Nathaniel Saltonstall
   Born in 1903 in Milton, Nathanial Saltonstall was the scion of an old and prominent New England family. He graduated from Harvard in 1928 and MIT in 1931, and began his career as an architect at the Boston firm of Little and Russell. He went on to work for Putnam and Cox where he became a partner. He entered the army during World War II as a lieutenant in the Army Air Corp, Camouflage Division, and was discharged as a Major in Special Services in charge of the Art Division. In 1945, Saltonstall and colleague, Oliver Morton, left Putnam and Cox to form their own partnership. The firm’s work included Saltonstall’s own home in Medfield, a development of passive solar houses, a design for the first Institute of Contemporary Art building (he was a founder and president from 1936 to 1948), houses on the Outer Cape and The Colony (originally called the Mayo Hill Colony Club) which he owned and managed as an outpost for artists and patrons. His genteel, regional approach to Modernism was popular with his clients, many of whom were wealthy art collectors and introduced to the Cape by staying at The Colony. Saltonstall was a trustee of The Boston Museum of Fine Arts and, in 1959, established the Nathanial Saltonstall Arts Fund, supporting many cultural institutions through sales of works in his collection. His long-time companion, Tom Galliano, ran the Wellfleet Art Gallery on Route 6 which Saltonstall designed. The gallery was the center of Wellfleet’s art and social scene in the 1950s. Saltonstall died in 1968.

Projects on the Outer Cape
Mayo Hill Colony Club, Wellfleet, 1949  

Comfort House,Wellfleet,1951

Thomas Kuhn Cottage Wellfleet, 1960

Stuart Harrod House (destroyed by fire Wellfleet

Yeston / Nossiter House, Wellfleet

Wellfleet Art Gallery, Wellfleet


Photo by Bill Lyons

One of the cottages in the Colony as they look today.