George Dexter House // 1885

The George Dexter House on Sewall Avenue in Brookline was built in 1885 and designed by architect S. Edwin Tobey. George B. Dexter was part-owner of Dexter Brothers which was one of the two most prominent manufacturers of paints and oils in New England (the other being Cabot Co.). Dexter hired Tobey to design a wood-frame house for his family which combined shingles and clapboards, as well as a variety of other wood trim, which would display his companies products. According to an article, Dexter also stained and painted the interior a variety of colors to showcase the wide range of options his company had.

The home is a great example of the Queen Anne/Shingle style with some early Colonial Revival elements. The Dexter House features a hipped roof and overhanging eaves supported by broad rafters, with a large front porch. The veranda and undulating oriel are especially gorgeous which showcase the ability of shingles to wrap around any shape of feature. The home was converted to a two-family in the 1920s.

One Bowdoin Square // 1989

One of the few great examples of Post-Modern architecture in Downtown Boston is the eleven-story One Bowdoin Square building. During the period of Urban Renewal in Boston in the 1960s, much of the area known today as Government Center and the West End was demolished and replaced with taller buildings with plazas, many of which for governmental or institutional uses.

The site of One Bowdoin Square was redeveloped in 1968 as the “Bulfinch Building”. The building was designed by Mark Kiley and featured light brick with concrete banding between floors. In the 1980s, the building was already outdated and proposed for redevelopment again. When analyzing the building, it was determined that the building was structurally sound and it was deconstructed to the framing and remodeled by the amazing Graham Gund. The current building is a very unique Post-Modern structure with a very interesting entry and flared cornice with triangular windows.

Ca. 1980 image of “Bulfinch Building” before redeveloped into One Bowdoin Square. Image Courtesy of MACRIS