Painting of Durant-Kenrick House

Durant-Kenrick House Goes Green


For Immediate Release
For Information Contact
Peter Dimond, (617) 332-4063

Durant-Kenrick House Goes Green

(Newton, MA September 21, 2012) Historic Newton's work to transform the historic 1734 Durant- Kenrick House and Grounds on Waverly Avenue to an education center is going green, in a most visible way, starting next week as crews begin painting the house the historic color “verdigris”—a bright green. “Although the color will appear to be unusual by today's standards,” Historic Newton Director Cindy Stone said, “it is an honest representation of the earliest color our team could determine was painted on the house in 1800. It is the same color used by George Washington in one of the interior rooms at Mt. Vernon.”

Historic Newton employed a team of historic paint experts to examine the house using a host of ultraviolet light, microscope, and chemical processes. Stone added, “We don't know why the owners chose this unusual color. Because it is made in part from copper, it had to be more costly that other paints. Perhaps they were keeping with the tradition of the house as being ahead of its time….as one of the earliest examples of Georgian houses in the New England colonies.” The trim colors are tan and the doors are black.

One of the oldest houses in the City, the Durant-Kenrick House, located on Waverley Avenue at Kenrick Street, was the long-time residence of the Durant family who served on the Committee of Correspondence, marched against the British at Lexington and Concord, owned slaves, and worked a huge farm on what is now called Farlow Hill. Throughout much of the 1800s, it was the home of the Kenrick family, who created one of the earliest and largest commercial nursery operations in New England, and introduced the Bosc pear to the nation.

Historic Newton took ownership of the home from the Durant Homestead Foundation, a family foundation that offered the home and surrounding land to Historic Newton eight years ago. Since that time, Historic Newton has worked to plan, organize, and develop a capital campaign to raise money to transform the home into an exciting education center. In supporting the Durant-Kenrick project, the City of Newton provided $2.8 million in Community Preservation Funds, with more than $2.1 million in additional funds provided by residents, foundations, granting agencies ,and corporate sponsors.

Stone said, “We're developing a vibrant educational center that focuses on Newton's social, political, economic, and horticultural history and includes a great many compelling programs and activities that connect the lessons of the past to the issues our citizens and government face every day.”

The Durant-Kenrick House and Grounds is expected to be open and fully operational in the Spring of 2013.

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