Austin and Amelia White

Austin and Amelia White purchased the house in 1916. The grandson of George and Susan Nichols and a successful mining executive, he bought the property “not for his own occupancy, but…largely for sentimental reasons.” He had been born in it, grew up in it, and perhaps wished to rescue it.

He hired the well-known preservation architect Joseph Everett Chandler to enlarge and remodel the house “in order to embody all the requirements of comfort of a modern family in the neighborhood.” One reason was clearly preservation; a second must have been to render it equal to the other houses on fashionable Brattle Street. White, a member of the Bostonian Society, further demonstrated his identification with the property and its historic significance by placing a bronze plaque on a gate post, which designated it as the Nichols House and dated it, incorrectly, to a quarter of a century earlier than it had actually been built.