As a poultry dealer at Fanuiel Hall in Boston, Henry Swan might have sold chickens. But he was no chicken when it came to building this massive 1884 home in Arlington, Mass.
When it was completed, the Arlington Advocate wrote on its front page of its November 9, 1888: “The beautiful home occupies a sightly situation and is an ornament to the street. It is heated by steam and fitted with all modern conveniences. It has a large hall and roomy staircase … quaint and pleasant in design.”
With its current vivid color, the late Victorian house is still a stately presence along Mass Ave., the main drag in Arlington.
The Swan house served as a funeral home as early as 1916, and now houses other businesses.
Many original details are still intact, including the polygonal corner tower, and this lion-headed support console.
It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985. At the time of its nomination, it had beveled glass its windows in doors, stained glass windows, Italian marble fireplaces, and mahogany paneled doors and woodwork. We hope that’s all still true.