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Mass.) Boston Landmarks Commission (Boston.

National register of historic places, inventory-nomination form: john eliot square online

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JOHN ELIOT SQUARE



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Forrr
(Jul,


'10-300 UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
1969) NATIONAL PARK SERVICE

NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES
INVENTORY - NOMINATION FORM

(Type all entries — complete applicable sections)


.STATE:

Massachusetts




COUNTY-

Suffolk




FOR NPS USE ONLY




ENTRY NUMBER DATE




1


[l. NAME




COMMON:

John Eliot Square




AN D' OR HISTORIC:


f£"


location ot.h nnnorpssinnal District!






STREET ANC NUMBER:

John Eliot Square




CITY OR TOWN:

Roxbury




STATE

Massachusetts


CODE JCOUNTY:


)lk


CODE




025 Suffc


n?R


n


CLASSIFICATION






CATEGORY
(Check One)


OWNERSHIP


STATUS 1 ACCESSIBLE

TO THE PUBLIC




^ District Q Building
□ Site □ Structure
□ Object


□ Public
D Private

ra Both


Public Acquisition:
Q In Process
□ Being Considered


155 Occupied
[jg Unoccupied
□ Preservation work
in progress


Yes:
jV] Restricted
□ Unrestricted

a No




PRESENT USE I Check One or More a s Appropriate)




□ Agricultural Q Government Q P°'*<

□ Commercial □ Industrial QQ Private Residence
L7 Educational □ Military g] Religious

□ Entertainment D Museum Q Scientific


□ Transportation
}H Other (Specify)

i.ibrary


D Comments














M.


DWNER OF PROPERTY



















OWNER'S N AME:

public and private






»






STREET AND NUMBER:




1 o»






CITY OR TOWN:

Roxbury


STATE:

Massachusetts


CODE






25


1 ro

1 <■+

i </>






[5. LOCATION OF LEGAL DESCRIPTION








COURTHOUSE, REGISTRY OF DEEDS. ETC:

Registry of Deeds




CO °

i c 5

1 -h h

-h <






STREET AND NUMBER:

Suffolk County Courthouse & Norfolk County Courthouse








CITY OR TOWN:

Boston & Dedham


STATE

Massachusetts


CODE






025










TT

o

33
Z
TI

C

o


J6. REPRESENTATION IN EXISTING SURVEYS






71

C
CD
3




TITLE OF 5URVEY:

1) Historic American Buildings Survey Mass-558,-557






date OF SURVEY: 1939 ^ Federal fj State ~: County Q Loca


i






DEPOSITOR'. FOR SURVEY RECORDS:

Library of Congress






STREET AND NUMBER:




CITY OR TOrtM:

Washington


STATE:

D. C.


CODE












-c






2 1










n





7. DESCRIPTION



(Check One)
[3 Excellent Jl Good XJ F ° ir g Detefioroted D Ruins D Unexposed



(C/iecfc One;
H Altered ffl Unol



f Check One;
□ Moved [Xl Origir.ol Si



DESCRIBE THE PRESENT AND ORIG1



if known) physic;



= PEAR ANCE



John Eliot Square is a triangular shaoed district which includes nine-
teen buildings of which two are major historic buildings and seven are
supporting historic structures. They form a unique mixture of building
styles from the mid-eighteenth through the nineteenth centuries. The area
includes 183 to 149 Roxbury Street, 13 to 25 Putnam including Dudley Elemen-
tary School, 3 to 27 Dudley Street, 1 to 20 John Eliot Square, and 58 to
70 Bartlett Street, and the First Church and its grounds.

Major Structures

1. The First Church in Roxbury (1804) is an outstanding example of
the Federal Meetinghouse style. The frame two-story church is five bays
wide by seven bays deep with a projecting three bay entrance vestibule from
which the tower springs. On the entrance, roundheaded side entries and
upper story windows flank the central entry surmounted by an elliptical
fanlight and upper story Palladian window. Four flush pilasters on the
facade spring from rusticated pilasters on the ground floor and support a
large triangular pediment. Modi 11 ion blocks ornament the cornice of the
entire building as well as the pediments. Quoins outline the corners of
the rectangular church proper; the windows are framed in plain wooden
mouldings/ The tower is composed of two square sections, the upoer one
with louvered penetrations for the belfry, an arcaded octagonal lantern,
and a topmost octagonal cupola. The church is set on the rise at the rear
of the triangular landscaped grounds.

The present structure remains unchanged from the original exceDt that
the steeple '-as rebuilt in 1954 after its destruction by a hurricane.

2. The Pi 11 aw ay -Thomas House (c. 1750-54), 183 Roxbury St., is a two
and a half story gambrel roof clapboard structure of typical modest Georgian
style arrangement. Five bays wide and two bays deep, it has an entrance
covered by a small rectangular portico supported on slender doric columns.
Three pedimented dormers pierce the roof. A small one story enclosed entry
projects in the center of the west side. The house is set back a considerab
distance from the street.

A one story ell has been added to the rear of the house. A renovation
effort in the 1930 's completed interior renovations. Recently, a fire
destroyed the roof.

Supporting Structures

3. Ionic' Hall (1800~04), 149 Roxbury Street, a three story Federal brie
mansion with a pitched roof and side gables, has a five bay facade with a
central portico supported on Ionic columns. A delicately carved Federal
cornice with complete return is under the roof which has two front dormers.
The house is approached through a granite and puddingstone front wall that
is topped by a small wrought-iron fence.

In 1874, the third story supposedly was added. Later additions include
the one story wings on either side, the right one leading to a separate brie
chapel on the grounds .

4. Dudley School Putnam and Dudley Streets, (c. 1873-84), a two story
brick school house with a high mansard roof and oeaked dormers. The massive
structure has side entrance pavillions on the Dudley St. facade and an
ornamental center gable. Brownstone belt courses and arched lintels, de-
tailed brick cornice, and decorative slate roof are typical of the High
Victorian Gothic style treatment.



le



Digitized by the Internet Archive

in 2010 with funding from

Boston Public Library



http://www.archive.org/details/nationalregister01bost



E



SIGNIFICANCE



3 ERiOD (Check One or More

□ Pre-Columbion!

□ 15th Century



Appropriate)



□ 16th Century

□ 17th Century



•\7J T8th Century
57] 19th Century



20th Century



SPECIFIC DATEIS) (IlAppli



c. l/bU-18/3



AREAS OF SIGNIFICA
Aboriginal
; □ Prehistoric
□ Historic

□ Agriculture
R7J Architecture
D A'*

D Co

D Commu

□ Conser



NCE (Check One



Appropriate)



53 Education

□ Engineering

□ Industry
D Invention
Q Landscape



Architecture



D Literal
(J5 Mit.tor

n Mu^ic



a political
[J Religion/Phi-
losophy

□ Science

| | Sculpture
[J Socio I/Human-
itarian

□ Theater

□ Transportation



□ Urban Planning

□ Other (fpecily).



STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE



The buildings enclosing John Eliot Square, at the fork of three Roxbury
streets, represent a mixture of architectural styles and mixture of resi-
dential, religious, civic, and commercial uses. Historically, Eliot
Square has been the center of Roxbury since the town's founding in 1630.
The growing settlement formed the parish of The First Church in Roxbury,
which has occupied five successive structures on the same site. Chosen
as the first minister of the new church, John Eliot, whose name has long
been associated with the Square, gained the sobriquet, "Apostle of the
Indians," for his efforts in educating local Indian tribes.

The only road to Boston from the inland towns forked at Eliot Square
and lead to Cambridge (via Roxbury Street) and to Dedham (via Centre
Street). The community developed along these highways with the First
Church meetinghouse as a visual focal point. Beyond the Square toward
Dudley Square were the original sites of the Roxbury Latin School, founded
in 1645 and the oldest educational institution in America in continuous
existence. During the Revolution, the slopes of the Roxbury Highlands,
south of the Square, hid patriot troops; at the crest of the hill was
Roxbury High Fort. As the 19th century progressed, the Highlands develooed
from large colonial estates and farmlands into a fashionable residential
suburb .

n ,. The DiJ 1away " Thon,as House ' built between 1750 and 1754 by the Reverend
V 7 Yl er . Pe abody, pastor of the First Church, was probably not competed by
f n ; n r ; n9 r ! Ti^rf Peabod y' s successor, Amos Adams. During the sieoe
he Con??npSl? 5 J ohn Thomas probably used the house as headquarters of
^Continental Army. I he rear windows could afford a reasonable view of The
f he"" hurT n til' ^stown. . The house remained informally the peonage '
rnnrtv nn ah 1833 when meces of the late minister inherited the
Sls y K ? SS ' the T 0CCUDa nts, one of the nieces and her husband.

Uiarles k Dillaway, were active in church affairs: Dill away, a teacher at
Boston Latin and trustee of Roxbury Latin, was a Deacon and Superintendent
°LS e ,aS day Sch ° 01 - ? etween the end of the DiHaway 's occupancy in 1903
thlrdlli S° " ote " ort ^ events occurred. In 1927, the house was boucht by
SefSlSL ! ° St ° n f °l 1and for a new sch001 - The acquisition caused local
residents to oppose its demolition. The City responded by funding partial

^arSs ' ^ R ° Xbury Historical Soci ^ ^ maintained it'as head-

,f tho% Slte + ? f -i th . e - F1rst Ch -^1 f 1 -) h as been continuously used since erection
L flrS / . mldin 9 in 163 2 by the congregational parish! John Eliot has
>een one of its most remarkable ministers. Each of he earlier stru ?ures



'9. MAJOR BIBLIOGRAPHICAL REFERENCES



Memorial History of Boston , 1630-1880, ed. J. Windsor, Boston, 1881.
Drake, Frances S. , The Town of Roxbury: Its Memorable Persons and Places ,

Roxbury, 1878
Thwing, W. E.', History of the First Church in Roxbury, Massachusetts ,

Boston, 1908.
Amadon, E. R. , Historical Report: Pi 11 away House , unpublished report for the

City of Boston, Public Facilities Department by Architectural Heritage,

Inc. , March, 1969
Boston Evening Transcript , December 16, 1876.



UK



GEOGRAPHICAL DATA



LATITUDE AND LONGITUDE COORDINATES
DEFINING A RECTANGLE LOCATING THE PROPERTY



CORNER



LATITUDE



°w: T§ u,e M\ c &t

42o 19 .51.04
42o 19 .42.80
42. 19 .42.80



LONGI TUDE



D 7r:6'r ,e 3i e . c 2X s

71 o05 19.35.
71 o05 .19.35.
71 o05 31.25



LATITUDE AND LONGITUDE COORDINATE
DEFINING THE CENTER POINT OF A PROPEF
OF LESS THAN TFN ACRES



Degr



LONGI TUDE



APPROXIMATE ACREAGE OF NOMINATED PROPERTY



^5_



LIST ALL STATES AND COUNTIES FOR PROPERTIES OVERLAPPING STATE OR COUNTY BOUNDARIES



CODE COUNT-.



ill. FORM PREPARED BY



Judith McDonough



ORG AN! Z A Tl ON

Boston Landmarks Commission



March, 1973



Boston Redevelopment Authority



Boston



Massachusetts



25



12. STATE LIAISON OFFICER CERTI PICA I ION



NATIONAL REGISTER VERIFICATION



As the designated State Liaison Officer for the Na-
tional Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (Public Law
89-665), I hereby nominate this property for inclusion
in the National Register and certify that it has been
evaluated according to the criteria and procedures set
forth by the National Park Service. The recommended
level of significance of this nomination is:

National [~J State [~j Local □



I hereby certify that this property is included in the
Nationa 1 Register. , '',-.-■



Chief, Office of Archeology and Historic Preservation



Keeper of The National Re&iste



(July 19£v)



UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
NATIONAL PARK SERVICE

NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES
INVENTORY - NOMINATION FORM

(Continuation Sheet)



STATE

Massachusetts



Suffolk



FOR NPS USE ONLY



ENTRY NUMBEF



Existing Surveys cont'd.
2) Roxbury Highlands Study
Date of Survey: 1969
Depository for Survey Records:
Newbury Street
Boston, Massachusetts



X Local
Boston Architectural Center

Code: 25



Description cont'd.

5. Cox Buildinq (c. 1870), 1, 2, 3, John Eliot Sq., 67, 69, 73 Bartlett



St., 3, 5 Dudley Street, is an unusual curved block of three stories plus a
mansard roof penetrated by windows. The central curved bays facing the
Square is brick with granite sills, lintels, and quoins in the upper floors.
On the matched flanking bays on Bartlett and Dudley Streets, brownstone is
used for the entire facade as well as for ornamentation. Bracketed tri annular
pediments top the first floor openings; flat carved brownstone lintels deco-
rate the upper windows. A bracketed cornice runs along the block's entire
facade.

The first floor of the brick portion has been completely remodeled with
glazed storefront windows; none of the block's original windows remain.

6. Spoon er - Lambert House (c. 1780), 64 Lambert Street. This two story
frame house with a hipped roof retains its Federal shape and window and
chimney arrangement. An entrance portico with Ionic columns, the gabled
side ell, and asphalt shingle wall covering indicate later additions.

7. Hotel Eliot (1875), 68-70 Bartlett Street, built of brick, this four
story flat roofed structure presents an asymetrical facade and has richly
ornamented surface treatment. Brownstone string courses connect sills and
lintels leaving the interstices filled with patterned horizontal brickwork.

A corbelled brick cornice tops the buildina. Generally, windows are elonnated
rectangles except for pairs of round-headed windows separated by colonnettes
on the top story.

8. Marcus Garvev House (c. 1870), 20 John Eliot Square, is a massive
five story brick building ornamented by brick corner quoins, string courses,
and, under the cornice, a corbelled course which incorporates the round-
headed top story windows. Flush oblong lintels of mastic finish the other
windows. Above the central entrance in the third story, windows are recessed
in three shallow brick arches and are connected by an iron balustrade.

The ground floor of the facade has been altered, and the oriqinal name
plate has been removed from the top floor althouqh its brick frame remains.

9. Putnam Chanel (1876), First Church grounds, is a one story frame
building set on a high puddingstone basement.



Form 10-2'jOo
(July 1969)



UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
. NATIONAL PAK< SERVICE

NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES
INVENTORY - NOMINATION FORM

(Continuation Sheet)



STATE

Massachusetts



Suffolk



FOR NPS USE ONLY



ENTRY NUMBER



Significance cont'd.,
served as meetinghouse of the growing Roxbury community. During the siege the
fourth church building was used as a signal station. This structure was
replaced by the present edifice in 1803-04, although a contemporary manu-
script states that "It was not half worn out . . . ." Soon after completion,
in 1805, the parish voted to end town meetings in the church which necessi-
tated construction of a new Town House (presently the site of the Dudley
School). In 1806 a clock, reDutedly made by Simon Willard, was set in the tower
Names of the church's architects, Timothy Palmer and a consultant, William
Blaney, are only conjecture. About 1810, the parish became Unitarian, and
the former occupants later formed the Eliot Congregational Church. Although
the structure underwent several repairs during the 19th century, it remains
the oldest frame church building in the city and is an outstanding example of
the Federal meetinghouse style.

During the construction of the First Church, the First Religious Society
held services in an adjacent home, Ionic Hal1 (3.), which was built in 1800
but was not completely finished until 1804. Captain Stoddard of Hinaharn
built it for his daughter. The third story allegedly was added durina the
ownership of Mr. Theodore Otis in 1874. At present the handsome Federal
mansion is owned by St. James Episcopal Church for use as residence and
office.

The Dudley School (4.) was probably erected by 1873 only five years after
Roxbury ; s annexation to Boston - a move that terminated need for the Old Town
House on that site. Architecturally, the school illustrates the High Victorian
Gothic style that was a popular fashion for schoolhouses of the 1870's.

Providing a visual terminus at the fork of Dudley and Bartlett Streets,
the Cox Building (5.) echoes the curve of the First Church grounds and links
the more massive later Victorian structures around Eliot Square. Built in
1870 by George Cox, the building facades were stipulated by deed to be of
fireproof material. The central block originally combined residential and
retail uses, while the flankinq bays were elegant townhouses.

The Spooner-Lambert House (6.) was built soon after the Revolution ended
by Major John J. Spooner, a Boston merchant. Although obscured by later
additions, the characteristics of a modest early Federal dwelling are evident.

The Hotel Eliot (7.), built in 1875 from designs by the architect J. H.
Besarick, became Roxbury 's first, grand apartment house and indicated the
trend of multiple-family housing that in later decades became more modest
triple-deckers .

Formerly the Norfolk House, the Marcus Garvey House (8.) is a combination
of structures which were originally used for hotel purposes witnessing Roxbury
as an important route on the inland transportation system. The rear portion
was added in 1825 to the original frame hostelry that was demolished in 1853
for the present massive building. Used as a settlement house after its demise
as a hotel near the turn of the century, the building now honors Marcus Garvey,
a prominent Black publisher and nationalist of the early 20th century and still
provides community services to its neiahborhood. Visually, the house provides
a strong sense of enclosure to Eliot Square.

Putnam Chapel (9.), now repository of the old Fellowes Atheneum, was built
in 1876. Its horizontal mass and exposed frame construction relate well to
the church proper.



Form 10-300o
(Jury 196?)



UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
•NATIONAL PARK SERVICE

NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTOR IC P LACES
INVENTORY - NOMINATION FORM

(Continuation Sheet)



STATE

Massachusetts



Suffolk



FOR NPS USE ONLY



(Number all entries)

9. Major Bibliographical References cont'd.

The Roxbury Magazine , published by All Souls Unitarian Church, Roxbury,

Massachusetts, 1899.
American Architect and Building News, vol. 2, no. 55, January 13, 1877.



Form 10-301 UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

'(July 1969) NATIONAL PARK SERVICE

NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES
PROPERTY MAP FORM

(Type all entries - attach to or enclose with map)



Massachusetts



Suffolk



FOR NPS USE ONLY



o



|1. NAME



John Eliot Souare, Roxbur,



■'OR HISTORIC:



2. LOCATION



STREET AND NUM BEF



CI TY OR TOY



Roxbury



"assachusetts



025



Suffolk



025



3. MAP REFERENCE



Topographic & Planinetric Survey of the City of Boston



1:100



1962



4. REQUIREMENTS



TO BE INCLUDED ON ALU MAPS

1. Property broundaries where required.

2. North arrow.

3. Latitude and longitude reference.



>rm 10-301 UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

jly 1969) NATIONAL PARK SERVICE

NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES

PROPERTY MAP FORM

(Type all entries - attach to or enclose with map)



ST A 1


1

Massachusetts


COU


JT Y

Suffolk


FOR NPS USE ONLY


ENTRY NUMBER 3 A - E



u





common: ,!nhn r linf C/ ~:


\?.rp ,


Rnxhur


v












AN DOR HISTORIC:
















j2. LOCATION




STREET ANC NUMBER:




CITY OR TOWN:

Roxburv




STATE:

Massachusetts


CODE


|cou

1


NTY:


Suffolk


| CO = E




0?^


1 025


13. .


i\p ocpfocurK



LLI
LU





SOURCE:


USGS 7.5'


Ser


'ies ,


Boston South


Quadrannle




SCALE:


1:24,000












DATE:


]ocf








!



[4. REQUIREMENTS



ro BE INCLUDED ON ALU MAPS -

1. Property broundaries where required.

2. North arrow.

3. Latitude and longituda reference.
f





1

Online LibraryMass.) Boston Landmarks Commission (BostonNational register of historic places, inventory-nomination form: john eliot square → online text (page 1 of 1)