The house at 17 Cranston Street is quite unique -- so unique that it was listed on the United States National Register of Historic Places in 1987. The house, built in 1871, is Boston’s only dodecagonal (12-sided) house, according to the Jamaica Plain Historical Society (JPHS). JPHS describes the residence as having a "flamboyant wood frame". Furthermore JPHS states:
Carpenter Gothic and Italianate design motifs characterize its detail , while its format defies classification in traditional building terms. Built on a tri-hexagonal plan approximating a "Y," the house's axes thrust north, east-southeast, toward Hyde Square, facing onto Cranston Street, and west-southwest, toward the cliff delineating the rear of the property. Standing two stories above street level , the house is surmounted by a central, hexagonal cupola.