William and Frances Emerson

Frances Emerson, the daughter of noted financier William August White, was given the house as a Christmas present from her father. Legend has it that she found the deed to the house in the toe of her Christmas stocking. Her husband William was an architect, and to document the historic building, William had measured drawings made in 1932. He served as Dean of MIT’s School of Architecture from 1919 to 1939, overseeing much educational innovation and introducing courses in City Planning. Francis and William died in 1957, and she left the house to the Cambridge Historical Society, which has owned it since.