is privately owned, and is one of the few free-standing houses remaining on Beacon Hill. Number forty five Beacon Street was the third mansion designed by Bulfinch for the Otises within a span of ten years. Each of the Otis mansions was considered to be grander than the one before, and this one would have been considered the quintessence of elegance in the year it was built, 1806. Originally free standing and known for its lavish entertainments, the house was occupied by Harrison Gray Otis for forty two years. Today it is the headquarters of the American Meteorological Society.