ENDANGERED! The John Howland Jr. House

March 13, 2010

The John Howland Jr. House
38 South Sixth Street, New Bedford


Historic Photo of J. Howland Jr. House courtesy of Spinner Publications

Together, we will save the 1834 John Howland Jr. House from demolition and neglect!

This rare, brick mansion reminiscent of the magnificent architecture built during the whaling era was ravaged by fire in 2005 and has been exposed to the elements for more than five years causing severe deterioration. Making matters worse, its owners improperly removed structural support beams in the house when clearing out debri. As a result, the Howland house is  in imminent danger and needs immediate intervention. The Howland house can and should be saved.

WHALE is the only thing standing between this historic house and the bulldozer.
WHALE is the only alternative to demolition.

Recognizing this fact and the property’s historical and architectural significance, WHALE is purchasing this historic house for $237,000 to prevent its demolition and ensure its reuse.

Together, we will save the Howland house.

True to WHALE’s mission. we are stepping in when no one else can or will. One hundred percent of WHALE’s Board and staff have contributed funds toward the acquisition and we are actively seeking funds from a variety of public and private sources.

You can help, too! Please help WHALE purchase the Howland House by March 31 by clicking  HERE to make a tax deductible contribution today!


~  Built in 1834 for John and Sarah Howland Jr.

~  Exceptional example of transitional Federal/Greek Revival style architecture and the substantial wealth that was
made in the whaling industry in New Bedford.

~ Contributing building in the County Street National Register Historic District.

~ One of a complex of three remarkable and extremely rare, brick mansions built for the Howland family
on South Sixth Street.


The Howland family was among New Bedford’s most prominent and wealthy families. A native of New Bedford, John Howland Jr. partnered with his brother James in “J & J Howland Merchants” on Middle Street and he was one of fifteen original trustees of the New Bedford Institution for Savings. The Howland family, unlike many of their Quaker counterparts, chose to build their grand mansions and fine homes along Sixth Street. The County Street Historic District Nomination states that

Of the city’s wealthiest men, only members of two branches of the Howland family – George Howland Sr. and Jr. and John Howland Sr. and his sons John Jr. and James II – did not build on County Street.

One of Howland’s relatives even “warned his children that building a house on County Street would expose them to ‘pernicious influence’.