Longfellow House - Washington's Headquarters National Historic Site
OVERVIEW: About this audio-described brochure
Welcome to the audio-described version of Longfellow House-Washington's Headquarters National Historic Site's official print brochure. Through text and audio descriptions of photos, illustrations, and maps, this version interprets the two-sided color brochure that Longfellow House-Washington's Headquarters National Historic Site visitors receive. The brochure explores the history of the park, some of its highlights, and information for planning your visit. This audio version lasts about 34 minutes, which we have divided into 25 sections, as a way to improve the listening experience. Sections 1-12 cover the front of the brochure and include information regarding the residence of the Longfellow Family, the Washington's Headquarters period, and an overview of the house's usage in timeline form. Sections 13-25 cover the back of the brochure, which consists of information on Henry Longfellow's career as a poet and professor, prominent visitors to the family, and visit planning. Other highlights include images of the house, collection, and people related to the site.
OVERVIEW: Longfellow House - Washington's Headquarters National Historic Site
Longfellow House-Washington's Headquarters National Historic Site, located in Massachusetts, is part of the National Park Service, within the Department of the Interior. The 1.98 acre park is situated in the city of Cambridge, near Harvard Square and overlooking the Charles River. This park, established in 1972, conserves the house, which served as George Washington's headquarters during the Siege of Boston and later the home of nineteenth century America's most famous poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Each year, more than 50,000 visitors come to enjoy the unique experiences that only can be had at Longfellow House-Washington's Headquarters National Historic Site. We invite you to explore the park's historic house and landscape. Throughout the summer, the site frequently offers concerts, poetry readings, and other special events. To find out more about what resources might be available or to contact the park directly, visit the "Accessibility" and "More Information" sections at the end of this audio-described brochure.
OVERVIEW: Front side of brochure
The front of the brochure includes text, photographs of the house, and portraits. From left to right are a large image of the front of the historic house, a portrait of Henry Longfellow, text describing the history of the house under the ownership of the Longfellow Family, an image of the parlor, a painting showing the parlor, a painting showing an imagined version of Martha Washington's arrival at headquarters, a portrait of George Washington in his military uniform, and text explaining the Washington's headquarters period. Descriptions of these images and the text are presented under their own sections.
IMAGE: Longfellow House
DESCRIPTION: A large, two-story yellow house, in the Georgian style, seen from outside a gate. The house has symmetrical windows and decoration, with a large white front door at the center. Two white pilasters flank the door and two more define the outside edges of the facade. Above the door is a window with an American flag on a short pole. On each side of the house are four windows, arranged two over two. All the windows have twelve panes and are painted white with dark green shutters. Above the second story is a tall roof with two dormer windows and a triangular pediment centered above the front door. Along the edge of the roof and surrounding the triangular pediment is a decorative dentil molding edge. The top of the roof has a flatter pitch surrounded by a short white balustrade railing. Two large yellow chimneys rise above the dormers. A porch with white columns is barely visible on each side of the house. In front of the house, centered on the front door, is a series of twelve steps--three sets of four steps and a landing. A straight gravel path flanked by lawn leads to the steps. The fence and gate in the foreground is painted dark grey with a diamond lattice pattern. The house is framed with two lush trees and the sky is open above its roof.CAPTION: The Longfellow House today.
IMAGE: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
DESCRIPTION: Oil portrait of young man, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, from his shoulders up, angled slightly away from the viewer. He is clean-shaven and has wavy brown hair cut to ear-length and blue eyes. He is pale in complexion, with rosy cheeks and an intense gaze that looks straight out at the audience. He wears a high white collar, wrapped in a black cravat, and dark brown coat, which blends into the medium brown mottled background of the painting.
CAPTION: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow portrait by C.G. Thompson, 1840.
TEXT: The Vassall-Craigie-Longfellow House
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once wrote that “all houses wherein men have lived and died are haunted houses. . . .” If we could summon the ghosts of the Vassall-Craigie-Longfellow House, we would see men and women who have given shape and substance to our world. For two centuries this was a family home, but it was also a celebrated gathering place for singers and soldiers, politicians and poets. Its story encompasses America’s fight for independence, the efforts to create a national identity through literature, and the endeavors by one family to preserve and share the treasures of many nations.
In 1843, when Longfellow and his bride Fanny Appleton became the owners of 105 Brattle Street in Cambridge, they were already well-acquainted with its illustrious history. The Georgian-style mansion overlooking the Charles River was built in 1759 for John Vassall, a merchant and ardent loyalist. The house stood among other magnificent estates belonging to fellow elites, friends, and relatives. In 1774, the Vassalls joined their neighbors in fleeing the insurgency preceding the American Revolution.
In July 1775 Gen. George Washington arrived in Cambridge to take command of the fledgling Continental Army, which was laying siege to British-occupied Boston. He chose the large and strategically located Vassall house as his headquarters. Here Washington welcomed his wife Martha to their first wartime home, received dignitaries and fellow patriots, plotted strategy with his generals, and celebrated the evacuation of the British army from Boston in March 1776.
Andrew Craigie, the Continental Army's first Apothecary General, bought the house in 1791, set about increasing its grandeur and size, and married Elizabeth Shaw in 1793. Lavish living and failed investments plunged them into debt, leaving Elizabeth to take in boarders after her husband's death. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, a young Harvard professor and up-and-coming poet, began renting two rooms in 1837. “They were once George Washington’s chambers,” he marveled to a friend. The house again became a social center, this time for Longfellow’s circle of friends and colleagues.
In July 1843 Longfellow married Fanny Appleton. Her father Nathan Appleton, a wealthy textile manufacturer, presented Castle Craigie to the couple as a wedding gift. The Longfellows thrived in the stimulating environment of Cambridge. Henry left his teaching position at Harvard to devote full time to writing and scholarship. Fanny was a gracious hostess and perceptive critic of art and literature who shared in her husband’s many activities. Throughout their lives the Longfellows and their five children—Charles, Ernest, Alice, Edith, and Anne—cherished their piece of tangible history. They filled their days with learning and their home with evidence of travels, personal interests, and intellectual pursuits.
In 1913 the Longfellow House Trust was established by the children of Henry and Fanny Longfellow to preserve their family home and open it to the public. The site was donated to the National Park Service in 1972. We invite you to explore this extraordinary house and to meet the people whose indelible spirits remain.
TEXT: To a Child quote
"Once, ah, once, within these walls,
One whom memory oft recalls,
The Father of his Country, dwelt.
And yonder meadows broad and damp
The fires of the besieging camp
Encircled with a burning belt."
– From "To a Child" by Henry W. Longfellow, 1845
IMAGE: Longfellow Parlor
DESCRIPTION: This modern view of the Parlor interior looks across the room at an angle, with two walls within view. When viewing the photo, the wall on the left is white paneled wood, with a light grey marble fireplace in the center. The wood paneling is highly decorated with architectural elements. Above the fireplace are decorative pilasters holding up a triangular broken pediment complete with thick dentil molding. This same dentil molding runs around the room at the top of the wall. To the right of the fireplace in the center of the photo, is a recessed, arched alcove. The second wall on the right of photo is covered in highly decorative wallpaper with pink and green floral medallions on a light beige background. A large oil painting in a thick gold frame dominates the wall, depicting a boy and girl in colonial clothing. The boy stands, wearing a tan coat, waistcoat, and breeches to the knee. The girl sits, wearing a white floor-length dress with a pink sash, and places her hand on a dog next to her lap.
The floor is covered in wall-to-wall carpet, a reproduction, with a large-scale white, red, and green floral pattern on a black background.
The room is furnished with tables, couches, and upholstered chairs.
A four-branch chandelier with gold structure and white frosted shades hangs from the ceiling at the center of the room.
CAPTION: The parlor is the most elegant room in the house and was used as a drawing room by both Martha Washington and Fanny Longfellow.
TEXT: Washington’s Home and Headquarters
Even at the height of his fame, Longfellow never felt slighted when visitors came to his door asking to see “Washington’s Headquarters.” Longfellow took pride in the legendary status of his house. Decisions and alliances made here would ultimately lead to freedom from Great Britain and the beginnings of the new nation.
George Washington took command of the Continental Army in July 1775, shortly after the first shots of the Revolution were fired. When he arrived in Cambridge to set up his headquarters, he faced a bleak prospect. The mostly young and inexperienced army of nearly 20,000 officers and militiamen had no tents, blankets, or gunpowder, and lacked many necessary items. They faced smallpox, dysentery and New England's bitterly cold winter. “The reflection on my situation and that of my army produces many an unhappy hour when all around me are wrapped in sleep,” Washington wrote. “I have often thought how much happier I should have been if . . . I had taken my musket upon my shoulder and entered the ranks.”
Washington and his officers were determined to get matters on course and met frequently in the room that later became Longfellow’s study. Washington was also busy consulting with a long list of friends and dignitaries including Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Benedict Arnold, and the chiefs of several American Indian tribes. Celebrated African American poet Phillis Wheatley was invited to visit after Washington received inspiring verse from her.
Martha Washington arrived at headquarters in December 1775, after a month-long journey from Virginia and a political controversy while in Philadelphia. Her son, daughter-in-law, and enslaved servants from Mount Vernon joined her in transforming headquarters into a home. Establishing a precedent for the rest of the war, she provided inspiration to the men and acted as a trusted advisor, confidant, and source of emotional support for the commander.
IMAGE: George Washington
DESCRIPTION: Waist-length painted portrait of George Washington in his Continental Army uniform, standing outside in front of a large tree. He wears a dark blue coat with metal buttons and yellow trim. His coat has gold epaulets on the shoulders with three stars. The coat is worn over a yellow waistcoat, or vest, and a white shirt. The top four buttons are unbuttoned, showing a white ruffled cravat, knotted at the throat. In the foreground of the painting, Washington holds the golden hilt of a sword and a tricorn hat in his right hand. He has white hair with a high hairline, which is pulled back at his neck. His brow is clear and prominent, his cheeks are ruddy and he looks at the viewer. Behind Washington's shoulder are two men, probably the artist and his brother, wearing black tricorn hats and carrying muskets. In the background, a group of five soldiers gather around a distant tree, wearing uniform blue coats and white pants, carrying muskets and a blue flag.
CAPTION: George Washington portrait by James Peale, ca. 1787
IMAGE: Lady Washington's Arrival at Headquarters, Cambridge
DESCRIPTION: Oil painting in bleak, grey winter tones. In the background, a small crowd of people gathers around a stopped carriage in front of a large two-story house. Two female figures appear to have just exited the coach. They stand facing a tall man in a blue coat and buff breeches, presumably George Washington.
In front of the house appears to be a broad lawn surrounded by a circular drive, very different from the modern image of the Longfellow House. A group of men, some carrying muskets, stand on the lawn. Five muskets are stacked together in a triangular shape behind them.
The coach is pulled by six horses, three of which are ridden by black men in uniforms of red coats and white pants. Two black men in the same uniform sit mounted on horseback on the circular drive. These are likely enslaved men.
The house is seen at a slight angle, showing the symmetrical front facade and the side of the house with a roofed porch with white columns.
CAPTION: "Lady Washington's Arrival at Headquarters, Cambridge." by Howard Pyle, 1896.
CREDIT: Boston Public Library
TIMELINE: The house through the years
1759: Built in Georgian style for Major John Vassall Jr. Vassall family occupies house until 1774.
1775 to 1776: Home and headquarters of General George Washington, commander of the Continental Army.
1791 to 1819: Estate of Andrew and Elizabeth Craigie. Andrew dies in 1819.
1819 to 1841: Widow Elizabeth Craigie rents out extra rooms; Henry W. Longfellow boards here, 1837 to 1843.
1843 to 1882: Home of Henry and Fanny Longfellow and family. Fanny dies in 1861; Henry in 1882.
1882 to 1950: House continues to be occupied by daughter Alice Longfellow and other family members.
1883: Longfellow Park created on family property as a public park and memorial to Henry W. Longfellow.
1913: Longfellow House Trust established by surviving children. House opens to public in the 1920s.
1972: Site included in National Park System; 2011 name changes to include Washington.
OVERVIEW: Back side of brochure
The back side of the brochure includes text, photographs from the house, historic photographs, and a map. From left to right are a large historic image of Henry Longfellow working in his study, text discussing Henry Longfellow's career as a poet and scholar, a modern photograph of the library, text describing life within the house during the Longfellow period, a photograph of a statue from the collection, a photograph of the Longfellows with their first two children, visit planning information, a modern photograph of the garden, and a map. Descriptions of these images and the text are presented under their own sections.
IMAGE and TEXT: Longfellow in his study
DESCRIPTION: A sepia-tone photograph of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow seated in his study. Longfellow sits behind a round center table which is piled with books, papers, and writing implements. Among the bric-a-brac visible on the table are a cup packed full of quill pens, a ceramic inkwell, a metal sculpture of an owl, a match holder in the shape of a monkey, and a glass of water. A portable, folding writing desk is in the foreground, with a stack of paper centered on its cloth surface and several quill pens lined up at its top. Over thirty books are arranged on the desk in piles and in a row with their spines up. One book is placed open, face down on the table. A dark floral rug or tablecloth is visible only at the edges of the table, otherwise its surface is completely covered.
Longfellow has shoulder-length white hair and a full white beard and mustache. He sits almost in profile to the camera, leaning his chin on his fist, his elbow resting on another book. He wears a dark jacket and white shirt with a narrow dark cravat.
Behind Longfellow is a white-painted door, a wood and cloth firescreen, and a side table with more books standing in a row and stacked. Hanging on the wall behind him is a charcoal portrait in an oval frame of Charles Sumner, senator and close friend of the poet. A lamp with a glass chimney and reflective shade hangs from the ceiling on a single metal pole.
CAPTION: Longfellow in his study, ca. 1876
RELATED TEXT: "All that is best in the great poets of all countries is not what is national in them, but what is universal."
—Henry W. Longfellow, 1849
TEXT: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: Poet and Scholar
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow achieved much in his long life, but he was first and foremost a writer. “I most eagerly aspire after future eminence in literature,” he told his father in 1824, “my whole soul burns most ardently for it. . . .” Longfellow went on to be one of America’s most celebrated poets, offering the young nation heroes and stories of mythic shape and dimension.
Longfellow was born in 1807 in Portland, Maine, the second son of a prominent lawyer and grandson of General Peleg Wadsworth, a hero of the American Revolution. After graduating from Bowdoin College he traveled in Europe immersing himself in its languages, literature, and history. “To my youthful imagination,” he said, “the Old World was a kind of Holy Land.” A speaker of eight languages, Henry spent his early career teaching language and literature at Bowdoin and Harvard colleges. In 1839 his first collection of poetry was published. The popular Voices of the Night included “A Psalm of Life” reprinted in newspapers across America.
Henry’s congenial marriage and social life in Cambridge allowed his creativity to flourish. He retired from teaching in 1854 to devote himself fully to writing and was soon enormously successful. Longfellow was the nation’s first professional poet and gained an international reputation. His poetry collections were translated into dozens of languages and became instant bestsellers at home and abroad—enjoyed by laborers and scholars alike. Longfellow received honorary degrees from Oxford and Cambridge universities in England and was honored in Poets’ Corner of Westminster Abbey. Composers Franz Liszt and Felix Mendelssohn set his works to music.
As a teacher and scholar Longfellow was familiar with heroic themes in classical literature. His own characters and stories in epic poems like Evangeline and The Song of Hiawatha were larger than life and have been thoroughly absorbed in American culture. In “Paul Revere’s Ride” the poet turns a virtually unknown Boston silversmith into an icon on par with the founding fathers. After his wife’s death in a household fire in 1861, Longfellow took on the monumental task of translating Dante’s Divine Comedy. He found consolation in this epic tale of salvation and enduring love. With friends and colleagues he founded the Dante Club, which met Wednesday evenings in his study for conversation and supper.
“I should have to think long if I were ask’d to name the man who has done more . . . for America,” said poet Walt Whitman after learning of Longfellow’s death in 1882. It was a fitting tribute to the man who moved the world with words and spoke the language of his country’s heart and history.
All are architects of Fate,
Working in these walls of Time;
Some with massive deeds and great,
Some with ornaments of rhyme.
—from “The Builders” by Henry W. Longfellow, 1849
DESCRIPTION: The interior of the Longfellow library is a spacious, light-filled room with white-painted paneled walls. This modern photo looks at an angle across one half of the room, with the center of the space and two walls visible.
At the center of the room is a large rectangular library table with legs and frame of dark, ornately carved wood, and a green felt surface. It is cluttered with stacks of books, an inkwell, a vase, and a bronze sculpture of the Roman god Mercury. Hanging above the table is a large, six-armed chandelier with gold metal arms and swags and frosted white shades.
Two windows are visible on the left wall, each flanked by tall red curtains in a rich drapery fabric. Between the windows is a tall bookcase with glass doors. A small white statue of a standing woman sits in front of the glass doors of the bookcase. In front of the bookcase is a Gothic revival sofa with dark carved wood framing three seat backs, upholstered on their centers in dark green velvet. Placed in the back corner of the room stands a Japanese folding screen. Its gold panels showcase a nature motif of tree branches and flitting birds.
The wall on the right features a marble fireplace, flanked by tall, ceramic vases from Japan. The mantle is crowded with bronze figures, including a sculpture of a woman from the shoulders up, candelabras, an urn, and two dogs. Positioned on the wood paneling above the fireplace is a gilded parlor clock from France.
The floor is covered in a wall-to-wall carpet with a repeating pattern of red, yellow, and blue medallions.
CAPTION: The spacious library held musical performances and other social gatherings.
CREDIT: NPS/David Bohl
TEXT: The world within this house
"We have decided to let Father purchase this grand old mansion if he will . . . how noble an inheritance this is where Washington dwelt in every room."
—Fanny Appleton Longfellow to Thomas Gold Appleton, 1843
Henry and Fanny Longfellow’s cosmopolitan and hospitable style made their home a vibrant place. They enjoyed formal meals with friends and family, good conversation, and the occasional musical performance in the library. Henry’s growing fame brought a widening range of visitors to his door, from perfect strangers to the famous—and infamous.
Notable guests included writers Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Anthony Trollope, and Julia Ward Howe. At breakfast one morning was Charles Dickens, here on his first trip to the United States. Teacher and scientist Louis Agassiz came often to visit, and Emperor Dom Pedro II of Brazil met both Longfellow and Emerson here while traveling in New England. Singers, actors, and musicians made a pilgrimage to Cambridge, among them the “Swedish Nightingale” Jenny Lind and stage actress Fanny Kemble. One of Henry’s last visitors was playwright Oscar Wilde. “Longfellow was himself a beautiful poem,” recalled the flamboyant Irishman.
Born in the wake of the American Revolution, Longfellow witnessed the momentous events of the 1800s: westward expansion, the social and political turmoil surrounding slavery, and the Civil War. These were subjects for his poetry and conversation.
Charles Sumner, the fiery abolitionist and legislator, was a frequent guest and fanned the flames of Henry’s anti-slavery beliefs. Other members of this influential circle were James Russell Lowell and William Dean Howells—editors of the durable Atlantic Monthly founded in 1857 as a platform for public opinion.
Guests sooner or later found themselves immersed in family life. With five children, a large staff of servants, and numerous pets, the Longfellow home was far more than a shrine to the past or scholarly ivory tower. Henry and Fanny’s children were full participants in the world within the house—and grew up to embrace the world at large.
TEXT: The legacy endures
Over the years, the furnishings of the house came to match its splendid history. Every painting, photograph, book, artifact, and piece of furniture seems to tell its own distinctive story—and the diaries and documents of the Longfellow family bring these stories to life. Altogether there are 35,000 items of furnishing and decorative arts, a fine arts collection of paintings and sculpture by American and European artists, a 14,000--volume library, and 775,000 archival items, including photographs, journals, and original documents written by George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and others.
Daughter Alice Longfellow lived in the house until her death in 1928 and carried on her family’s interests in history and education. Under her stewardship the house and its furnishings were preserved for future generations to enjoy. The formal garden became known as a work of landscape architecture in the colonial revival style.
IMAGE: Longfellow family
DESCRIPTION: Sepia-tone photograph of man, woman, and two boys seated in a studio in front of plain, dark background. To the left, Henry Longfellow sits in full profile facing his family. He wears a white shirt, dark waistcoat and cravat and dark jacket. He has wavy brown hair just below his ears and a pronounced nose. To the right, Fanny Longfellow sits in three-quarter profile facing Henry. She wears a dark-colored dress with a white collar and a brooch at center front. She wears her hair up at the back, with the sides arranged around her ear. In between them, their son, Charles, age 5, is seated slightly off-center. He has short hair parted at one side and wears a dark coat with a white collar, which has a row of three buttons under one shoulder. He faces front, but his eyes point to the viewer's right. The white cuff of his mother's sleeve is visible at the base of his neck. The younger son, Ernest, age 4, sits directly in front of his mother, facing the camera. He wears a plaid jacket with a white collar, which buttons down the center front. His forehead is slightly furrowed and he has a small frown.
CAPTION: Henry and Fanny Longfellow and sons Charles and Ernest, ca. 1849
IMAGE: Bronze Mercury
This bronze sculpture shows the full figure of a young man, with his right hand reaching toward the sky. If he were a basketball player, shooting a layup, his right leg would be raised in front of him, as he leaped off of his left. But in this case, the right leg is kicked back behind him, just below his waist, as if he is being pushed skyward rather than propelling himself in that direction. To illustrate that propulsion, his left foot presses against a shaft of wind, blown from an upturned face in the base of the sculpture, whose cheeks are puffed out from exertion. This leaping man represents the mythological figure Mercury, taking flight. Besides his winged helmet and vine-woven shorts, he is nude. His feet have small sets of wings protruding from his ankles. In his left hand, he holds a staff, entwined by two serpents, called a caduceus. He stands on a circular base, adorned with a series of indistinguishable figures, shown in relief. The top and bottom on the base are made of black marble.
CAPTION: Bronze copy of “Mercury” statue by Giovanni de Bologna, ca. 1850
TEXT: Planning your visit
The house is open seasonally for guided tours. The grounds are open from dawn to dusk year-round. Special events and activities are offered throughout the year. Call or visit the park website for current hours of operation and program listings. Tour tickets and publications are available in the house visitor center.
Watch out for traffic. For firearms regulations see the park website.
Built in 1759, this premier example of mid-Georgian architecture, with its preserved view of the Charles River, is considered the best of the remaining ”Tory Row” (as it was known) mansions on Brattle Street. Items reflecting the Longfellow family’s wide-ranging interests and pursuits—furniture, books, artwork, ceramics, textiles, and archives—are displayed or stored inside the house.
The two-acre grounds are the core of the much larger 1759 estate. Many Colonial-era features are still evident.
TEXT: Carriage house
Longfellow had this structure built in 1844. Carriages, sleighs, and sometimes horses were kept inside. Today it is used as a meeting space for education programs, public lectures, and workshops.
TEXT: For inquiring minds
The house and its contents, the grounds, and the archives together tell the story of the Vassall-Craigie-Longfellow House. Researchers are encouraged to contact the site for information or to schedule an appointment.
TEXT: Getting to the park
The park is located at 105 Brattle Street in Cambridge, Mass., within walking distance of Harvard Square, which has parking garages. No on-site parking is available other than designated accessible spaces. Metered parking spaces may be available nearby. Take public transportation if you can.
Public transportation: Via the MBTA Subway, take the Red Line to Harvard Square.
Exit station on Church Street and follow Church Street to Brattle Street.
Turn right onto Brattle Street and go past Mason Street. The house is on your right.
IMAGE: Formal garden
DESCRIPTION: Modern photograph of the restored Longfellow garden in early spring, with bright green foliage. Planting beds in triangle, teardrop, and square shapes are outlined in short boxwood shrubs, about a foot tall. Inside the beds is dirt, with no flowers in bloom visible at this season. Outside the beds are grey crushed stone paths. The far edge of the garden is defined by a low white lattice fence, beyond which is a large yellow house. The wall of the house facing the viewer has three arched white trellises. In the foreground at viewer's left is a white pergola with an arched latticework roof. Behind the pergola is a large tree with bright green leaves, which is taller than the house.
Dotting the boxwood beds are young ornamental trees, including pear, cherry and crab apple. In the center of the garden, at the viewer's far right, stands a metal sundial on a pedestal.
CAPTION: Landscape architects Martha Brookes Hutcheson and Ellen Biddle Shipman renovated the formal garden with its pergola in the early 1900s.
MAP: Area around Longfellow house
DESCRIPTION: Inset map of Brattle Street and Harvard Square. Longfellow House-Washington's Headquarters National Historic Site is identified as a landmark, with a recommended walking route to the Harvard Square subway station depicted with a blue line. Exit the station on Church Street and follow Church Street west to Brattle Street. Turn right onto Brattle Street going past several streets, including Mason Street. The house is on your right. The walk from Harvard Square to the site is a half mile and takes approximately ten minutes. Directions are also avaialble under the Getting to the Park section of this brochure.
Also identified on the map to the Northeast of Brattle Street is the Cambridge Common. Across the street from the house is Longfellow Park. Also across Brattle Street and to the southwest is Memorial Drive and the Charles River.
Limited parking is available for visitors with disabilities. The ground, carriage house, visitor center, and first floor of the Longfellow House are wheelchair-accessible. Service animals are welcome.
We strive to make our facilities, services and programs accessible to all. A Braille edition of the park brochure is available at the visitor center. For more information go to a visitor center, ask a ranger, call, or check our website.
OVERVIEW: More information
Longfellow House-Washington’s Headquarters National Historic Site is one of over 400 parks in the National Park System. To learn more about parks and National Park Service programs in America’s communities, visit www.nps.gov
ADDRESS: 105 Brattle Street, Cambridge, MA 02138