When it comes to antique homes, architecture is the initial striking element of attraction. That’s certainly true of the beautiful blue house near the corner of Central and Summer streets in Somerville. This lovingly preserved turn-of-the-century Queen Anne home is on both the National Register of Historic Places and was the winner of a Somerville Historic Preservation Award both in 1998 and 2011.
But then, there’s history, too. Who lived there? This house is known as the Edward Crane House, begging the question that even the supposedly mighty Google can’t answer:?Who was Edward Crane?
“I Google[d] him and still did not find anything,” says listing agent Patricia Ng.
Ed Crane, man of mystery?
“Its primary significance is architectural, having been designed by prominent architects Loring and Phipps. I note that no research was done about the owners or inhabitants of the house at the time it was submitted,” says Kristenna P. Chase, Preservation Planner for Somerville’s Historic Preservation Commission.
An electronic version of the original Massachusetts Historical Commission survey document, dating from the 1980s, lists the house as built in 1895, with no alterations, and designed by George F. Loring. But the Historical Significance section of the MHC survey, which is where the role owners played in local or state history would become clear, is blank. Boston’s most famous Edward Crane was MLB player Cannonball Crane, but he died two years before the house was built. Old City of Somerville records note the owner as Mrs. Alice Crane, widow of Wesley C. Crane who established the Crane & Woods Insurance Company in 1868, who lived there with her son Henry.
As for Edward, he’s lost in history.
152 Summer St., Somerville
Open house: Sunday,
8 a.m.-noon, 1-2 p.m.
Listing price: $899,900
Listing agent: Patricia Ng, 781-856-0992
This 4,032-square-foot home, with six beds and two and a half baths, has a third-floor in-law apartment in the attic. The dining room’s chandelier is included in the sale.