Nathaniel Jeremiah Bradlee was born on June 1, 1829, in Boston, son of Samuel Bradlee and his wife, Elizabeth Davis Williams (daughter of Jeremiah Williams).
He married first on April 17, 1856, in West Roxbury, to Julia R. Weld (b. 1835-1836 in Baltimore; d. 11Aug1880 in Boston), daughter of George Francis Weld and his wife, Lydia Gould.
He married second on December 29, 1881, in Boston, to Anna Mehitable Vose (b. 4Mar1835 in Robbinston ME; d. 7Feb1899 in New York City), daughter of Josiah Hayden Vose and his wife, Mary Tucker Vose (daughter of Peter Thacher Vose).
Nathaniel Bradlee died on December 17, 1888, on a train en route to Bellows Falls, Vermont.
Nathaniel Bradlee attended Chauncy Hall School and then served as an apprentice in the office of George M. Dexter, to whose practice he succeeded. He was a founding member of the Boston Society of Architects, and the designer of more than 500 buildings in Boston alone, including numerous private, public, ecclesiastical, railroad, and other commissions. In his Houses of Boston’s Back Bay, Bainbridge Bunting states that Bradlee’s “many commissions seem to stem from his business acumen and friendships rather than his ability as a designer.”
In 1872, he made Walter Thacher Winslow his partner, establishing the firm of Bradlee and Winslow. In mid-1882, George Homans Wetherell became a partner in the firm, forming Bradlee, Winslow, and Wetherell. After his death in December of 1888, the firm became Winslow and Wetherell.
Bradlee’s earlier works included numerous public, commercial, and residential buildings, including Gray’s Hall at Harvard (1858). In 1869, he was employed by the City to move the Hotel Pelham (5,800 sq. feet, weighing 10,000 tons) to permit a street widening.
Among the designs credited to Bradlee during his partnership with Winslow were the New England Mutual Life Building (1873; demolished) in Post Office Square, the Second Unitarian Church (1873; demolished) at 565 Boylston between Clarendon and Dartmouth, and the Young Men’s Christian Union building (1875).
Nathaniel Bradlee and the successor firms also are credited with designing buildings of the Baker’s Chocolate factory in Dorchester.
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Back Bay Work