Inside the Architecture: Kidder-Sargent House


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Also known as the Kidder-Sargent-McCrehan House, it is still an active residential home in its original location on 146 Rindge Avenue with almost no alterations to its original architecture.

Nathaniel Kidder built the house in 1792 on the land his family owned since 1706 in North Cambridge. The house was built with wood frame and clapboard for the exterior wall. On the second floor, they built federal style windows. There was a garage, which in the 1800s was referred to as an outbuilding. The original land the house was built on was less than an acre and built sideways on the lot, so the front door faced east.  

Solomon Sargent bought the house in 1835 and sold most of the farmland around it. In the 1840s, North Cambridge’s residential community grew significantly. Sargent sold the house and its current lot size to Jeremiah McCrehan in 1867.  McCrehan’s family owned the house until 1940. The only remodeling the house received was in the 1920s when shingles were added to the roof and one of the walls was restored.

The architect of the Kidder-Sargent House remains unknown. However, the house is an example of a Georgian style. This style originated in England, but became popular in New England in the 1700s. Kidder-Sargent House, like all Georgian houses of the time, had four rooms with a central hallway and chimney. Kidder-Sargent House is on the larger side, so it was built with two chimneys.

England adopted this architectural style from Italy. These Georgian homes were the last attempt at Renaissance influence for England. In New England, the style was new; and many of the Georgian characteristics, like the small decks on roofs, was a status symbol and not used to look out at sea.

During the 18th century, North Cambridge had Georgian houses scattered all around. These houses all had pointed or gambrel roofs and mainly faced south. Kidder-Sargent House is only one of four to remain today. Rindge Avenue was named Kidder Lane before the residential community grew in North Cambridge.

Kidder-Sargent-McCrehan House is the oldest standing house in North Cambridge with almost all its original characteristics. The house was voted into the National Register in 1977.