Located next door to the First Congregational Church of Everett, you can find one of the finest eclectic commercial buildings in the region, and it is one that is often overlooked. The Everett Savings Bank was built in 1930 from plans by architect Thomas Marriott James for the Everett Savings Bank, which was established in 1889. This building was constructed just at the beginning of the Great Depression, at a time when banks and American citizens were penny pinching. The budget was likely set before the Stock Market Crash of 1929 as the relatively high-style bank building would have been a big expense at the time. The bank blends Art Deco and Spanish Renaissance Revival styles elegantly. The structure is constructed with sandstone walls that are decorated with figured panels and semi-circular multi-pane windows are outlined by rope molding. Crowning the building is a bold arcaded frieze with Moorish inspired cornice. Swoon!
Some really interesting history and architecture with this one! Located in Waban Village in Newton, Mass., this gorgeous Mission Revival style house is one of a few in the style in the Boston area. The Mission Revival style was popularized on the West Coast in California in the late 19th century. Rather than continuing to adopt imported East Coast architectural styles, these California architects recognized the value of their own historic surroundings, where the Spanish Colonial mission heritage of California and the Southwest, the beautiful mission chapels, with stucco walls, red tile roofs, and bell towers led to the new revival. The style never took off in New England, which followed its own Georgian and Federal Revival styles, emulating historic Colonial-era homes here. This Newton home was built around 1908 for Lawrence W. Luellen, an attorney and inventor, who made a big invention, disposable paper cups! It is true. Lawrence Luellen wanted to do away with the ubiquitous “tin dippers” he saw in public buildings and railway stations after realizing all that sharing might be transferring disease. In 1907, he took out a patent and create a new, clean and individual drinking cup. After his invention went global, he sold his Newton home and moved to New Jersey, inventing…cup dispensers!
In the early 20th century, Norway, Maine and the surrounding towns were sought-after for their natural beauty with large lakes and rivers with untouched expanses of forest. Upper-middle class residents of Portland, Boston and other larger cities in New England built more rustic summer homes, compared to the elaborate “White Elephants” in Newport, Rhode Island. This home in Norway was named Wrightstone and was built in 1925 for the Wright Family. The U-shaped home is constructed from rubblestone, likely gathered from the land on which it sits. The house blends the Arts and Crafts movement with the uncommon (in Maine) Spanish Colonial Revival style, with the terracotta roof! I bet the interior is so cozy!
The first train arrived in Gardiner, Maine in 1851. Rail here introduced a new mode of transportation for passengers and freight, which previously relied on horse or ship up the Kennebec River. When the old station was deemed too small and outdated, the Maine Central Railroad Company decided to hire Portland architect, George Burnham to complete plans for a more fitting station. This building is a mix of styles, the two I would categorize it as are Romanesque Revival and Spanish Revival. The building incorporates a number of influences of the two along with a deep overhanging roof supported by large brackets, heavy rusticated granite blocks at the base, and quoining around the windows and corners. The station was in operation until about 1960 when rail service here halted. Since that time, the building has been adaptively reused as a retail store, today as a recreational cannabis dispensary. So you can get high and look at cool architecture!
In the 1890s, Charles Strong Guthrie and wife Frances Amelia Lampson Guthrie began vacationing at Pequot Colony, a resort community in New London, CT, with considerable social cachet and popular with wealthy New Yorkers like themselves. Charles Guthrie was an industrial mogul who served as President of the Republic Iron and Steel Corporation. In 1901, the couple acquired 12-acres of land overlooking the Long Island Sound, and hired renowned Summer home architect William Ralph Emerson to design a mansion with the Olmsted Brothers commissioned to design the site and landscaping. Upon completion in 1902-03, the estate became known as “Meadow Court”, taking its name from the six-acre wildflower meadow overlooking the Sound. The home was a landmark in the Mission/Spanish Revival style, which became popular in the early 20th century, coinciding with other architectural revivals. Charles Guthrie died prematurely in 1906 at age 46, and not long after, Frances began spending summers on Long Island. In the 1920s, she sold off some of the land to a developer, who constructed more modest summer cottages, and sold the mansion, which soon after re-opened as the Lighthouse Inn. The summer hotel flourished through the mid 20th century, boosted by great management and luxury events. A fire in 1979 destroyed some of the building, but it was restored. It closed in 2008 and sat vacant until recently, when a new owner has begun the long process of restoration, looking to restore the light back to the Lighthouse Inn.
As Bristol grew to be a dominant financial center in Rhode Island in the mid 19th century, prominent families there decided that their loved ones (and later themselves) needed a place of beauty to rest eternally. In 1855, descendants of Levi DeWolf, of the infamous slave-trading family, donated 22-acres of land for use as a cemetery. The old Levi DeWolf home remains fronting Hope Street, featured previously as the Reynolds-DeWolf House. It is a fine example of the mid-19th century rural cemetery movement, with winding lanes and paths. The landscape was designed by Niles Bierragaard Schubarth, who had done similar work at other Rhode Island cemeteries. Upon the opening of Juniper Hill, many families relocated their loved ones from other cemeteries in town here, so the families could be interred nearby each-other. The cemetery has three main structures; a gateway, the gate lodge, and a chapel/receiving tomb. The gate is a massive stone archway set at the entry to the cemetery, and was built in 1876 by the Smith Granite Company of Westerly, R.I. The Gate Lodge was built years earlier is located at the side of the entry into the grounds, and is a stone Victorian Gothic Revival building, designed by Providence architect Clifton A. Hall and constructed of granite quarried on the site during construction of the landscape. Yards away, the charming Amory Chapel and Receiving Tomb, built in 1913, is a 1-story stuccoed structure with a tile roof, designed by the firm of Angell & Swift of Providence. The small chapel stands out as it is a rare example of the Spanish Revival style, but has seen better days, and is apparently being used as a tool shed.
The area of Nantasket Beach in Hull was in the late 19th century, a hotbed of taverns, thievery, and brothels. To counter this, the Metropolitan Park Commission of Greater Boston acquired about 25 acres at Nantasket, which included roughly one mile of shoreline extending north from Atlantic Hill in 1900. The initial appropriations provided for only minimal facilities, such as a bathhouse and a few incidental buildings, one of which was a waiting room for those arriving or departing from the new railroad station (since demolished) at the beach. The MPC hired the Olmsted Brothers landscape architects to design the paths and landscaping for the new park, and they worked with architects Stickney & Austin who designed many of the early buildings. Stickney & Austin designed this stucco-clad building with clock tower to provide shelter from the elements and summer sun for visitors of the reservation. The building is a blending of the Arts and Crafts and Spanish Revival styles, both common at the beginning of the 20th century. The building now houses the Paragon Park Museum, after they relocated the Paragon Park Carousel next door to this building.
Located across the street from Larz Anderson Park and the former Larz Anderson Estate, this stunning Spanish Revival home, built in 1927, was constructed as a guest house for visitors of Larz and Isabel Anderson. Between 1925-29 the Andersons constructed three guest houses outside the estate on Goddard Avenue. The designs were intended to call to mind places the Anderson’s had visited. “Puddingstone”, was named for a nearby outcropping of puddingstone on the Anderson estate, and was modeled after a house the couple had seen in Santa Monica, California. The Andersons used the buildings occasionally as guesthouses for relatives or friends who came for long stays at Weld, especially when Larz and Isabel were not in residence there. But for the most part, the houses remained empty and it was only after Larz’s death in 1937 that Isabel disposed of them. She donated them to Boston University for use as the Brookline Campus, who in turn, sold them off as private residences years later. Built in a Spanish Colonial style, it features a red terra cotta tile roof, adobe-colored stucco walls, and a center entrance framed by an elaborate cast stone surround in a Spanish Baroque style. To the right of the front door, a clathri (grid/lattice in architecture) over a window can be found in a blind arch.
Located in South Brookline, the former estate of Anna Sears stands high on a hill, surrounded by later buildings of the ever-growing Dexter Southfield School. The Sears Estate was built for Anna Sears, a widow who was married to the late Richard Sears, a photographer. The home was designed in 1922 by Walter Kirby as part of a 49-acre estate which, in addition to the main house, included three guest cottages, garages, and a barn. The estate remained a private residence until 1945, when it became a seminary for the Catholic Foreign Mission Society of America. The campus was acquired by the Dexter Southfield School in the 1960s who relocated from the Cottage Farm area of Brookline. The stuccoed exterior, red tile roof, door surround, balconies and iron window grilles and sconces are characteristic of the Spanish Revival style.
Residential architecture of the early decades of the 20th century is among my favorites as the Tudor Revival movement took off and was sometimes mixed with other revival styles at the time, creating really unique homes. The Glacy House in South Brookline, MA was built in 1930 as one of the earlier homes in the Walnut Hill development. It was likely designed and built by Walter L. Fernandez, a contractor who appears to have design-built a handful of spec homes to help get the neighborhood’s development going in the early stages. This home was originally occupied by George and Mary Glacy. George later worked as Vice President of the Boston & Maine Railroad, though he later got into legal trouble for hiring companies for railroad projects where he had financial interests, becoming indicted in an antitrust case by a Federal grand jury. The home features a first floor constructed of stone and brick with half-timbering on the floor above. The building is topped by a terracotta red tile roof, which is fairly uncommon for the region.