Orchard Avenue Area

The Orchard Avenue Area was documented by the Weston Historical Commission in 1998 and includes the following properties:
  • 59, 65, 74, 80, 86, 92, 100, 115, 119, 140, 147, 164, 165 Orchard Avenue
  • 99 Oxbow Road
  • 136 Ridgeway Road
To see the original 1998 Area form, including data sheets and photographs, view the Orchard Avenue Area Form.
About the Area
Orchard Avenue is a narrow, curvilinear former estate road, now a private road, which runs through a quiet, secluded neighborhood in the southeast corner of Weston. This neighborhood is the core of a former estate and includes many of the estate buildings set within a naturalistic landscape enhanced by protected open space maintained as meadow. The area delineated by this area form encompasses over 50 acres with only 16 houses, among them the highly significant Shingle Style mansion of the estate owner, Charles Townsend Hubbard, along with a group of surviving frame outbuildings now converted to residential use and houses built over the years by Hubbard family members.
Ridgehurst was constructed in 1883 by Charles Townsend Hubbard
The area has no common architectural theme. All the houses are completely different, tied together, not by any common design thread but by their history and association with the Hubbard family that established the estate. The diverse group of 1 to 2 1/2 story buildings, clad in clapboard, shingle, brick and stucco, have designs ranging from Colonial to Shingle Style to English Tudor and Colonial Revival and are often sited with special attention to topographical and landscape features. Many of these buildings are early examples of “adaptive reuse,” as they are former outbuildings that have been moved and/or converted to residences. The family willingness to move buildings reached a high point in the 1920s, when 1 family member moved an 18th century house from its original location in Newmarket, New Hampshire.

Charles Townsend Hubbard Farmhouse

For his 1st 15 years in Weston, Charles Townsend Hubbard lived in the 18th century Slack farmhouse located between Orchard Avenue and Intervale Road near the Boston and Albany railroad tracks, which form one of the boundaries of the neighborhood. The Slack farmhouse has since been demolished; however, the playhouse / guest house at 100 Orchard Avenue (MHC 381, Map #6) is reported to have been a later wing from that house, moved from its original location.
In the 1870s and early 1880s, Charles Townsend Hubbard’s older daughters were married and built their own country houses in Weston in the vicinity of the Slack farmhouse. Louisa Hubbard Jackson’s house from the mid-1870’s has been demolished but the small 1 1/2 story mansard-roofed farmer’s cottage remains to the rear of the property numbered 100 Orchard Avenue (Map #7). Anne Hubbard Davis and her husband, Bancroft, built 59 Orchard Avenue (1882, MHC 615, Map #20). This well-preserved 2 1/2 story frame Queen Anne house and its associated outbuildings are not visible from the street because of extensive vegetative screening.
A red house at 59 Orchard Avenue
Ridgehurst House
The most significant house in the area, both historically and architecturally, is the Charles Townsend Hubbard House, “Ridgehurst,” at 80 Orchard Avenue (1881-3, MHC 378, Map #1) Designed by Boston architect Francis Chandler, this was one of the 1st estate mansions in Weston and one of the few to exemplify this level of detail.

The architectural quality and intact exterior and interior features make this the most outstanding example of the Shingle Style in Weston. The setting and landscaping features are also outstanding. According to family tradition, Frederick Law Olmsted was consulted on the original landscaping. The formal “Italian gardens” were designed by Olmsted Brothers in 1912. The house itself is 2 1/2 stories, with a gable front main block and a gable front north wing. The 1st level is constructed of rock-faced ashlar pink granite blocks of random size, with tooled joints. Brownstone is used for window lintels and trim. Upper levels are shingled.

115 & 119 Orchard Avenue
Several frame outbuildings from the estate have been converted for residential use. The caretaker’s house at 115 Orchard Avenue (late 19th c., MHC 614, Map #18) is a modest 1 1/2 story, gable-front clapboard cottage which could be termed Queen Anne but is probably more accurately described as vernacular in style. Directly adjacent at 119 Orchard Avenue (late 19th c., MHC 613, Map #17) is an asymmetrical shingle and clapboard frame building which originally served as the hired mens’ boarding house and garage for the estate. The massing and fenestration of this building is completely utilitarian. Facing the street is a gambrel-front section with fieldstone terrace. Adjacent on the same property is a 1 1/2 story, 3-bay, side-gable, vernacular frame clapboard outbuilding known as “The Forge” (late 19th c, MHC 612, Map #16). Now used as a guest house, the interior includes the original blacksmith’s bellows and forge.

Pump House
The most finely crafted of the remaining Hubbard outbuildings is the small, 1-story Pump House, located on the property which is now 136 Ridgeway (pump house is late 19th century, MHC 611, Map #14). Solidly constructed of the same pink granite as the main house, the pump house has a “saltbox” roof and wide overhanging eaves with show rafters.

74 Orchard Avenue
Sometime around 1910, Charles Townsend Hubbard’s son, Charles Wells Hubbard, added a billiard wing to the back of “Ridgehurst,” a change that may have inspired the re-landscaping and “Italian Garden” project. In later years, C. W. Hubbard decided that 80 Orchard Avenue was too large for changing lifestyles and removed this wing, converting it to a separate house nearby at 74 Orchard Avenue (MHC 608, Map #2).

The asymmetrical, 2-story house has stucco on the 1st floor and shingles above. The most prominent feature of the 1st floor is a large polygonal bay window. The roofline is complex but has, as its main feature, a “saltbox” shaped gable, the top of which projects out and is supported on brackets. Design features of this house are similar to those at 153 Ridgeway, just outside the Orchard Avenue Area, which was formerly the servants wing of “Ridgehurst” and was also removed from the main house and moved to its present location.

164 Orchard Avenue
About 1912, Charles Wells Hubbard’s daughter, Elizabeth, married John Forsyth Meigs, and the couple built the Colonial Revival mansion at 164 Orchard Avenue (1912, MHC 610, Map #10). This handsome example of the Colonial Revival displays the symmetrical fenestration, hip roof, and 5-bay, center entrance plan associated with so many examples of this style. The 2 1/2 story clapboard house has 12/12 window sash, large brick chimneys at each end, a large dormer across the front, and a “widow’s walk” roof balustrade.

Barnstable House
About the time of World War I, Charles Wells Hubbard converted a barn and stable on one of the Orchard Avenue parcels to a residence for himself and his wife that was smaller and more convenient than “Ridgehurst.” “Barnstable House” at 140 Orchard Avenue (late 19th c./1919, MHC 609, Map #9) has an asymmetrical, picturesque rambling quality which reflects its origin as farm buildings and is reminiscent of the English country style popular at that time. The exterior material is stucco. On the north-facing side, the building is 1 1/2 stories and can be seen at a distance through a break in the trees. On the south side, the change of grade creates an extra story at the lower level. The building has numerous chimneys, irregularly spaced.
Lt. John Burleigh House
In 1922-23, C.W.Hubbard’s daughter, Anne, and her husband, antique dealer Edward C. Wheeler, dismantled the mid-18th century Lt. John Burleigh house in Newmarket, New Hampshire and reassembled it on its present site at 100 Orchard Avenue (MHC 380, Map #5). Although not original to this location, the 2-story, hip-roofed Georgian mansion ranks as one of the most important examples of Georgian architecture in Weston. Interior features, which have been preserved completely intact, include complete walls of Georgian-style paneling, corner cupboards, interior shutters, French scenic wallpaper and Dutch tiles.
The mid-18th century house at 100 Orchard Avenue
Orchard Avenue Area Map
Orchard Avenue Area map