Richards, Ellen H. Swallow, House

32 Eliot St., Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts


Street View 


From 1876 to 1911, this was the home of Ellen H. Swallow Richards (1842-1911), whose pioneering work in sanitary engineering and experimental research in domestic science widened professional opportunities for women in the sciences and laid a foundation for the new science of home economics. Following the purchase of this house, Richards and her husband undertook systematic remodeling efforts, including the water supply system, the sewage system, and the heating and ventilation systems, that reflected her concerns as an early environmental scientist. These domestic reforms contributed to the replacement of the cluttered and decorative Victorian dwelling with the compact and efficient modern bungalow as the American dream house. -- National Historic Landmark statement of significance, March 31, 1992

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on March 31, 1992
Reference number
Architectural style
Victorian: Italianate
Areas of significance
Education; Engineering; Health/Medicine; Invention; Science; Social History
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; B - Person
Property type
Historic functions
Single dwelling; Research facility
Current function
Single dwelling
Periods of significance
1875-1899; 1900-1924
Significant years
1890; 1908

Update Log 

  • January 28, 2017: New Street View added by Brian Bartlett