Lois Lilley Howe by Elizabeth W. Reinhardt

Lois Lilley Howe, F.A.I.A. (1864-1964)
by Elizabeth W. Reinhardt

Read December 7, 1975

This article appeared in the Cambridge Historical Society Proceedings for the years 1973-1975 (Volume 43)

Miss LOIS LILLEY HOWE, one of the first women to graduate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s architectural program, the organizer of the only all-woman architectural firm in Boston in the early twentieth century, and the first woman elevated to Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, was born in Cambridge in 1864. Her family had prospered during the 1850s and 1860s because of the real estate speculations of her father, Dr. Estes Howe. (Lois Lilley Howe, “Dr. Estes Howe, a Citizen of Cambridge,” Proceedings of the Cambridge Historical Society, 25 (1936-1937), 129). The family home at 1 Kirkland Street in Cambridge was located on over an acre of land just across Kirkland Street from Harvard College’s Delta, soon to be the site of Memorial Hall.

It is interesting to speculate on the possible interest in architecture which could have been aroused in the infant Miss Howe by watching the gradual emergence of Ware and Van Brunt’s spectacular monument to Harvard’s Civil War dead. Whatever speculations she may have entertained about her own future, her earliest years were prosperous and happy ones in a family in touch with the best cultural advantages offered by Cambridge at mid-century. Her father not only held positions of importance in the Cambridge Gas Light Company and the Cambridge Water Works but was a member of the Saturday Club which brought him in touch with the local luminaries—Mr. Emerson of Concord, Mr. Longfellow and Mr. Lowell of the College. In fact, James Russell Lowell’s first wife, Maria White, was sister to Lois Lilly White Howe, Miss Howe’s mother. (Ibid., p. 138.)

In her reminiscences about her father, Miss Howe describes Cambridge at this time as a pleasant “country-like suburb connected with the city of Boston by a long bridge.”(Ibid., p. 133.) Unfortunately this pleasant life was troubled with increasing problems during the 1870s. Estes Howe’s real estate speculations had been overextended in investments in Nova Scotia mines and were severely curtailed by the financial panic of the late 1870s (Ibid., p. 139). Nor were financial worries all that troubled the family. In 1879 the brilliant and promising elder son, Samuel, a graduate of Harvard Medical School, who had been recalled from his European travels by the family’s economic troubles, died suddenly and unexpectedly. Miss Howe’s two sisters, in order to become less of a charge on the family, found jobs in the newly formed Harvard College Annex’s library (John Blackwell, interview, January 29, 1974).

Miss Howe entered the public high school in Cambridge where she earned an equivalency certificate which would have served to admit her to the Annex, later to become Radcliffe College. Unlike her classmates who chose the Annex, Miss Howe spent the next four years at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts where she specialized in design (“Lois Lilley Howe-M.I.T. ’90, 1864-1964.” Written by Miss Howe in 1940 for the M.I.T. Fiftieth Reunion of the Class of 1890. Two-page typescript in possession of the Cambridge Historical Society, untitled).

Whether her brother’s death influenced her to assume a role which might have been taken by the son of the family can only be surmised. All her life she was known as a woman of strong character, so it seems equally likely that her choice of a career was more influenced by her own will than by a desire to compensate for the loss of the heir to the family name.

Dr. Howe died in 1887 after a long illness, and the large house and lot on Kirkland Street were sold to the Reverend Francis G. Peabody. This sale gave Miss Howe her first opportunity for architectural experimentation. Mrs. Peabody found the long straight stairway in her new house inconvenient and asked her brother-in-law, Robert Swain Peabody, to draw up plans for its alteration. Mr. Peabody dismissed the project as impossible, but the young Miss Howe then came forward with a scheme of her own, which proved successful (Ibid). This minor triumph led to Mr. Peabody’s professional support in later years.

In the meantime, the architectural firm of Cabot and Chandler had designed a smaller house in Cambridge for the displaced Howe widow and her daughters. The opportunity to observe construction at the new house convinced Miss Howe that she ought to carry out a long-held ambition to be an architect. Ignoring the earlier dissuasion from her “pastors and masters” that she could not be an architect because she was a woman, she took her six-year-old certificate of admission to the Harvard Annex to General Francis Amasa Walker, then President of Massachusetts Institute of Technology. President Walker agreed to admit her to the Institute’s architectural program. It should be pointed out that as a land-grant college, M.I.T. was committed to admitting qualified women to all its programs, and made a general confession of intent in its catalogues (Dr. Louis C. Menand m, Assistant Provost, M.I.T., interview, January 23, 1974. Cf. Twenty-seventh Annual Catalogue of M.I.T. (Boston: Alfred Mudge and Son, 1892), p. 58: “Women are admitted to any of the courses of the school”). Thus Miss Howe’s entrance into an institution which even today is regarded as primarily a man’s world was not as startling as it seems. The proportion of women in the total enrollment has never, until recently, risen above six percent, but M.I.T. has also never practiced the kind of discrimination found at less generous institutions (Registration Committee of the M.I.T. Women’s Association, “Survey of Former Women Students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology” (submitted to M.I.T. Women’s Association Board, 1955), table x: “Comparative Enrollment: Number and Percent of Women to Total Enrollments, 1887-1953.”). In any event, Miss Howe knew she was creating a new definition of possibilities for women. When she entered at the age of twenty-four she became “the only girl in a class with sixty-five boys” and with Sophia G. Hayden “shared a drafting room with about ninety boys.” (“Lois Lilley Howe-M.I.T. ’90.”)

When Miss Howe entered M.I.T. in the fall of 1888 the study of architecture was offered in two programs. The first—a four-year program in which Miss Hayden was enrolled—led to the degree of B.S. in Architecture, and its graduates were considered to be alumni of the college. The second, a two-year program, called the Partial Course in Architecture, offered no degree, nor do graduates’ names appear in the alumni records. Miss Howe, through some misunderstanding on her part, was enrolled in the partial program. (Ibid.)

The four-year program began with a first year of subjects “common to all regular courses.” (Twenty-seventh Annual Catalogue of M.I.T., p. 36.) The architecturally ambitious student was expected to complete courses in chemistry, rhetoric and English composition, political history, and French or German in his or her first year before beginning professional studies in the second year. After that, for the next three years, the course of study continued to demand non-professional subjects such as history, literature, and political economy, allied subjects such as free-hand drawing, architectural history, pen and ink, watercolor, business law and contracts, and professional subjects such as specifications and working-drawing, strength of material, the study of the five orders and their applications, iron construction, and heating and ventilation. (Ibid., p. 37. ) The greater emphasis on the non-professional and allied art courses suggests that the program was less concerned with practical matters than it might have been. Nonetheless, it was clearly a rigorous and demanding course covering a variety of those professional and business problems which the beginning architect might expect to encounter in his or her practice.

The two-year course, in order to achieve the concentration necessary in a more limited time-span, was a more “nuts and bolts” program. None of the unrelated liberal arts courses were expected of the student. Even the courses in calculus and physics were dropped, along with the study of a foreign language and European or constitutional history. The first-year student in the partial course was expected to learn how to draw, sketch, do water color, and to study architectural history, the five orders, and be able to produce original designs. He or she also studied materials, common constructions, and graphical statistics. The second year continued the study of watercolor and sketching, required the history of ornament, and expected students to produce original designs. More technical courses included specifications, working-drawings and framing, contracts, ventilation and heating, and problems in construction. (Twenty-third Annual Catalogue of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1887-1888 (Boston: Thomas Todd, Printer, Congregational House, 1887), p. 28.) The graduate of this program may not have been so well-rounded as the candidate for the B.S. degree, but he or she was reasonably well prepared to go forth and design buildings.

The emphasis on history—of ornament, of architecture, of fine arts, of the Renaissance (if one were in the four-year program) — suggests that these students were not being encouraged to pursue new directions in design. Furthermore, it is evident from an investigation of thesis projects preserved in M.I.T.’s special collections that the influence of French academicism and L’Ecole des Beaux Arts was overwhelming. These projects are beautifully presented, carefully colored designs of utterly unworkable buildings, with strong emphasis on axial arrangement, symmetry, and proportion rather than on function. They are also heavily influenced by classical motifs, having left behind most of the enthusiastic eclecticism of the nineteenth century.

When Miss Howe completed her course of study at M.I.T. she joined the firm of Allen and Kenney where she worked for the next two years doing drafting. While there she received a telegram from her friend Robert Swain Peabody, then on the architectural committee which was designing the Chicago Columbian Exhibition, who suggested that she enter the competition for the Woman’s Building. She in turn told Sophia Hayden of the project and each entered the competition, which Miss Hayden won. Miss Howe’s design took second place, for which she was awarded a $500 prize. She spent the money on a trip to Europe, accompanied by her mother and sisters, who rented their new house in Cambridge in order to come along. After fifteen months of leisurely travel, the Howes returned to Cambridge, only to find the country in the throes of the Panic of 1893. (“Lois Lilley Howe-M.I.T. ’90.”)

Jobs were scarce for everyone that year but nonexistent for a female draftsman. However, a newly married friend commissioned Miss Howe to build a house, and a few remodeling jobs came her way. For the most part, however, she found her career temporarily diverted. She worked as a part-time librarian in the M.I.T. Architectural Department, and gradually accumulated clients.

By 1900 she had managed to move into her own offices, originally at 73 Tremont Street in the Tremont Building in Boston. Her first partners, two anonymous men, abandoned her at the end of their first year of partnership, which, she said, was “one of the best things that ever happened” to her. (Ibid) From 1900 to 1913 she worked alone, developing her interest in colonial architecture and applying it in her designs. She evidently traveled around New England, going to those eighteenth-century houses which had been preserved, and making measured drawings of interiors and architectural details. This work was eventually collected in 1913 and published as Details of Old New England Houses. She also kept a series of scrapbooks filled with clippings and photographs of architectural details which had interested her. Among her scrap-books are volumes devoted to details of stairs, windows, stables and barns, hip roofs, gambrel roofs, ornaments, and fireplaces.

This scholarship emerges in the design of houses completed during these early years of her career. Never rigidly applied nor with too self-conscious an approach to “correctness,” these details serve to enhance the large, comfortable town and suburban houses of this period. An occasional Palladian window lighting a stairwell, a dentil course around a cornice, a fondness for gambrel and hip roofs, and close attention to fanlight and sidelights around front entrances are among the most common devices. From the evidence now available it seems likely that her greatest reliance on these details and most deliberate attempts to recreate the semblance of colonial houses occur early in her career as in the Alfred C. Potter house at 1 Kennedy Road (1894), the G. B. Maynadier house (1900), 49 Hawthorn Street, both in Cambridge, or the Charles W. Kettell house at 10 Eliot Road in Lexington (1901). During this period she did many alterations and additions, including two additions (1895, 1898) and a stable (1895) at 33 Elmwood Avenue in Cambridge, the James Russell Lowell homestead. Besides these distinctly colonial revival houses, she experimented with a shingle house for the Henshaws at 15 Traill Street in Cambridge (1898). The most notable feature of this latter house is the enormously broad gable on the right side of the house. Unfortunately, as is true of many of Miss Howe’s houses, the trees and shrubbery have so overgrown their lots that it is virtually impossible to photograph the facades.

It is difficult to document other work of this period, since the scrapbooks she kept of her buildings rarely include dates. However, it is evident that her practice extended throughout New England, though strongly based in the Boston-Cambridge area. Her scrapbooks show pictures of houses done in New Hampshire and Maine as well as along Cape Cod. These seem to be primarily vacation houses and so are of a much less formal quality than the stricter townhouses of the same period. Most notable among these handsome sprawling “cottages” are the house in North Sutton, New Hampshire, designed for “the Misses Chapman,” and that for Mr. W. A. Donald in South Yarmouth, Massachusetts. Both have shingled exteriors, long, sloping rooflines, great piazzas and huge interior spaces arranged in a relatively informal and relaxed plan. The Donald house has rough barked tree trunks for posts on the piazza. In spite of this rustic touch on the exterior, the living-room is finished and furnished with unrustic elegance. Whether this was the choice of the architect or her clients is unknown, but the effect is somewhat jarring. More in keeping with the nature of site and exterior, the cottage of the Misses Chapman has a first-floor plan which is almost entirely given over to the huge living-room, roughly finished, with exposed, unfinished beams.

The house most recognized by her professional contemporaries, however, was that done for Miss A. A. Burrage at 16 Beech Road, Brookline. Beech Road runs the length of a small suburban park, Longwood Mall, in Brookline, now deeply shaded by a planting of massive copper and weeping beech. The Burrage house is pleasantly situated on a small lot, placed at right angles to the road, thus achieving a maximum use of the available space. The neighboring houses on the Mall, apparently built at about the same time, vary from pretentiously to outrageously Georgian revival. They are commonly of stucco or brick, some are half-timbered, and many make extensive use of heavily plastic ornamentation over the vast pediments of the somber doorways.

With the Burrage house, published in American Architect and Building News, July 15, 1905, Miss Howe had evidently begun experimenting with forms and materials which were new in her experience. Like the other houses in the neighborhood, the Burrage house is of stucco and, in contemporary turn-of-the-century terms, is among those “having the English suggestion.” (Frank C. Brown, “Boston Suburban Architecture,” Architectural Record, 21 (April 1907), 228.) Unlike many of its neighbors, this house is almost entirely without ornament. Its steeply pitched roof and slight second-story overhang make it reminiscent in form of seventeenth-century colonial houses, but its smooth surface, gently curved entrance arch, and generally austere lines seem to anticipate more modern simplicity. Its formal restraint, attractive facade, massing of exterior elements, and logical yet relaxed plan all contribute to a sense of comfort and elegance without ostentation, an impression which has improved with age.

In 1913 Miss Howe expanded her firm and took a partner, Miss Eleanor Manning, M.I.T. 1906, who had been working in her office. After this time, work done by the firm is identified simply as the work of Lois L. Howe and Manning, so that it is impossible to separate credit for designs beyond this date. This argues a close and fruitful collaboration, since the firm continued to expand and to produce houses throughout New England. One of the earliest and finest identifiable houses of the pre-World War I period is the Louis C. Cornish house at 15 Fayerweather Street in Cambridge (1916). The Cambridge Historical Commission identifies it as the first seventeenth-century-revival house in Cambridge. Clearly an outgrowth in form of the Burrage house, it uses dark shingle for the exterior and strongly emphasizes the massive gables and sharp slope of the roof on the end which faces the street. Like the Burrage house, the Cornish house is placed at right angles to the street, overlooking its neighbor’s garden. It is difficult for the present-day observer to see more of the house than its end gable, since the plantings along the front facade have obviously been used as a screen. Miss Howe’s scrapbook provides an illustration of the front facade shortly after construction, and from this it is evident that Miss Howe felt the essence of the style lay in wide gables and regular fenestration. Illustrations of the interior reveal open spaces in the living-room, but with unexpected rough-finished beams in a finely paneled room.

Also in the scrapbooks are illustrations of the remodeling done in 1916 of the old colonial house which became new headquarters for the Concord Art Association. One can question Miss Howe’s scholarship in colonial houses when one contemplates the disappearance of an elaborately decorated ceiling beam just visible in one of the “work in progress” snapshots. The finished rooms emphasize the space and light necessary for optimum display of artifacts and paintings, while maintaining the integrity of the shell.

Undoubtedly the interruption of World War I caused some dislocation in the firm’s practice though, as Miss Howe says, they “stuck it out.” They received the commission to build a cafeteria “for the boys” at Fort Devens. They also built the Canteen on the Boston Common and, when it was completed, volunteered to work in it. (“Lois Lilley Howe-M.I.T. ’90.”)

After the war, they resumed construction of single-family houses, somewhat smaller in scale than those done before the war, but retaining as much as possible the refinement and graciousness of their pre-war designs. In spite of the smaller scale of individual designs, the reputation of the firm continued to grow. Examples of work done in this period in Cambridge include the small shingle at 14 Gray Gardens West, done in 1924 for Mr. J. G. Hart; a handsome stucco at 3 Gray Gardens East, designed in 1923 for Miss Annie B. Chapman; and a larger brick house at 4 Gray Gardens West designed for Eugenia and Francis E. Frothingham in 1922. This latter house has been designated by the Cambridge Historical Commission as having great importance for its site and is called the “best designed house in the square.”

The reputation of “the Firm,” as they were known in Boston, led in 1924 to their being among those architects chosen to contribute to the housing of Mariemont, Ohio, an early planned community designed to serve the needs of workers and commuters in the greater Cincinnati area. The overall plan for what was, in effect, one of the earliest “new towns” in America was the work of John Nolen, a notable Cambridge planner. The plan included a small business district, churches, schools, parks, recreational facilities, and residences arranged on curving streets radiating out from the business center. Overall design control was exercised by Mr. Nolen but several architects contributed to the various building assignments, so that uniformity of design would not be oppressive. The group of seven single and two double houses contributed by Howe and Manning were of rustic limestone in Denny Place. (Warren W. Parks, The Mariemont Story (Cincinnati, Ohio: Creative Writers and Publishers, 1967), p. 75.)

The Denny Place houses were located somewhat apart from the main development of Mariemont. They are attractively arranged around an entrance road which serves all the houses. Since the original plan for Mariemont visualized it as a workers’ community, the houses are much smaller and simpler than those Howe and Manning designed for their private clients in the East. (John Nolen, New Towns for Old (Boston: Marshall Jones Company, 1927), pp. 122-123.) The emphasis here is on maximum comfort at minimum cost. Howe and Manning made use of the native limestone in their design, both to cut cost and to help the “naturalization” of the houses which appear stark and severe in the early photographs. (“Mariemont: A New Town,” Architecture, 54, no. 3 (September 1926), 259.) In spite of the severity of design and the deliberate cost-cutting, Mariemont never became the workers’ Utopia it was planned to be. Today it is a beautifully maintained, somewhat exclusive upper-middle-class suburb of Cincinnati, which still maintains strict design control in order to preserve the harmony of the neighborhood.

In 1926 Miss Mary Almy (Radcliffe 1905, M.I.T. 1920), who had been doing drafting for the firm, was taken into partnership. Her role in the designs produced by the firm is unclear, though it seems evident from existing files that she handled much of then-correspondence and business matters. During the last ten years of the firm’s operations their work continued to be related primarily to renovation and alteration of existing houses, and occasional designs of new houses. The most notable Cambridge house of this period is that designed in 1926 for Mr. Charles Almy Jr., at 111 Coolidge Hill Road. It is described by the Cambridge Historical Commission as being of great importance to its site. They comment particularly on its gable on hip roof treatment and the block modillion cornice. Like the main house, the ell is of brick with a cornice which continues the major treatment of the main block. The projecting vestibule, also of brick, has a handsome Doric entablature.

The post-war period included more than architectural work for Miss Howe. She became president of the Business Women’s Club of Boston during the War and of the M.I.T. Women’s Association shortly afterwards. She also served throughout her career as a member of the Council for the Museum School of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and was an annual “Visitor to the School.” (“Lois Lilley Howe-M.I.T. ’90.”)

Professional association with the American Institute of Architects was accomplished in 1901 for Miss Howe under the gentle guardianship of Robert Swain Peabody, long her mentor and family friend. The Boston Society of Architects refused admission for several years, but finally capitulated in 1916. As a member of the A.I.A. Miss Howe attended many of the organization’s conventions and in 1931 was made a Fellow. Her citation comments on her “strong personality, known to many of her associates, which has in many way indicated the capacity of her sex in the profession of architecture.” (Boston Globe, September 14, 1964: obituary notice.) The citation also comments that she excelled in domestic architectural design, held many positions of honor and responsibility showing high recognition of her attainment. Since Miss Howe was the first woman elevated to the rank of Fellow, the President of the A.I.A., upon making the award, “requested the Committee to escort Miss Howe to the platform. The audience arose and applauded.” (Proceedings of the 64th Annual Convention of the A.I.A., 1931, p. 106. Letter from Mr. George Pettingill, Hon. A.I.A. Librarian Emeritus, September 17, 1974.)

The firm of Howe, Manning, and Almy was unable to survive the impact of the Depression on architecture and disbanded in 1937 when Miss Howe was seventy-three years old. For the remaining twenty-seven years of her life she continued to live and be active in Cambridge. She was a member of the Cambridge Plant Club, the oldest garden club in America, thus continuing a life-long interest in horticulture, of the Old Cambridge Shakespeare Association, and of the Cambridge Historical Society. She wrote and delivered several small papers for the Historical Society, which demonstrate the range of her interests. They cover a variety of topics, from memories of Harvard Square in the seventies and eighties, an evocation of nineteenth-century Cambridge, and a history of Garden Street, to the memorial tributes to her father, Dr. Estes Howe, and to Samuel Atkins Eliot, as well as papers on the Cambridge Plant Club and Old Cambridge trees.

Those elderly residents of Cambridge who remember Miss Howe speak of her with great affection. They comment on her determination, her lack of “fiddle-faddle,” and her eccentricities. Interestingly enough, her reputation as an architect is less widespread. Mrs. Griscom of Fayerweather Street, who had known Miss Howe in the Cambridge Garden Club, had always thought of her as a landscape gardener and was surprised to learn that Miss Howe had designed the neighboring house, the Louis Cornish house. The full account of Miss Howe’s accomplishments and the record of the achievement of Howe, Manning, and Almy must await disposition of the firm’s papers, now in the estate of Eleanor Manning O’Connor. When these papers are made available, it seems likely that an unusually complete record of “the Firm’s” operations will be revealed.

Pending disposition of the papers, it is still possible to assess the design capabilities of this firm using the four available scrapbooks of photographs of clients’ work. These scrapbooks, arranged alphabetically, cover clients’ names from C through R. The album which would cover A-B and thus provide views of the Burrage house is unfortunately missing as are the albums which would cover S-Z. Furthermore, it seems likely that the scrapbooks concentrate heavily on those jobs which were whole-house commissions rather than the numerous alteration and addition contracts undertaken by Miss Howe and her partners. Finally, the scrapbooks never provide full addresses and only rarely a specific date. More detailed identification of the complete list of buildings designed or affected by Howe, Manning, and Almy must await sorting of the office files which include correspondence, billing, and some detailed sketches of individual jobs. Whether any working-drawings or blueprints have survived is as yet unknown.

It is evident from available material that the output of Howe, Manning, and Almy was almost entirely in the field of domestic architecture, with occasional barns, stables, and even an ice-house. The outstanding design characteristic is the reference to a colonial vocabulary, not only in decorative devices, but in the formal arrangement of rooms grouped around a center entrance hallway in the townhouses. Vacation cottages, usually shingled with wide piazzas and swooping rooflines, are clearly intended to be breezier and more informal than their city cousins. Both town and country houses share a common characteristic of decorative restraint, simplicity of conception, attention to natural light, and a generous use of space in the major rooms. One has the impression that much attention was given to such matters as closet space, pantries, bathrooms, kitchen storage, and adequate ventilation. Comfort is never sacrificed to design. The overwhelming impression is not of grandeur, nor of great originality in design, but of a continuing emphasis on ease of living, of good circulation, and of a humane concern for those who would live and work in these houses.

Asterisks indicate accompanying photographs.

Sources: extant scrapbooks; Cambridge Historical Commission [referred to as CHC] files containing information gathered in the survey of all buildings in the city; American Architect and Building News for the Burrage house; Architecture (Sept. 1926) and Walter W. Parks, The Mariemont Story, for Mariemont. [Dates and addresses in square brackets have been supplied from Cambridge directories for the years cited but have not been verified from Miss Howe’s papers.—Ed.]

*Charles Almy Jr., Ill Coolidge Hill Road, Cambridge, 1926-house (CHC)
Mrs. Samuel Batchelder, Hilliard Street, Cambridge, 1910—addition (CHC only)
Beech Lodge Tea Room, Wollaston, Mass.—remodeling
G. G. Bradford, 14 Craigie Street, Cambridge, 1912-house (CHC only)
Mrs. E. Burnett, 33 Elmwood Ave., Cambridge, 1895-addition; 1895-stable; 1898-addition (CHC only)
*Miss A. A. Burrage, 16 Beech Road, Brookline, c. 1905—house

Arthur Astor Carey, [50 Fayerweather Street], Cambridge, [1907-1915]—alterations
Charles Carruth, [16 Fayerweather Street], Cambridge, [post-1917]— attic studio
Edward Channing, Wareham, Mass.—remodelling The Misses Chapman, North Sutton, N.H.—cottage
*Miss Annie B. Chapman, 3 Gray Gardens East, Cambridge, 1923— house (CHC)
Dr. David Cheever, Dedham, Mass.—porch addition
Miss Lucy Coburn, Ipswich, Mass., 1909—house
Thomas H. Collins, Princeton, Mass., 1914—house
Concord Art Association, 1916—remodeling
*Louis C. Cornish, 15 Fayerweather Street, Cambridge, 1916—house (CHC)
Hilda Cunningham and Aimee Alsop [no address given]—greenhouse
Andrew McFarland Davis, York Harbor, Maine—alterations and additions
Charles Henry Davis, South Yarmouth, Mass., c. 1910—studio
Miss Delano, New Bedford, Mass.—remodeling
Rev. E. J. Dennen, Sebago, Maine—ice-house
Mr. William A. Donald, South Yarmouth, Mass.—cottage
Rev. Samuel A. Eliot, 25 Reservoir Street, Cambridge, 1902—alterations
Mr. Howard Elliott, Marlborough Street, Boston—alterations and additions
Mrs. H. C. Ernst, Jamaica Plain, Mass.—additions, sleeping porch
Mrs. Fairchild, 153 Brattle Street, Cambridge, Mass., 1915—dormer window (CHC only)
Mrs. W. G. Farlow, Shelter Island, N.Y.—farmhouse
Miss S. B. Fay, Woods Hole, Mass.—addition
Mr. Augustus H. Fiske, [10 Buckingham Place], Cambridge, [1910-1913]-addition
Miss Flint (no first name) (no address)—apartment
[Elizabeth Folsom, 55 Garden Street], Cambridge, [1911-1923]-alterations
Miss C. H. Foster, Charles River [Needham], Mass.—alterations
Mr. F. Apthorpe Foster, Waquoit, Mass.—cottage
*Mr. Francis E. and Miss Eugenia Frothingham, 4 Gray Gardens West, Cambridge, 1922-house (CHC)
Mr. Francis E. Frothingham, South Yarmouth, Mass.—alterations and moving of house
William Lloyd Garrison, Wianno, Mass.—house
Mr. F. J. Garrison, Pelham Road, Lexington, Mass. 1900—house
E. P. Gibbens, 107 Irving Street, Cambridge, 1904-additions (CHC only)
[Charles Bemis] Gleason, Annisquam, Mass., [1913-1914]—cottage
Elliott H. Goodwin, 24 Highland Street, Cambridge, 1928-alterations (CHC only)
Graves [no first name], [no address]—alterations
Miss Louise P. Greene, North Scituate, Mass—alterations
Mrs. A. M. Griswold, 25 Craigie Street, Cambridge, 1901—alterations (CHC)
Richard W. Hale, Charles River, Mass.—additions and alterations
Richard W. Hall, 11 Hawthorn Street, Cambridge, 1926—move and foundation (CHC only)
Mrs. Edward A. Handy, Barnstable, Mass., [c. 1907]—alterations
Mr. John Goddard Hart, 14 Gray Gardens West, Cambridge, 1924— house (CHC only)
Mr. H. V. Hayes, [6 Channing Street], Cambridge—alterations
Miss Edith deC. Heath, Heath Hill, Brookline, Mass.—house
Miss Edith deC. Heath, Cohasset, Mass., 1910—sleeping porch
Mrs. J. A. Henshaw, Seal Harbor, Maine—cottage
Mrs. J. A. Henshaw, 15 Traill Street, Cambridge, 1898-house (CHC lists first owner as C. H. Henshaw; photographs in scrapbook are clearly house still on site at 15 Traill Street)
Hopkinton, Mass., Town Hall—alterations
Miss Katharine Horsford, 27 Craigie Street, Cambridge, 1910-verandah (CHC only)
Miss Emily Howard, Peterboro, N.H.—cottage
Mrs. James Murray Howe, Milton, Mass.—alterations and garage for “Bobbins Farm”
Mr. James Murray Howe, Milton, Mass.—house
Hunt [no first name], Squam Lake, N.H.—cottage
Miss Amelia Jones, Dublin, N.H.-1916
Miss Amelia Jones, New Bedford, Mass.—alterations
*Mr. Charles W. Kettell, 10 Eliot Road, Lexington, Mass., 1901-house
Kimball (no first name), Bedford, Mass.—alterations
Capt. Frederick Knowlton, Pittsford, N.Y., (pre-1916)-“The Pines,” house
[Margaret?] Lane, Boxford, Mass. 1907—house
Lincoln Memorial Library, Dennisville, Maine
Dr. Loring, Lincoln, Mass.—house
Lyman (picture in the scrapbook is clearly of the Lyman house in Waltham; however, there is no indication of the kind of work Miss Howe did)
Mrs. William H. Manning, Westport, N.Y.—alterations
Mariemont, Ohio—houses
Miss Eleanor G. May, Paris Hill, Maine—cottage Mayflower Club, Boston—alterations
*Mr. G. B. Maynadier, 49 Hawthorn Street, Cambridge, 1900-house (CHC; house is listed as belonging to G. B. Nayadier)
Dr. Herbert Mclntyre, [4 Garden Street], Cambridge—alterations
McLane [no first name], Manchester, N.H.—cottage
Mrs. Charles H. Merrill, Lynn, Mass.—house?
Mr. Henry F. Merrill, 15 Raymond Street, Cambridge, Mass.—house (address and date from newspaper clipping in scrapbook; CHC has not recorded this house)
Dr. Charles S. Millet, East Bridgewater, Mass.—alterations?
[Rev.] R. S. Morison, [17 Farrar Street], Cambridge, [post-1899]-doorway, alterations?
Mr. Robert M. Morse, Falmouth, Mass.—house
Martin Mower, [18 Ash Street], Cambridge, c. 1925—studio addition
Miss Emma Munroe, [17 Traill Street], Cambridge, [1906-1917]-house
Harold Murdock, Chestnut Hill, c. 1908-alterations
Harold Murdock, Danbury, N.H.—alterations to “Fairview,” Murry Hill
Mr. J. J. Myers, Frewsburg, N.Y.—alterations
Samuel F. Needham, Rockford, 111.—house
Mrs. E. H. Newbegin, [55 Brewster Street], Cambridge, [post-1908]-house
Mr. E. B. Newman, 79 Moore Street, Cambridge, 1908—addition (CHC only)
Mr. H. Winthrop Pierce, E. Billerica—house
*Mr. Alfred C. Potter, 1 Kennedy Road, Cambridge, 1894-house (CHC)
Mr. F. Alcott Pratt, Concord, Mass., c. 1905—alterations
Rev. Theodore P. Prudden, Camden, Maine—addition

Mrs. Theodore P. Prudden, Duxbury, Mass.—alterations
Mr. H. L. Rand. Southwest Harbor, Maine—cottage
Mary Reed, Burlington, Vermont—alterations
Roberts [no first name], Concord, Mass.—alterations
[Bernard?] Rothwell, [34] West Cedar Street, Boston, [c. 1921]-alterations?
Mr. John C. Runkle, 8 Willard Street, Cambridge, 1908-moved old house; 1912-addition (CHC)
Mrs. Robert S. Russell, Norfolk, Mass.—alterations
Mrs. Horace E. Scudder, 17 Buckingham Street, Cambridge, 1914— alterations (CHC only)
Henry Munson Spelman, 48 Brewster Street, Cambridge, 1910—alterations? (CHC only)
Henry C. Stetson, 128 Brattle Street, Cambridge, 1906-additions and alterations (CHC only)
J. H. Thayer, 8 Berkeley Street, Cambridge, 1913—additions and alterations (CHC only)
Horatio S. White, 29 Reservoir Street [originally at 1 Reservoir Street], Cambridge, 1903-alterations (CHC only)


Brown, Frank C. “Exterior Plaster Construction.” Architectural Review, 14 (1907). Illustrations of Burrage house in Brookline, Mass., appear on pages 1 and 7-8.

Cambridge Chronicle. September 17, 1964. Obituary notice.

Cummin, Hazel. “On Moving Old Houses.” House Beautiful, 64, no. 11 (August 1928), pp. 158-159, 202-207.

“House of Mrs. A. A. Burrage, Beech Road, Brookline, Mass.” American Architect and Building News, 88 (1905), p. 24, plate 1542.

Howe, Lois Lilley. “An Architectural Monograph: The Colonel Robert Means House at Amherst, New Hampshire.” New York: R. F. White-head, 1927. White Pine Series of Architectural Monographs, vol. 13, no. 5.

———-. Details from Old New England Houses. Measured and Drawn by Lois L. Howe and Constance Fuller. New York: Architectural Book Publishing Co., 1913.

———-. “Serving Pantries in Small Houses.” Architectural Review, vol. 14, no. 3 (March 1907).

Seamans, Warren (Director, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Historical Collections). Interviews, February 10 and 18, 1974.

Other unsorted material relevant to further study of Howe, Manning, and Almy. Cambridge Historical Society: slides of buildings

Correspondence between Minerva Parker and Lois Lilley Howe, now in possession of Adelaide Baker, daughter of Minerva Parker, in Westport, Conn.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Historical Collections: Miss Howe’s scrapbooks; Howe, Manning, and Almy papers (being sorted and catalogued by Miss Gail Morse)

Architectural League of New York: May 1977 show on women architects included work by Miss Howe

Articles by Miss Howe, unrelated to her architectural practice, in the Publications of the Cambridge Historical Society:

“The Cambridge Plant Club.” Vol. 35, p. 17.
“Cambridge Trees.” Vol. 33, p. 94.
“The Centenary of the Cambridge Book Club.” Vol. 28, p. 105.
“Fifty-five Garden Street.” Vol. 25, p. 95.
“Harvard Square in the ‘Seventies and ‘Eighties.” Vol. 30, p. 11.
“How Cambridge People Used to Travel.” Vol. 24, p. 27.
“Marie Denny Fay’s Letters from England, 1851-1852.” Vol. 32, p. 7.
“Memories of Nineteenth Century Cambridge.” Vol. 34, p. 59.
“The Story of a Lost Brook.” Vol. 31, p. 44.
“A Tribute to Samuel Atkins Eliot.” Vol. 34, p. 125.