Oliver Ames High School // 1896

I’m starting to see a trend in Easton, almost everything is named after the Ames Family! In 1893, Oliver Ames (1831-1895), a grandson of shovel company founder Oliver Ames and son of Oakes Ames, offered to fund the construction of a new high school building if the town would pay the cost of building its foundation and grading the site. While governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (1887-90), Ames had hired Boston architect Carl Fehmer as consulting architect to the State for the extension to the Massachusetts State House, and it was Fehmer who secured the design contract for the new school in Easton. The refined Colonial Revival school building features a central pavilion with an entrance set within an ornate stone architrave with a Classical entablature with central pediment. The school was outgrown in 1957 and became the town’s middle school, outgrown again in the 1990s. The town sold the school to a developer with preservation restrictions and it is now used as apartments!

Foster-Braggiotti House // c.1877

Built on the former Edward Philbrick estate, this home was constructed circa 1877 as a rental property, still owned by the Philbrick family. Ten years after the home was constructed, it was purchased by Charles Henry Wheelwright Foster and wife, Mabel, bought and enlarged it using desired local architect Carl Fehmer, their neighbor at the time. Foster organized the Brookline National Bank in 1886, later becoming President, and also served as treasurer of Chickering & Sons, a piano manufacturer. The house was later owned by Isadore Braggiotti, and his wife Lily (formerly Baroness de Relbnitz). They were both singers who maintained a singular Hindu-vegetarian bohemian household with eight musical children, often hosting lavish parties in their music pavilion in the home. Their children all went on to do amazing things.

Boylston Building // 1887

2019 image courtesy of Brandon Bartoszek.

Built by the Boylston Market Association, replacing the former Boylston Market (1810-1887) in Downtown Boston, the Boylston Building is a great example of late 19th-century commercial design in Boston. The Association hired German-born architect Carl Fehmer (who also designed the amazing Beaconsfield Terrace housing in Brookline) to design a structure that would stand up to the architectural landmarks along Boylston and Washington Streets nearby. Fehmer’s design exhibits many features of the emerging Commercial style (also known as Chicago school style) of architecture which promoted new technologies of steel-frame construction in commercial buildings with masonry cladding, while clearly showcasing the Romanesque round arch windows. In the mid-20th century, this area of Downtown Boston became known as the ‘Combat Zone‘, Boston’s Red Light District, flooded with prostitution, drugs, and adult video stores. The Boylston Building was occupied by an adult video store and dive pizza shop. The building and area surrounding are different today, but you can always find some characters nearby!

Marguerite Terrace // 1891

Marguerite Terrace (my favorite of the Beaconsfield Terrace buildings) in Brookline was built in 1891 and exhibits the Chateauesque style, evoking French design. Designed as part of the Beaconsfield Terrace complex on the Knapp Estate of residences with private amenities, the building was designed by Carl Fehmer, showing his amazing range in design. Through the use of yellow brick and fieldstone walls, conical roof towers, and a center pavilion with a steeply pitched roof, the building stands out for its amazing detailing.

Parkman Terrace // 1892

Parkman Terrace, of the stunning Beaconsfield Terrace apartment buildings in Brookline was built in 1892 and was one of the last two completed. A divergence from the more Chateauesque designs that predated Parkman Terrace, this building followed a more classical Federal Revival design. Designed by the architectural firm of Fehmer and Page, the block of six attached rowhomes is 3-1/2 stories high, and is symmetrical with a central closed pediment with a shield bearing the date of construction. There are gabled pedimented dormers, a decorative cornice, and porticoed entryways with Corinthian columns. At the second floor are Palladian windows in blind arches, as well as round-arched window with keystones.

Fillmore Terrace // 1890

The third Beaconsfield Terrace rowhouse building constructed on the Knapp Estate in Brookline was the stunning Fillmore Terrace. Constructed in 1890, and designed by Carl Fehmer, the building comprised of seven rowhouses was the only designed in the Dutch Revival style. The large wall gables have volute buttresses and pinnacles of limestone. The first floor is of fieldstone, the upper floors of yellow brick. Records indicate that by 1893, Knapp had sold all seven of the units, with early owners comprising: three merchants, a banker, a sugar broker, and a teacher.