The Bellevue House of Roxbury was built in 1835 on what was then called Bellevue Terrace – now called Linwood Square. The house was built in the Greek Revival style that was popular during this period. Back Bay (literally a bay at this point) and the South End (a salt marsh) were still part of the town of Roxbury. The earliest recorded land transaction is on May 22, 1833 from Rev. Eliphalet Porter to Albert Brewer who built the house using the traditional over-build post and beam construction. In 1837, Brewer sold to William Minott, Esq. the property “with a new dwelling house thereon called Bellevue House.” Minott holds this property in trust for Adam Stewart who lives in the house with his “illegitimate wife and seven illegitimate children” until his death in 1842. There was a barn, stables, greenhouse and carriage house with an entrance drive off Bellevue Tearrace at that time.
Much of the land in the front of the house was eliminated in 1860 when Centre Street was widened for trolley tracks and much of the house was renovated to accommodate the change. and the address of the house changed to Centre Street. Before the trolley tracks, there was a wrap around porch in the front of the house leading to the garden which allowed formal entry from what is now the side of the house. This explains why this side of the house has a formal side with the full pilasters and Greek revival details that is absent from the other side. The renovations included additions to what is now the front entry – including a bracketed overhang above the front porch and the awkward steps that were improved upon in 1980.
Based on the structural clues, the second floor of the house had 5 bedrooms (chambers) – four in each corner each with fireplaces, and one in the front center without a fireplace. In the mid 1970’s, the second floor was remodeled to create a huge “rustic” space that is now the great room of the rental apartment. This space was used for band practice and recording for local rock groups including Aerosmith.
Currently the building is owned by Lisa Berger and Edward Blank and is set up as a 2 family with 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms in the house. Much of the original land is available making it a truly unique property with vast outdoor space.