The Mary Prentiss is an exquisitely restored Greek Revival inn located within walking distance of Harvard Square.
Built in 1843 by renowned architect William A. Saunders, the house was a wedding gift to Saunders’s son William and his son’s wife Mary Prentiss.
In 1991, the building was purchased by my clients, the husband and wife team of artist Charlotte Forsythe and architect Gerald Fandetti. Although it had fallen into tremendous disrepair, the Fandetti/Forsythe family meticulously restored the home to its former grandeur, with all the modern amenities expected of a great hotel experience.
Beginning in 2012, I began renovating the gardens to reflect the Inn’s uniquely elegant and charming character. Set on a quiet street, the front dooryard gardens are planted with a whimsical intermingling of colorful and fragrant flowers.
In early spring the gardens burst into bloom with scented narcissus and tulips flowering in an array of watercolor hues. Ajacent to the front door of the annex, we planted a wonderfully fragrant antique cultivar of Magnolia soulangeana that flowers a bit later than most magnolias and is therefore not typically affected by a late season frost.
Wildflowers of the Americas are planted in early summer—sunflowers, cleome, monarda, Brazilian verbena, zinnias, and Nicotiana—to name only a few. By midsummer the annuals are spilling forth in an array of vibrant hues and delicious scents.
The Mary Prentiss is truly one of the most elegant inns in the Boston and Cambridge area. The rooms are beautifully appointed, and made to order breakfasts and daily afternoon tea (with homemade cookies and teacakes) are served in the hotel’s lovely dining room. During the warmer months, the Inn’s lush and private enclosed courtyard garden around back is open to guests. Visit the Inn’s website at The Mary Prentiss Inn for more information.
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From the Inn’s front porch you can see people hurriedly marching down Massachusetts Avenue. The garden at the Inn catches their eye and they’ll stop and look down Prentiss Street. They will change course and walk over to visit the garden, often stopping long enough to take a few snapshot!
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The New Garden ~ Planting Bulbs and Boxwoods, Autumn 2012
The Mary Prentiss Inn is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is the proud recipient of the Massachusetts Historical Commission Preservation Award for 1995.