Henry Hobson Richardson (1838-1886)

H. H. Richardson, Architect, of "Richardsonian Romanesque"

Associated Houses

St. Joseph Plantation




Gratwick House


He was born in Vacherie, Louisiana, at the St. Joseph Plantation which then belonged to his maternal grandfather - a son of Joseph Priestley who is famous for discovering oxygen. Richardson was educated at Harvard and the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. On returning to the States in 1865 he established himself as an architect, first in New York and then in Brookline, Massachusetts. He was broadly inspired by the architecture of the Middle Ages, particularly the Romanesque style of the 11th and 12th centuries common in the South of France. Favoring the use of heavy stone of varying hues, shapes, and textures, his style was frequently replicated over the last three decades of the 19th century and became known as "Richardsonian Romanesque". 

In January, 1867, he married Julia Gorham Hayden, the sister of his Harvard classmate David Hyslop Hayden. When they settled in Brookline in 1874, they rented the Samuel Gardner Perkins House. They were the parents of five children. 
Contributed by Mark Meredith on 01/03/2019 and last updated on 04/08/2020.