| National Register Listing: Harrison Square Historic District a/k/a Clam Point Historic District
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Report prepared in 2002
[Note: this reproduction of the information in the National Register Nomination Form may have typographical errors, and for technical matters, the reader may want to consult a copy of the original, which is available at the Boston Landmarks Commission or the Dorchester Historical Society]
Harrison Square/Clam Point
The Clam Point/Harrison Square Historic District, Boston, is located in east central Dorchester between the MBTA subway tracks on the west and Morrissey Boulevard on the east. Clam Point's acreage originally encompassed upland pasture, salt marsh, and flats. Most of the district's streets traverse level terrain, including Park, Everett, Mill, and Blanche Streets. South of Green Hill Street, Blanche, Everdean and Mill Streets descend more or less gradually to Victory Road. Early 20th century landfill operations have drastically altered the edges of the district. The meandering course of Tenean Creek once circumscribed the west side of the district. The windows of houses on the east side of Blanche Street originally overlooked a tidal inlet called Barque Warwick Cove; a cove that separated Clam Point from Commercial Point. Similarly, the east side of Freeport Street originally ran along the Dorchester Bay. During the early 20th century, the creek, cove, and waterfront disappeared as the result of landfill operations. Landfill on the east side of Clam Point resulted in the creation of the Old Colony (later William T. Morrissey) Boulevard.
In the northwest corner of the district, Ashland Street ascends from lower elevations at its intersection with Park to high ground at Mill Street. Elm Street descends gradually from Everett Street to lowlands west of Ashland Street. The back yards of houses on the east side of Mill Street, between Freeport and Ashland, slope down to house lots set out over lowlands bordering northern Everdean Street. The west side of Ashland and Mill Streets slope down to the 20' tall granite block railroad embankment which was built in 1905 for the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad. Indeed, the embankment is one of the key man-made landscape features of the area, looming above the back yards of Ashland and Mill Street houses, and walling off Clam Point from Dorchester neighborhoods to the north and west.
Until recently Clam Point was called Harrison Square, or simply "The Square." The name commemorated William Henry Harrison's visit to Dorchester during the presidential campaign of 1840 and honored his memory, as he died of pneumonia shortly after taking office. Harrison Square referred to both the node of industrial and commercial buildings constructed around the Harrison Square Old Colony Railroad depot (1844), as well as the residential district that later became known as Clam Point. When rail service to Harrison Square was discontinued in 1957, the Harrison name began to fade from the memories of area inhabitants. The Harrison Square Depot was demolished around 1970. Just as the Church Street district in Boston was renamed Bay Village during the 1960s, the name Clam Point is said to have been coined during the 1970s by Realtors intent on touting the area as a desirable coastal community of antique homes. For the purposes of marketing houses, Clam Point was evidently viewed as a more evocative name than the more historic name of Harrison Square.
Clam Point figured minimally in the annals of Dorchester history until the second quarter of the 19th century. Despite its location just to the east of the Lower Road (later Adams Street), a major Colonial era highway linking Meeting House Hill with South Shore settlements, Clam Point remained a backwater, removed from the early areas of settlement between Savin Hill and Edward Everett Square in North Dorchester. The colonial era mills of the Breck and Tileston families located to the southwest of the district were primarily local commercial concerns that called but little attention to the area. The early 1800s ship building and trading activities conducted briefly by Newell and Niles at nearby Commercial Point, on the other hand, caused Boston businessmen to look at the area with great interest.
The War of 1812 and other factors resulted in a cessation of commercial endeavors at the Point. By the early 1830s a business syndicate formed by Elisha Preston, Nathaniel Thayer, Josiah Stickney, and Charles Whittemore was established to manage whale and cod fisheries. Preston built a chocolate mill and augmented his family's long-held lands at Clam Point with additional extensive tracts. Although Withingtons, Balcoms Noyes and Herseys had owned property at Clam Point for decades, and the Prestons since as early as the mid17th century, it was not until the opening of the Old Colony Railroad during the mid-1840s that the first significant, intensive residential development began to take shape in the district. As early as 1841, surveyor Thomas Mosely, together with architect Luther Briggs, Jr., devised a grid plan at the northwest corner of the district near the Harrison Square Depot. Local real estate speculators began to purchase large parcels of land with the intention of building houses impressive for their large scale and fine design. During the second half of the 19th century, a remarkable community of educated, successful commuter businessmen, social activists, and talented artists evolved at Clam Point, including India Wharf merchant and horticulturalist Elisha Loring (21 Mill Street, photo 1), abolitionist Joseph Lindsley (25-27 Park Street), Boston City Hospital surgeon Dr. William Cranch Bond Fifield and his daughter, First Parish Church historian Mary Fifield King (4 Ashland Street), Boston lithographer John H. Bufford, Jr. ( Elm Street), and nationally acclaimed pianist Martha Dana Shepherd (15 Ashland Street).
By 1850, lured by the leafy charms, salubrious sea breezes and convenient commuter rail service, a dozen or more affluent families had set up housekeeping in the neighborhood south of the Harrison Square depot, later Clam Point. Commodious residences border Mill, Park, Ashland, and Everett Streets; the influence of Hudson River Valley landscape architect and critic Andrew Jackson Downing and New York City-based architect Alexander Jackson Davis is evident in the design of several houses in the district.
For example, the Italianate villas at 23 and 25-27 Park Street (photos 9, 12) represent a variation on the rusticated Tuscan or "modern Italian" residences illustrated in Downing's The Architecture of Country Houses (1850). Substantial residences possessing square and rectangular main blocks with extensive rear ells presided over spacious lots traversed by carriage ways and dotted with stables and other ancillary structures. Miraculously, many of these generous house lots escaped later subdivision, retaining mid 19th century landscape features as well as the residence themselves.
Between 1840-1870, the talented Dorchester architect Luther Briggs, Jr., designed a dozen or more stylish and substantial houses at Clam Point/Harrison Square. Briggs' residential work referenced Downing and Davis' influential works, including Rural Cottages and The Architecture of County Houses. The focus of the district, in terms of high quality architectural design, intact 19th century streetscapes and historical associations with the area's early development is the Mill/ Ashland streets intersection.
The majority of the district's buildings represent the styles and forms popular in New England between the early 1830s and the 1910s. At Clam Point/Harrison Square, as in most New England communities, the Greek Revival style is frequently blended with the Italianate mode (i.e. 15-17 Ashland Street and 13 Park Street (photo 2)). Most of the district's houses, however, fall into stylistic categories: the Italianate and the Stick/Queen Anne styles.
Harrison Square's development did not cease with the commencement of the Civil War. The glory years of upscale house construction were extended into the early 1870s by Briggs, who continued to design mansion-scale residences for the area. Briggs' later work is represented by a handful of Italianate residences enclosed by "modern French" or mansard roofs. Characterized by substantial, T-shaped forms, ornate, architectonic entrances and window surround and cornices accented with modillion blocks, stylish and substantial examples of his post-war housing included 40 Mill Street (photo 3) and 14 Everett Street.
Although primarily significant as a mid 19th century romantic suburb of Greek Revival, Italianate, and Italianate mansard residences, the area is also noteworthy for housing characterized by the asymmetrical form and picturesque elements of the Stick and Queen Anne styles. These late Victorian era architectural modes are represented by a handful of substantial residences scattered about the district and especially by more modest tract houses encompassed within four post-1880s enclaves.
Around 1880, a half dozen stylish and substantial Stick Style houses were built in the district from designs provided by the important Dorchester architect John A. Fox, who may be seen as the successor to Briggs as the district "court architect." Like Briggs, Fox designed substantial housing noteworthy for memorable siting, bold forms, and picturesque design. These Stick Style residences reflect a design evolution that acknowledges the debt owed to earlier styles such as the Carpenter Gothic and Swiss Chalet. Most of these houses display the asymmetrical massing, steeply pitched gables, highly decorative juxtapositions of clapboards and wood shingles, rustic porch treatments, ornamental stick work, and paneled and corbelled chimneys associated with the Stick Style. Fine examples of Fox-designed domestic architecture in the district included the 1887 house of coal dealer Dexter Cutter at 15 Blanche Street; 8 Everett Street; 26-28 Mill Street; 30 Mill Street (photo 8); and 43 Mill Street. In addition, the district's largest and most exuberant example of the Queen Anne Style is the towered, verandah-encircled ca. 1890 Krogman House at 29 Mill Street (photo 5).
Between 1880-1900, Harrison Square's housing stock was significantly augmented by the development of four nodes of modest Stick Style and Queen Anne suburban houses bordering Blanche, Everdean, and northern Mill Streets. With a few noteworthy exceptions, the later commuter houses were built for middle income and working class families intent on realizing their dream of suburban home ownership.
The enclave of Queen Anne houses bordering the east side of Blanche Street, north of Green Hill Street, is the oldest and most architecturally distinguished of the late 19th century subdivisions in the district. 2 and 10 Blanche Street along with 12 and 14 Blanche, and 46 and 50 Everdean were developed for families headed by middle managers, clerks, salesmen, and the like. Asymmetrically massed and artfully ornamented, these Stick/Queen Anne houses constitute a remarkable enclave that documents the social aspirations and aesthetic choices of a later, middle income generation of suburbanites. Here residences on lots ranging from 3500-5000 square feet face small-to-medium sized front yards. Clad with a blend of clapboards and wood shingle sheathing, these houses incorporate corner towers, square bays, and angled Chinese Chippendale porches; achieving, on a much smaller scale, the sense of ease, order, and genteel living in evidence at the earlier, mansion-scale residences of Mill, Everett, and Park streets.
In terms of scale, Blanche Street houses, south of Green Hill Street, range from modest to moderate, and are set close to the street on 1800-1900 square foot lots. Facing narrow front yards, most of the houses encompassed within the street's odd- and even-numbered groups (19-33 and 20-34 Blanche Street) possess simple, rectangular end gable forms. Built during the mid-to- late 1890s by the Howard Brothers contracting firm, these houses concede little to stylistic pretensions and may be nominally categorized within the Queen Anne style by virtue of occasional turned porch posts and spool work railing balusters as well as surfaces which alternate between clapboards and wood shingles. Dating to the middle 1890s, the third enclave of modest Queen Anne houses is located on the east side of Everdean Street, south of Green Hill Street. Developed in a manner similar to that of lower Blanche Street, these end gable houses were erected by North Cambridge contractor D.L. Spaulding, 74-84 Everdean Street. Standing close together on 1800 square foot lots, minimal space was allotted for front and back yards.
Situated on Mill Street, overlooking the Byrne Playground, the Queen Anne dwellings at 4-18 Mill Street were built during the 1890s and early 1900s. Sited close together on lots ranging from 4300-4700 square feet, most of the houses in this linear development were built and designed by local contractor and architect Isaac Shurman. Sheathed in clapboards and/or patterned shingle and enclosed primarily by intersecting gables, these houses exhibit little in the way of ornamental flourishes beyond turned porch posts and spool work transoms.
Public Parks and Privately-owned Open Spaces
The only park in the area is the asphalt-paved Byrne Playground at Mill, Everett, and Elm Streets, which was the site of Franklin King's mid-19th century mansion. While not representative of a public park, the recent retention of the great side lawn of the Loring Mansion at 21 Mill Street (photo 1) illustrates how a balance can be achieved between a community's need for open space and the developer's desire to create market rate housing on a large house lot. New housing was placed on a part of the property that would not compromise the historic appearance of the old estate.
Commodious front yards enclosed by a near-continuous line of hedges between 8 and 26 Everett Street constitute a greenbelt of privacy between houses and the street. Particularly noteworthy is the stately progression of tree-shaded front lawns in evidence between 29-43 Mill Street. In most cases, these grassy tracts are demarcated by granite gates and fence posts and overlaid by straight and semi-circular driveways. These front yards provide a fine setting for handsome residences exhibiting Greek Revival and Italianate characteristics. The undeveloped lots of demolished Clam Point houses contribute to the open, semi-rural "feeling" of the area (i.e. open lots at 6 Ashland, 5 and 6 Elm and 3 Mill Streets). To the west of 28 Park Street is a rare district example of a sizable lot that has never accommodated buildings or structures.
Over time, reversible alterations have been made to numerous buildings in the district. Original clapboards have been replaced by asbestos, asphalt, and vinyl sheathing, as well as by wood shingles. For example, the Italianate house at 4 Ashland Street is currently in the process of stucco removal to reveal original clapboards. Around 1980, a modern two-story addition was removed from the main face of the Italianate Mansard house at 2 Everett Street, and a stylistically appropriate, well-designed front porch was recreated at the main elevation.
While changes to the original fabric have occurred with considerable frequency, the siting, form and elements of Clam Point's residences are essentially intact, characterized by boxy square and rectangular main blocks with extensive, multi-segmented rear ells. Highly plastic main blocks with numerous excrescences are the norm. Projecting from main and side facade are porches, square and polygonal bays as well as towered components. Four mid-19th century houses retain cupolas. In several cases, changes to the fabric and fenestration of 19th century houses has been so drastic that it is difficult to visualize the original appearance of the house - such is the case at 1 Everett and 9-11 Park Streets where basic forms and granite foundation materials identify these houses as dating to the initial development of the area. At 13 Everett Street, an extensive rear ell containing condominium apartments has been added to the original ell of this Federal/Greek Revival house.
On the whole, alterations to the original fenestration has been minimal, in part because early to mid 20th century homeowners may not have had the means to update their houses. The majority of houses retain original window sash configurations including 6/6, 2/2, and 1/1, and Queen Anne multi-pane sash types. The neighborhood retains a significant proportion of the buildings ever constructed here. The nominated district encompasses 107 contributing and non-contributing buildings. Here and there, however, substantial mid 19th century residences have been razed, including the Franklin King House (now the site of the Byrne Playground); the Frances Humphreys House, later the Ellsmere House at 3 Mill Street; the Gibbs House which stood on the site of two bungalows at 20-22 Elm Street; the Charles Townsend House which was located behind 10-12 Ashland Street; and the Greek Revival double house at 36-38 Park Street which was razed during the 1980s.
Scattered about the district are granite elements that date from the original, 191h century, development, Virtually every substantial pre-1870 870 residence retains granite elements. The Elisha Loring House at 21 Mill Street (photo 1) boasts the most extensive and varied collection of features composed of this durable material.
7.2 Topography and Settlement
The district was originally part of a two-pronged peninsula that included Commercial Point to the east and Clam Point to the west. Landfill operations during the first three decades of the 20th century obliterated bodies of water that had defined the shape of the peninsula. No longer in evidence is the meandering course of Tenean Creek which was located to the west of the Old Colony Railroad tracks, now the Braintree and Ashmont branches of the MBTA subway line. To the east of Clam Point, Barque Warwick Cove, a tidal inlet on the north side of Tenean Creek, originally separated Clam Point from Commercial Point. Originally skirting the edge of Dorchester Bay, Freeport Street is separated from the bay by landfill created to accommodate Morrissey Boulevard.
Along with Boston, Cambridge and Roxbury, Dorchester was settled by English Puritans in 1630. Original population centers were located further to the north between Savin Hill and Edward Everett Square in North Dorchester. Clam Point remained virtually uninhabited from the Colonial era until the early 19th century. Breck's Mill, later Tileston's Grist Mill, was established before the Revolution on the west side of Tenean Creek, near Adams Street. By the early 1800s, business partners Newell and Niles considered establishing milling operations of their own, but instead turned to ship building and maritime trading. The partners' initiative called attention to Commercial Point's potential as a base for profitable industries, but the War of 1812 and other factors caused Newell and Niles to abandon the Point in 1813.
Although whaling operations (1830-1840) were short-lived at Commercial Point, other industries came to the fore during this period and continued to flourish. Investors in Commercial Point businesses began to look at nearby Clam Point with an eye towards residential development. Commercial Point chocolate and cocoa manufacturer Elisha Preston augmented his family's existing land holdings with the purchase of additional tracts. As early as ca. 1830, Preston built the wood-frame late Federal house at 32 Mill Street. During the 1870s and 1880s Commercial Point residences and businesses were systematically leveled to ensure safety in the production of gas by the Boston Gas Works (later Boston Edison).
Over time Clam Point developed from north to south. By 1841, as plans for the Old Colony Railroad began to unfold, a street grid was drawn up by surveyor Thomas Mosely and architect Luther Briggs, Jr. Real estate speculator John Robinson, iron foundry owner Axel Dearborn, druggist brothers Franklin and Edward King, and merchant Elisha Loring made a significant investment in the area. By 1859 the street grid northwest of Mill Street contained twenty Greek Revival, Italianate, and Italianate/Mansard residences. By that time, the west side of Mill Street, between Ashland and Preston (later Victory Road), had been built up, with four substantial houses on unusually ample lots.
The southeast side of Mill Street has a much more complex development history. Prior to 1880, most of this land was owned by members of the Noyes, Hersey, and Preston families. Indeed, the Prestons owned all of the land bounded by Mill, Ashland, and Blanche Streets and Victory Road. Between the end of the Civil War and the turn of the century, four residential developments were carved from tracts located on the southeast side of Mill Street. Subdivision of the Preston estate in the 1870s and 1880s resulted in the selling off of house lots and the construction of three imposing Italianate/Mansard residences at 40, 42 and 44 Mill Street (photo 3). The large John A. Fox-designed houses at 26-28 and 30 Mill Street (photo 8) around 1880 demonstrated Harrison Square's continued appeal to affluent commuter homeowners while the development of more modest, 1890s Queen Anne houses at 2-14 Blanche Street began a new chapter in the District's evolution, marketed as these were to middle managers rather than captains of industry.
Considerably more modest, in terms of lot size and building scale, is the speculative development bordering both sides of Blanche Street and the east side of Everdean, between Green Hill Street and Victory Road. Built during the mid-1890s, these streetscapes are densely built-up, with dwellings sited close together, their end gables facing small front yards.
A fourth collection of mid-sized Queen Anne residences were built during the mid 1890s at 4-18 Mill Street. The design interest of these houses lies in the variety of compact forms which incorporate polygonal and bowed bays as well as roof configurations characterized by intersecting, end, and clipped gables.
One of the features that sets Harrison Square apart from other Dorchester neighborhoods is the fact that the majority of its ante-bellum houses are still surrounded by ample yards. In most Dorchester neighborhoods the electric streetcar triggered explosive growth in the form of three-deckers. That Clam Point escaped subdivision of large lots for multi-family development may be attributed to the fact that the heirs of its founding families held on to their properties until as late as the 1910s and 1920s, after the three-decker construction boom had largely subsided. Lot size at Park, Mill, and to a lesser extent Ashland and Everett Streets, more or less represents original square footage. Still extant on Clam Point parcels are substantial houses, stables, one or two carriage ways and commodious yards. Indeed, Alice A. Burditt of 42 Mill Street, writing in 1926, observed that, "none of these estates were large but they were so well laid out that they comprised a great deal often including strawberry beds, currant, and other bushes and all variety of fruit." Bordering the north side of Park Street, for example, are mid 19th century residences retaining more or less original lot configuration, ranging from 12,000 to over 20,000 square feet. More generous, still, are house lots bordering the north side of Mill Street between Victory Road and Ashland Street. Here lots range from 17,000 to almost 50,000 square feet. At 63,389 square feet the former Elisha Loring tract is the largest of the first generation of estates at Clam Point.
7.3 District Boundaries
Clam Point's isolation from the rest of Dorchester accounts, in part, for the area's well-preserved mid-to-late Victorian era character. Prior to early 20th century landfill, waterways such as Tenean Creek to the west, Barque Warwick Cove to the east, and Dorchester Bay to the northeast rendered Clam Point a place apart. Since 1844 the area has seen separated from the Field's Corner section of Dorchester to the west by the railroad tracks of the Old Colony line (later the New Haven Railroad and the MBTA Red Line). By the early 1920s, Old Colony Boulevard (later William T. Morrissey Boulevard) cut Clam Point off from Commercial Point and Dorchester Bay.
The boundaries of this district are circumscribed by the back lot lines of Park Street to the north (just short of Freeport Street), the back lot lines of Everett Street on the east, the back lot lines of Mill, Ashland, and Blanche Streets so the southeast, while the southern boundary follows a rather irregular path up and down lot lines bordering Blanche, Green Hill and Mill Streets. Logically, Victory Road is the southern boundary of this area, but its building stock tends to be undistinguished mid-20th century residential, commercial, and light industrial structures. The western edge of this area border the former Old Colony Railroad tracks, now the Braintree branch of the MBTA Red Line.
7.4 Architectural Overview
The Clam Point Historic District is overwhelmingly residential in character. Approximately 80% of the district's housing stock was built between 1840 and 1900. Because of this long period of development, several generations of suburban house enclaves are represented within the district's boundaries. The designs of the first. generation of residences, many of them by architect Luther Briggs Jr., attest to his familiarity with the builder's guides written and illustrated by New York- based designers Andrew Jackson Downing and Alexander Jackson Davis. Built for an affluent clientele of merchants and industrialists, the Point's first families were succeeded during the late 19th century by families of more modest means, a reality reflected in the smaller scale and less finely detailed, more vernacular designs of their houses which were built within discrete subdivisions.
Over 20 pre-1860 residences are located on the west and northwest sides of Mill Street. Within the 1841 street grid containing Ashland, Elm, Everett, and Park streets are 1840s to early 1860s houses exhibiting the forms and elements of the Late Federal, Greek Revival, Italianate and Italianate/Mansard styles. Overwhelmingly constructed of wood, these houses rise from granite block and brick foundations to end and intersecting gables as well as hip and mansard roofs. Only a handful of brick buildings were ever built in the District, including the ca. 1830 Federal style Withington-Safford House at 19 Ashland Street (photo 10) and a ca. mid-19th century suburban house at 5 Everett Street.
Built during the 1840s and 1850s, the first generation of commuter houses possess the three-bay, side hall plan, end gable forms that became popular after ca. 1830. Also represented are the rectangular, center entrance, three bay-by-two bay main blocks associated with the Italianate style. Both types of main blocks, together with original and later rear ells constitute T and L- shaped forms. Indeed, most of the rear ells, with their multiple one and two story components, date to the construction of the main block. In the case of the ca. early 1840s 1 Ashland Street, its rambling, L-shaped rear ell is much larger than its small, pedimented, two bay-by-one bay main block.
Bisecting the district on a northeast-southwest diagonal, Mill Street boasts the outstanding collection of mansion scale houses and intact Victorian era streetscapes in the district. The trio of Luther Briggs-designed Italianate/Mansard houses at 40-44 Mill Street (photo 3) are major landmarks at the southwestern edge of the district by virtue of their substantial size and cupola-topped mansard roofs. Structural excrescences such as small entrance porches with square posts and curvilinear bracing as well as polygonal bays at side walls, moderate the boxy geometry of these mansion-scale residences.
In terms of historic styles, the Federal is minimally represented in the district by two 2 1/2-story, center-hall plan, residences. Measuring five bays by two bays, both 19 Ashland Street (photo 10) and 32 Mill Street are shown on the 1831 Hales map of Boston and environs. Evidently built for members of Dorchester's Withington family, 19 Ashland's main block exhibits planar brick walls, a fanlight-surmounted center entrance as well as the early 19th century predilection for orienting the main facade of freestanding houses to facing south. The present side gable roof with return eaves may have replaced a hip roof when the east walls' square bay and wooden rear wing were added ca. 1860. The Preston homestead at 32 Mill Street is clad with clapboards and possesses the rectangular five bay by two bay form characteristic of Federal residences. Later Gothic Revival lancet windows and Italianate front and side porches as well as the west wall's two-story Italianate polygonal bay update the simple Federal style form.
The Greek Revival style, America's "first democratic style," popularly employed in the design of houses great and small from Maine to Oregon is represented at Clam Point in only a handful of houses built during the 1840s. The most architecturally significant example of this style is the Elisha Loring House at 21 Mill Street (photo 1). Clearly the work of an as-yet-to-be-identified architect, this stately residence is composed of a generously proportioned three bay by three bay main block and a substantial rear ell. The house's original clapboards were replaced by wood shingles at an undetermined date. The main elevation's pedimented center pavilion exhibits a small front porch whose Ionic columns support a heavy, cornice-headed entablature. The porch's roof is set off by an ornate cast iron railing. Both the front door and second floor porch door above are flanked by multi-pane sidelights and enframed by raised moldings. Flanking the center pavilion are fully enframed windows. The side walls are unusually wide, culminating in broad pedimented attics containing elliptical lunette windows. The house's south and west walls exhibit an encircling verandah with fluted Ionic columns. The Loring property's numerous granite elements, including the block of the house's foundation, front steps, fence posts, and curving perimeter walls, represent the full range of granite elements found elsewhere in the district. Undoubtedly these granite materials originated at the famous quarries of nearby Quincy. These granite elements merely hint at the more extensive use of this durable material in the construction of Greek Revival public and commercial buildings during Boston's so-called "Granite Age" (ca. 1810-1860).
Greek Revival houses of considerably more modest scale than the Loring house survive in altered states while retaining their original forms complete with square and rectangular main blocks surmounted by pedimented attics. Less formal than the Loring house is a vinyl-sheathed Greek Revival end house at 7 Everett Street (photo 7). Composed of a two bay by three bay main block and a five bay by two bay rear ell, a verandah with slat work rails and fluted Doric columns wraps around the street gable. Although sheathed in asbestos shingles, the Greek Revival 1 Ashland Street retains the distinctive forms of its pedimented, unusually small three bay by one bay main block and extensive rear ell. Here and there Greek Revival elements have been incorporated into the forms of essentially Italianate residences. For example, 13 Park Street (photo 2) exhibits paneled Doric pilasters at the comers of a main block whose rectangular, horizontal orientation was a preferred Italianate housing form. Additionally, its west elevation's two-story polygonal bay is typically incorporated into the designs of Italianate houses.
Similarly, 33 Mill Street (photo 11) blends Classical elements with the long, rectangular three bay by two bay orientation of mid 19th century Italianate houses. While the Ionic columned porch and corner pilaster may represent a later, Colonial Revival embellishment, shouldered window enframes and a broad frieze board at the cornice strike a Greek Revival note and appear to be original to the house's 1844 construction. At the main elevation's second story, a center pavilion is suggested via paired Tuscan columns that support a heavy entablature and a pedimented attic pierced by an elliptical window. Rising from the center of the roof is the type of square cupola with deep eaves typically constructed atop substantial Greek Revival residences.
As is the case in most sections of Dorchester, the Carpenter Gothic style is represented in a rather limited manner. At Clam Point this style is confined to the isolated elements of late Federal and Greek Revival houses, including the pointed arch windows of 32 Mill Street's attic and 1 Ashland Street's main entrance's narrow lancet arch side lights. The pitch of 37 Mill Street's center gable alludes to the steep pitch of Gothic Revival gables.
The Italianate style, on the other hand, is widely represented in Clam Point. Indeed, it was the historic architectural style most widely employed for housing at the Point between 1850-1870. The Italianate style is in evidence in houses that possess a variety of forms whose rigid geometry is relieved by polygonal bays, front and side porches, and deep bracketed cornices. In typically Italianate fashion, curved lines are celebrated in porch bracing and arched windows. Here and there, in the houses of the 1840s to early 1870s, fine Italianate detailing is noted in the form of rope entrance moldings, rusticated walls, Palladian windows, and guilloche and dentil course at roof cornices.
Representing the full range of Italianate house forms are a pair of identical end dwellings at 7-9 Elm Street, a cross-shaped house such as 20 Mill Street, and rectangular, center hall plan, five bay by two bay residences, including 17 Park Street and 31 Mill Street, as well as the aforementioned square Italianate villas (i.e. 23 Park Street (photos 9, 12) and 25-27 Park Street). Substantial examples of long, rectangular three bay by two bay center entrance Italianate residences bordering Mill Street include 31, 33, and 37 Mill (photo 11). Composed of a gabled- roofed main block and a 2 l/2 story and a one story rear wing, 31 Mill Street (photo 4) exhibits a projecting center pavilion with a Palladian attic window distinctive for its diminutive scale. At the center of the projecting pavilion, the main entrance retains its original multi-panel doors and heavy, molded enframents. A square bay projects from the main block's southwest wall. Still intact is the encircling verandah at the northeast corner. The inclusion of front and side porches into the design of mid-century housing provides evidence of a way of life that was becoming less formal and structured as families gathered in these "outdoor parlors" to contemplate their leafy surroundings, read, visit, and engage in other forms of socializing in full view of neighbors and passersby. The eaves at the end walls are deep, flared and lack the returns typically characteristic of Italianate gables.
Five large Italianate Mansard residences designed by Luther Briggs Jr. between the late 1850s and early 1870s provide physical evidence of Clam Point at the height of its popularity as an upscale suburban development. The "modern French roof? was first employed in the United States in 1847 at the Deacon Mansion in Boston's South End. Built in 1859, from designs provided by Briggs, the Sarah K. Safford House at 2 Everett Street is a two bay by two bay Italianate/Mansard. Probably the first residence to be enclosed by a mansard roof at Clam Point, 2 Everett's 2-story main block and rear ell are covered in clapboard-style vinyl siding. The placement of its entrance suggests a side hall interior plan. Beneath the eaves of the main facade's bell-cast mansard roof is a handsome guilloche molding.
Built ca. 1870 for cotton broker Freeman S. Packer, 14 Everett Street is a handsome, formal example of a Briggs-designed Italianate Mansard residence. Although sheathed in vinyl siding, this house retains its siting, form, and elements. Set back from the street facing an ample hedge-enclosed front yard, the three bay main facade exhibits a center pavilion and full-length front porch which undoubtedly appealed to summer guests who vacationed here when this house was known at the Russell House Hotel during the 1890s and early 1900s. Possessing a T-shaped form, this house rises two stories to a substantial mansard roof.
Built around 1870, the trio of Italianate Mansard houses at 40-44 Mill Street (photo 3) constitute one of the most memorable Victorian vignettes in the district. Presiding over the crest of a rise at Green Hill and Mill Streets and exhibiting the form and detailing typical of Luther Briggs Jr.'s mature work, the trio's 19th century landscape features include a semi-circular driveway and granite gate posts.
According to Marcus Whiffen in American Architecture Since 1780. A Guide to the Styles, "the Stick Style may be counted with the Shingle Style as one of the two purely American styles of the nineteenth century." Although Clam Point does not have any example of the Shingle Style, the Stick Style is well represented by five stylish and substantial examples designed by Dorchester architect John A. Fox, during the late 1870s and 1880s. The term was coined during the early 1950s by Professor Vincent Scully of Yale to describe the type of rustic house which evolved from "Swiss Cottages" illustrated in Downing's The Architecture of Country Houses (1850). The style was advocated by Downing because of his insistence on "truthfulness" in wooden construction, which "in his view was to be achieved, for example, by the use of vertical boarding on the outside of walls." To Downing, the vertical boarding echoed the interior timbers which supported the structure and "properly signifies to the eye a wooden house." In additional to vertical boarding, clapboards were typically overlaid by horizontal and diagonal boards. Asymmetrical forms, extensive verandahs with roofs supported by posts with diagonal braces, steeply pitched gable and clipped gable roofs are all hallmarks of the Stick Style. By the time of the American Centennial of 1876, the style was nearing the zenith of its popularity. Fox designed five large Stick Style houses at Clam Point between the late 1870s and 1880s, illustrative of his distinctive interpretation of the Stick Style.
Fox's most successful design at Clam Point is arguably that at 30 Mill Street (photo 8), a substantial residence illustrative of his interpretation of the style. Picturesquely enframed by mature trees and shrubbery in a manner reminiscent of illustrations in The Architecture of Country Houses, this house is prominently sited on a corner lot. Its main facade is treated as an unusually broad end gable. Essentially rectangular in form, this compact house is an atypical example of a Stick Style residence. In addition to its symmetrical form, the suggestion of a center pavilion at the entrance bay is an unusual feature. Above the rustic entrance porch is a projecting wall segment which is too broad and shallow to be considered an oriel but nevertheless carried upwards to the apex of the facade gable. The distinctive, projecting, gable-like lintels at the center of the second floor echo the shape of the gable-roofed porch whose eaves exhibit small, circular punched and cut detail. The Ashland Street elevation exhibits a multi-pane glass conservatory atop a side porch. Still intact are a pair of narrow, corbelled chimneys.
Less cohesive in terms of its design is the double Shingle Style house at 26-28 Mill Street. Built in 1879, the remarkably intact residence possesses one of the most complex forms and roof configurations at the Point. Clad with clapboards at the first and second stories, its six intersecting gables are sheathed with scalloped shingles. Marking the main entrance at the center of the Mill Street facade is an open porch with square posts and railings exhibiting turned balusters. Projecting onto the roof porch is a gable whose shingle apron is surmounted by a pair of small triangular windows at the gable's apex. To the right of this gable is a square second floor oriel which is carried into a gable roof dormer. Stick work is in evidence beneath the dormer's window. The Ashland Street facade is even more complex with two side gables and a two-tier porch enlivened by Chinese Chippendale and spool work railings. The taller, 2 1/2 story gable exhibits a pair of square, shed roofed windows at the first floor. The eastern gable exhibits a deep overhang supported by fairly extensive curved brackets which spring from posts. In addition to the overhang, Medieval Revival characteristics include the steep pitch of the gables as well as three corbelled and paneled brick chimneys.
Although 43 Mill Street's stick work has been obscured by vinyl siding, this early 1880s residence designed by Fox retains its siting, asymmetrical massing, and a complex configuration of intersecting roof types. Together with the altered Stick Style house at 11 Blanche Street, the D.J. Cutter House at 15 Blanche Street was built in 1887. Like 30 Mill Street, 15 Blanche's form is unusually compact for the style. Possessing a boxy, rectangular, center entrance plan, the house rises two stories to a steeply-pitched hip roof whose east elevation exhibits a low tripartite dormer enclosed by a sweeping roof slope. Crisply accented by corner boards and a string course between the first and second stories, this house retains its clapboard sheathing. A flight of wooden stairs provides access to a center entrance which is sheltered by a rustic gable-roofed front porch. First floor windows are surmounted by unusual wood shingle-clad aprons which descend and flare out from the second story's string courses to the heads of the windows.
The Queen Anne style is represented within the district primarily by modest to medium-sized wooden houses located within 1890s subdivisions. The noteworthy exception to this rule is the substantial, towered residence at 29 Mill Street (photo 5). Built ca. 1890 for salesman W. Libby Krogman, the pronounced sculptural qualities of this residence, together with the juxtaposition of clapboards and patterned shingles, variety of window sizes, and ornamentation place this house squarely within the pantheon of important Queen Anne designs within the city of Boston. Painted in a manner that showcases its sheathing and ornament to great advantage, this well-preserved house is particularly noteworthy for its graceful verandah that encircles a distinctive, round, conically-capped tower at its northeast corner.
More typical of the style are the modest to mid-sized end houses of suburban developments bordering Blanche, Everdean, and northern Mill Street. The one-to-two story houses of upper Blanche Street (2-14 Blanche Street) exhibit a modicum of concern for forms that eschew the simple box, with small encircling porches and, in one case, a cornr tower. On the other hand, the Queen Anne houses on lower Blanche Street (19-33 and 20-34 Blanche) as well as lower Everdean Street (74-84 Everdean) are more modest, straightforward, rectangular end houses. Built for laborers, municipal workers and others, these modest 2 1/2 story end houses' aesthetic interest lies primarily in the juxtaposition of clapboards and wood shingle sheathing and turned front porch elements.
Bordering the curving path of Mill Street, south of Freeport, the group of houses numbered 4-18 Mill Street are primarily Queen Anne, possess compact rectangular two-story forms and are enclosed by gable roofs representative of the end, intersecting and clipped types. References are made to the Craftsman and Bungalow styles via the exposed timbers at the roof eaves of the late 1920s double house at 8A and B Mill Street and the sweeping roof slope of 18 Mill Street.
At Clam Point/Harrison Square, the Colonial Revival style manifests itself in isolated elements rather than designs in their entirety. The exuberant, aforementioned Queen Anne residence at 29 Mill Street (photo 5) blends Colonial Revival elements such as Tuscan porch columns and swans' neck scroll pediments with Queen Anne patterned shingles and ornamental porches.
The Bungalow style is represented by a pair of cottage-scale residences at 20-22 Elm Street. Built in 1916 by contractor Frederick Kilpatrick of Newbury Street, Boston, from designs provided by architect W.M. Harris, these houses possess the low, boxy rectangular forms and side gable roofs typical of Bungalow houses during the first quarter of the 20th century. The great sweep of the Elm Street slopes shelters open-front porches with turned columns. An off-center entrance is flanked by a pair of fully enframed windows to the left and small rectangular windows set high on the wan to the right. Rising from the center of the main elevations' roof slopes are hip-roofed double dormers.
Clam Point/Harrison Square does not possess tracts of multi-family housing. Double houses with side-by-side units include the Italianate house at 15-17 Ashland Street and the Stick Style residence at 26-28 Mill Street. Two-family residences, with units tacked atop the other were popular during the 1910s and 1920s but are barely represented within the District's streetscapes. The late 1920s Craftsman style residence at 8A/B Mill Street is the only example of this residential building type in the area. While the three-decker is well represented in most Dorchester neighborhoods, only a handful of examples exemplify this distinctive type at Clam Point. Typically exhibiting three tiers of porches at the main and rear facades, street elevations are generally characterized by planar entrance and polygonal or bowed bays, as well as elements of the Queen Anne and Colonial Revival styles.
Popularly employed as a means of housing commuting workers in a manner that was cost-effective, commodious and aesthetically pleasing, the three-decker came to the fore around 1880. During the 1890s and early 1920s, they were built in great numbers in South Boston, Roxbury, and especially Dorchester. That three-decker construction was the exception rather than the rule at Clam Point may be attributed to its insularity and the fact that Harrison Square's old families held on to their estates longer than their counterparts did in other parts of Dorchester. Immigrant newcomers to the area evidently did not have the means or inclination to subdivide their lots to accommodate multi-family housing. For the most part, the few three-deckers that were built in the area date to the 1910s and 1920s. During these decades this building type's popularity was on the wane as commuters began to settle in areas beyond the city limits.
Particularly noteworthy are the pair of three-deckers which stand on the northwest corner of Mill and Freeport Streets. Marking the principal eastern entrance to the district, 315 and 317 Freeport are "gateway" buildings which are essentially intact, retaining their wood shingle sheathing and trim. 315 Freeport's first floor was evidently modified to accommodate a corner store. The polygonal bay at the Mill and Freeport corner probably rose from the first rather than the second floor while the lower portion of its three-tier porch has been removed to accommodate the former store front's entrance. The second floor porch is supported by turned, diagonal bracing which may have been recycled from an earlier house in the area. In evidence above 315' s first floor is a two-story polygonal oriel. Both of the main facades culminate in deep, molded, and bracketed cornices.
Noteworthy for their progression of monumental columned porches, the trio of three-deckers at 18-24 Everett Street represent the district's most outstanding examples of multi-family residential design as well as the most extensive contiguous collection of housing of this type. Built in 1911 by contractor Ambrosio Piotti, these buildings are sheathed in wood shingles. Exhibiting flat and polygonal bays, their main facades possess three-tier porches with monumental Classical Revival columns. Less intact examples of three-deckers are located at 23- 29 Elm Street (1916) and the Weinbaum and Wexler-designed 10-12 Ashland Street (1928).
Still extant within the boundaries of the district are a half-dozen mid-to-late 19th century stables, including those at 7 Everett Street (photo 7); 9-11 Park Street; and 33 Mill Street.
Built primarily during the 1920s and 1930s, a dozen garages are located within the district. Well preserved, representative examples include the brick and concrete pyramidal-roof enclosed two-car garage at 9 Elm Street and the wooden, pyramidal roofed garage at 8 Everett Street.
Mill/Ashland Streets intersection
Much of the Clam Point Historic District's charm is dependent on the unspoiled, mid-to-late 19th century appearance of the Mill and Ashland Streets' crossroads. Located in the heart of the district, this intersection is characterized by a memorable marriage of historic architecture and natural and man-made landscape features. Dating from ca. 1830 to 1890, the residences located near this intersection rank among the finest examples of their respective historic architectural styles in Dorchester. The most prominent landmark in the area is the Elisha Loring House at 21 Mill Street (photo 1). Particularly noteworthy is the siting of the substantial early 1840s Greek Revival main block and extensive rear ell in relation to its deep, curved southwest lawn. Built ca. 1840-1845, the Loring House presides over an ample tract whose Mill and Ashland Streets edges are enclosed by a low, random ashlar granite wall. The Mill Street facade exhibits a projecting and pedimented center pavilion, while the unusually broad southwest side gable retains its Ionic columned portico and large attic lunette window. Two enormous copper beech trees shade the Mill Street edge of this old mansion house estate while a variety of granite elements, including the encircling perimeter wall, complete this remarkable vignette of the suburban domain of an early railroad commuter.
Visible from Mill Street, across the Loring's southwest lawn is the Withington House at 19 Ashland Street (photo 10). Built ca. 1830, this red-brick Federal style building had an extensive Italianate ell added to its rear wall during the 1860s. The main block's side gable roof with return eaves may have replaced a hip roof. Particularly noteworthy is the visual dialogue between the sweeping arc of Ashland Street's path, and the angled, T -shaped form and red brick and wooden materials of the Withington House. The bend in Ashland as it approaches Mill is accentuated by a wooden, reproduction mid-19th century fence.
Picturesquely anchoring the southeast and southwest corners of this intersection are the Stick Style, John A. Fox-designed residences at 26-28 and 30 Mill Street (photo 8). Built in 1879 for the Misses Noyes and Hersey, 26-28 Mill Street replaced an early 19th century cottage. Sheathed with clapboards, patterned shingles, and stick work, the house's complex asymmetrical form, plethora of bays and porches, as well as its paneled, corbelled chimneys lend considerable interest to the streetscape. The mature fir trees and shrubbery that enframe 30 Mill Street recall landscape features illustrated in Downing's Rural Cottage builders guides. Built during the early 1870s for a member of the Thomas Wales family, this house possesses a compact essentially rectangular clapboard and wood shingle-clad form. Characterized by the type of highly inventive design that set its architect apart from the average practitioner of suburban house design, the main facade is treated as a broad end gable divided into thirds by a shallow, overhanging entrance bay. Projecting from the center of the main facade's first floor is an open Stick Style porch which is enclosed by a steeply-pitched roof. The pitch of the porch roof is echoed, in the small and shallow gable-like lintels that shade a pair of narrow windows above the entrance porch. Projecting from the Ashland Street elevation is an open side porch which is surmounted by a multi-pane conservatory.
Across the street to the west at 29 Mill Street (photo 5) stands one of Boston's finest mature expressions of the Queen Anne style. Built in the late 1880s for salesman Washington L. Krogman, on land that had been part of George L. Guild's house lot, this house is noteworthy for its substantial, towered form, encircling verandah, and profuse ornament. Although adjacent to, rather than directly bordering the Mill Ashland intersection, the ca. 1830 house of Elisha and John Preston at 32 Mill Street is a key component within the historic crossroad area. Like the Loring House, the Preston place blends memorably vernacular domestic architecture and period landscape elements. Shaded by a large copper beech tree, the clapboard-clad, five bay by two bay, center-hall plan main block is essentially a late Federal vernacular dwelling which was updated ca. 1860 by the addition of front and side porches as well as an extensive rear ell enlivened by Italianate design elements. The stylistic eclecticism of this house is further evident in the lancet Gothic Revival attic windows of the side gables.
Mill Street Northeast of Ashland Street
Marking the eastern entrance to Mill Street are two well preserved three-deckers at 315-317 Freeport Street that were built by Dorchester contractor Ambrosio Piotti in 1912. Behind this duo, on the northeast side of Mill Street, is a large, undeveloped lot. Once the site of ca. 1868 Italianate Mansard Frances Humphreys House, and later adapted for reuse as the Ellsmere Hotel, this parcel has reverted to a wild, overgrown state while the Mill Street perimeter of the property is bordered by remnants of an old rubble stone wall. Continuing along the north side of Mill Street, between the undeveloped lot and Everett Street are two early 1890s clapboard and wood-shingle clad Queen Anne houses at 7 Mill Street and 26 Everett Street which may have been built as part of the hotel complex.
On the south side of Mill Street, between 4-18 Mill is a collection of Queen Anne houses which date primarily to the mid-1890s. Standing with end walls to the street, 4-8 Mill Street are simple vernacular end houses enclosed with gable and clipped gable roofs. 10 Mill Street is a handsome, wel1-designed Queen Anne house which may represent the work of John A. Fox. Characterized by an L-shaped form, an encircling verandah is enlivened by turned posts with curvilinear bracing and bowed, two-dimensional railing balusters. Covered with a skin of wood shingles, 10 Main Street's facade exhibits an entrance bay and two-story polygonal bay which is sheltered by the overhang of a pedimented attic, which exhibits a picturesquely rendered oriel supported by simple brackets. Above the oriel, at the gable's apex, is a stucco surface overlaid with ornamental stick work.
Set back from the bend in Mill Street, just beyond the late 19th century development at 4-18 Mill is a cross-shaped, Italianate house at 20 Mill Street, built ca. 1864 for mechanic Ellis Tipping. Next door to the south is an early 1900s three-decker at 24 Mill. Across the street from the Tipping House is the Greek Revival Loring House.
Mill Street West of Ashland Street
The west side of Mill Street, south of Ashland ranks as among the most evocative mid-19th century streetscapes in the district. Here a cluster of historic properties around Mill Street's intersection with Ashland form a unique sense of place via a memorable marriage of fine, mid-to-late 19th century architectural designs and streetscapes rich in landscape features.
The Mill Street perimeter of these properties exhibits granite fence and gate posts, hedges, commodious front lawns as well as semi-circular and linear carriage drives. Mid-to-late 19th century stables are located behind 33 and 41 Mill. The horizontal orientation of the Italianate main blocks at 31-37 Mill Street (photos 4, 11) contrast with the side hall plan Italianate end house at 41 Mill Street and the asymmetrical massing of the altered Stick Style house at 43 Mill Street.
On the east side of Mill Street, south of the old Preston homestead at 32 Mill, are two modern suburban ranch houses which are located on the site of the Preston's formal garden. Adjacent to the intersection of Mill and Green Hill Streets is a trio of large, T-shaped Italianate Mansard villas at 40-44 Mill Street (photo 3). Designed by Luther Briggs Jr. around 1870, these 2 1/2 story residences were built on the site of the Preston's apple orchards. All three houses possess center entrance porches and have elaborate window surrounds exhibiting Eastlakian ornamentation. Visible from the nearby Red Line, 40 and 44 Mill Street's distinctive octagonal cupolas are major landmarks on Clam Point's "skyline." The buildings are situated on an incline that descends gradually from Green Hill Street to Victory Road.
Ashland Street's housing stock ranges from the brick Federal style main block of the ca. 1830 Withington House at 19 Ashland (photo 10), through Greek Revival and Italianate end houses and turn-of-the-century Queen Anne single and multi-family houses to 1920s three-deckers as well as mid 20th century ranch houses. Covering a century or more of development, these houses represent the full spectrum of housing forms and historic architectural styles extant at Clam Point.
Returning to the Park Street end of Everett Street's east side, the handsome Italianate Mansard house at 2 Everett Street was built in 1859 from designs provided by Briggs. In recent years, a two-story addition has been removed from the main elevation and the front porch has been expertly recreated. The placement of the front door suggests a side-hall interior plan.
Next door to the south, is a large lot containing a small modern cottage, followed by a well-detailed, asymmetrically massed ca. 1880s Stick Style/Queen Anne residence at 8 Everett Street. This end house's clapboards are overlaid with vertical and horizontal boards. Chinese Chippendale railings enliven the off-center porch as well as shallow porches atop square bays at the main and south elevations.
Few houses at the Point can match the formality of the Luther Briggs Jr. designed house at 14 Everett Street. Built ca. 1870, the T-shaped Italianate Mansard house's three-bay main facade exhibits a formal center pavilion and a full-length front porch which must have appealed to prospective summer guests when this house was operated as the Russell House Hotel at the turn of the century. To the south of the hotel is a quartet of well preserved six-family, three-deckers at 18-24 Everett Street. Built in 1911, these Classical Revival buildings are noteworthy for their rhythmic repetition of polygonal bays, three tier porches supported by monumental Doric columns and bracketed cornices. Situated at the northwest corner of Everett and Mill Streets, 26 Mill Street is a restrained, compact, clapboard and wood shingled Queen Anne house that was built around 1890.
Elm Street's streetscapes document a complicated development history involving lot subdivisions and loss of three houses at the western end. Beginning at the southwest corner of Elm and Everett, on the south side of the street is the chain link fence enclosed, asphalt paved Byrne Playground, once the site of the Franklin King House. Adjacent to the playground are a pair of Queen Anne three-deckers at 27-29 and 23-25 Elm, followed by an altered Greek Revival house at 19 Elm Street. Situated on a low rise, its facade gable overlooks a narrow passageway behind a pair of early 20th century multi-family buildings; these buildings stand on the site of 19 Elm Street's front lawn. Bordering on the south side of Elm Street, between Ashland Street and the railroad embankment is an L-shaped Italianate end house at 11 Ashland Street, followed by a pair of identical Italianate side hall plan end houses at 7-9 Elm Street (photo 6). Overgrown, undeveloped lots to the west once contained L-shaped houses numbered 1 and 3 Elm Street.
Returning to the Everett end of the street, the north side of Elm Street begins with the side wall of the Greek Revival/Italianate Axel Dearborn House at 13 Everett Street. Next door to the west at 20-22 Elm Street are the only examples of early 20th century Bungalows in the district. These well designed 1 & 2 story dwellings are characterized by sweeping roof slops which shelter open front porches. A pair of tall, mature, fir trees mark the entrance to the bungalow at 22 Elm Street. The remaining houses on this block include a modern suburban house at 16 Elm Street followed by an early 20th century Queen Anne two-family residence at 14 Elm. The latter building stands with gable end to the street, its wood shingle-clad walls exhibiting changes to fenestration.
Blanche Street may be divided into four segments. The upper segment's western half encompasses a rectangular block bounded by Green Hill, Everdean, and the dogleg and linear segments of Blanche Street. This block contains two large 1887 Stick Style residences at 11 and 15 Blanche Street. The eastern half of the upper segment encompasses a subdivision of seven medium sized Queen Anne residences at 2-14 Blanche Street which possess uniform setbacks from the street, asymmetrical forms, porches with turned posts, and in several cases Chinese Chippendale railings as well as clapboard, wood shingle and modern replacement sheathing materials.
Lower Blanche Street encompasses more modest Queen Anne end houses. Bordering both sides of the street, 19-33 and 20-34 Blanche are clad with clapboards and/or wood shingles as well as modern sheathing materials. These houses stand close together on 1800-1900 square foot lots that allow for only minimal front and rear yards.
Included within the district are houses bordering the east side of Ever dean Street between Ashland Street and Victory Road. Everdean Street's west side is not included in the district, lined as it is with ca. 1950s, architecturally undistinguished one-story suburban houses. Beginning at the Ashland Street end of Everdean, 46 and 50 Everdean are Stick/Queen Anne end houses that are part of the upper Blanche Street subdivision around the corner. Continuing southward, the east side is bordered by the rear elevations of the substantial Stick Style houses numbered 11 and 15 Blanche Street. South of Green Hill Street, Everdean descends gradually to Victory Road. Standing close together, facing small front yards, the 2 ? story Queen Anne end houses at 74-84 Everdean Street were built during the mid 1890s.
Originally called Preston Street, this thoroughfare was set out during the late 19th century to connect Adams Street at King Square with Commercial Point via a bridge over Barque Warwick Cove. Two houses bordering Victory Road fall within the boundaries of the district, including the dramatically altered ca. late 19th century worker's cottages at 116 Victory Road, corner of Blanche Street, and the fairly substantial five bay by two bay center hall Italianate residence at 112 Victory Road (fig. 42).
No archaeological statement was submitted by the City of Boston's archaeologist for this nomination.
The Clam Point/Harrison Square Historic District in Boston's Dorchester section encompasses much of the area circumscribed by the Red Line MBTA tracks (the former Old Colony Railroad tracks) on the northwest, Freeport Street on the northeast, Morrissey Boulevard on the southeast and Victory Road on the southwest. The residential area presently known as Clam Point was part of a larger area known as Harrison Square that extended northwestward across the Old Colony's tracks to include the commercial and industrial buildings adjacent to the Harrison Square depot, between Clayton and Beach Streets. Named in honor of President William Henry Harrison who visited Dorchester during the presidential campaign of 1840, the Harrison name remained associated with the area until it became known as Clam Point during the 1970s.
The introduction of the railroad line through eastern Dorchester during the early 1840s enabled merchants, bankers, salesman, industrialists, and the like to commute from suburban homes in leafy enclaves such as Harrison Square, Savin Hill, and Port Norfolk to downtown Boston. Between the 1840s and 1890s several generati
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Created: May 30, 2005 Modified: June 1, 2005