Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.
Issue link: http://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/782418
83 s p r i n g 2 0 1 7 | W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e katherine K. Macdonald first learned about the mansion at Elm Bank following the Blizzard of '77. Her family had just moved to Wellesley, and her husband and her brother had set off exploring the area on skis. They came back with a tale of a snow-encrusted estate that looked right out of the movie Doctor Zhivago. But once defrosted, the property's boarded-up mansion would turn out to be not a Russian dacha, but a red-brick Georgian Revival manor house. It was built in 1908 by Alice Steele Cheney Baltzell, daughter of one of the richest men in late 19th-century Boston, and her husband, Dr. William Hewson Baltzell, a retired Baltimore surgeon. Today, the empty house looms amidst the gardens of Elm Bank, the 36-acre home of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society that straddles the Wellesley-Dover line along the Charles River. As the society's president, Macdonald is conducting a $150,000 fundraising drive to pay for a master plan for Elm Bank that would include a study to assess the cost of restoring the forty-room, three-story mansion to its former glory. C O U R T E S Y O F M A S S A C H U S E T T S H O R T I C U L T U R A L S O C I E T Y K A T H E R I N E M A C D O N A L D