Monday, March 21, 2016

Alice Pearmain's "Four Winds"


"Igor's Mansion" aka "The Four Winds", the house that Alice Pearmain built on the side of the mountain.

This concrete house was built on the side of Nobscot mountain at the turn of the 20th century by Alice Upton Pearmain. It was demolished so don't go looking for it.

Alice Pearmain went to school at Wellesley college (class of 1883). Back then, she was known as Alice Upton. In 1886, she became Alice Pearmain as she married Sumner Pearmain of Boston, a banker and broker. Alice was the mother of four children. Her oldest son, William Robert Pearmain, was a painter. Apparently, he was good buddy with George de Forest Brush.

The house was designed by Alice Pearmain herself and built by Benj. A. Howes, Engineer.


Blueprints of Alice Pearman's house in Framingham. From "Concrete country residences" By "Atlas Portland Cement Company".


Ad for Benjamin Howes featuring the Pearmain house in "Country Life" of September 1908.


Short biographies for the Pearmains in "Who's who in America", Volume 11, 1920-21.

In the above article, we learn that "Four Winds" was located on Wayside Inn Road and that it was inhabited, at least, part-time. That concrete house was featured in architectural magazines as some kind of wonder of the modern world. Surely, somebody out there knows the why of its demise. Concrete houses are fairly common in old Europe but failed to catch on in the US, probably because wood is widely available, easy to work on, and quite cheap. Here, it seems that they (the designer and builder) might have a gone a tad overboard and used a little bit too much of the concrete.

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