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Lower Mills East
 Lower Mills East


AREA FORM from Boston Landmarks Commission prepared as part of 1994 Survey of Dorchester. Dated May, 1995 and recorded by Edward W. Gordon.

[Note: this reproduction of the information in the Boston Landmarks Area 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]

Map showing boundaries:

For a pdf version of the map showing the boundaries of Lower Mills East, Click here


Architectural Description

For the purposes of this survey, the historic resource-rich Lower Mills section of Dorchester has been divided into three areas: Lower Mills East, an area of middle class, mid 19th- early 20th century housing; Lower Mills, which represents this section's industrial core and Lower Mills West which is characterized by 19th century working and middle class housing. The Lower Mills section of Dorchester is located at the extreme south central end of Dorchester bordering the Neponset River across from the town of Milton. The primary focus of Lower Mills East is the triangular "island" of housing bordered by Richmond Street on the north, Adams Street on the south and Dorchester Avenue on the west. To the south, this area also encompasses both sides of Huntoon Street for its entire length, #'s 10 to 16 Branchfield Street and #'s 6 to 24 as well as #'s 25 and 29 Medway Street. To the northwest, this area takes in St Gregory's Roman Catholic School as well as the west side of Dorchester Avenue from # 2227 to 2171 Dorchester Avenue. This boundary has been drawn to include St. Gregory's R.C. Church at 2221 Dorchester Avenue. (For more specifically defined boundaries see attached map). To the immediate north of this area is Dorchester Park, while to the south are the tracks of the MBTA Red Line extension and the marshes of the Neponset River. Separating Lower Mills East from Lower Mills West is the architecturally significant Bakers Chocolate complex between Pierce Square and the Neponset River. Located further north between these two residential areas is an architecturally undistinguished north-south zone of commercial buildings and parking lots bordering Dorchester Avenue as well as multi-family housing of little design merit.

Between c.1875 and 1895, a "third wave" of house construction activity in the area occurred. Representing mostly Queen Anne housing, 98 Richmond Street is representative of this late 19th century housing. Extant by 1884, this house was associated with the Ernest R. Wendemuth family from the 1880s until c. 1900. He was a local "boots and shoes and dry goods" dealer on Dorchester Avenue near Richmond Street. From c.1910 until at least the early 1930s this house was owned by Catherine F. and Daniel F. Dunn. Also dating to c. 1880 is the Italianate vernacular house at 10 Richmond Street. Built for Walter E. Swan "clerk on the water board," this house remained Swan-owned until at least 1933. Across the street at 113 Richmond Street is an Italianate/Mansard house owned by an Ethan A. Cushing, millwright. Perhaps the "star" of this third building wave at Lower Mills East is 2 Butler Street, the well rendered Italianate/Stick house built for and undoubtedly by this neighborhood's late l9th century builder James Pope. From the 1910s until at least the early 1930s, Frederic A. Frizzell, photographer lived here. Built between 1884 and 1894 on a lot carved from the Huntoon tract that stretched from 1084 Adams Street westward across Butler and back to the railroad tracks is 1122 Adams Street. This Queen Anne house was the home of Clara A. Perkins, widow of Frederick, from c. 1890 until at least the early 1930s. By 1894, Henry Pierce of 1049 Adams Street had the Colonial Revival house at 1071 Adams Street built as an investment property. In 1894 his business is listed as real estate. Thomas J. Glover may have been its first owner-occupant. He is listed as an ?overseer.? By 1933, Francis W. Mahoney, electrical engineer, lived here. Also dating to 1874-84 is the Queen Anne house at 1050 Adams Street built for Caroline D. Pope. It was later owned by Frederick C. Adams, broker (by the early 1930s).

Moderate "infill" building activity occurred in this area between l895 and 1915, representing mostly Craftsman style housing although a pair of Shingle style houses were constructed at 1044 and 1046 Adams Street by Dorchester builder Patrick 0' Hearn. O'Hearn was also the original owner of these buildings. More typical of housing built during this later period, although an unusually formal example, is the Craftsman/Colonial Revival house at 16 Butler Street, built for N.P. Perkins et al., and by 1933 was the home of Mary E. Tucker, teacher at the William E. Russell School and Charles E. Coursey, chauffer.

The housing in Lower Mills East dates from c.1840-1915 with the oldest housing bordering eastern Adams Street. Here, on the edge of the Neponset marshes is a neighborhood with middle class residences overwhelmingly constructed of wood. Moving from east to west, this area begins just past Dorchester Park and Cedar Grove Cemetery )n Adams Street. The towered Italianate/Mansard house at 1049 Adams Street provides a memorable introduction to the area, standing as it does like a sentinel, on a rise overlooking the Adams Richmond Street intersection. This house exhibits the massing of a towered Italianate villa with the towered portion nestled into the two intersecting components of the house. All three components, including the tower are enclosed by hip- on-mansard roofs. The tower's mansard exhibits an occulus window on each side.

As already noted, the eastern end of Adams Street, near its intersection with Richmond Street, represents the oldest housing in the area with three pre-1850 houses exhibiting Greek Revival and in some cases Italianate stylistic characteristics. Several of these houses retain their large Victorian era stables. 1058 Adams Street is a noteworthy, very intact, gable-fronted side passage with rear ell, Greek Revival Italianate hybrid. It is composed of a 3-bay x 2-bay main block with two- and one-story rear ells. It appears to possess a side hall plan. Particularly memorable is s full length front porch with porch posts exhibiting open panels while curvilinear barge boarding appears beneath the roof eaves. The corners of this house exhibit paneled Doric pilasters. Still extant behind this house is its mid 19th century stable which is remarkable for its unusually formal door and window enframements. Next door to 1058, 1066 Adams Street is an altered, L-shaped, side hall plan Greek Revival house which is followed by two, more recent "infill" houses. 1076 Adams Street is an important example of a Greek Revival double house. It stands with its broad (pedimented) end wall gable facing the street. Essentially T-shaped in form, its entrances are located at the center of its 2.5 story, 4-bay x 4-bay main block. Particularly noteworthy are its classicized window and entrance enframements (tall windows with 6/9 wood sash on the first floor, main fa?ade). Situated between 1076 and the Greek Revival/Italianate house at 1084 Adams Street is aT-shaped, 2-family Craftsman style house at 1080 Adams Street.

To a remarkable degree, 1084 Adams Street, with landscape elements such as mature trees and side driveway leading to a belvedere topped barn, captures the Currier and Ives-like flavor of the Lower Mills East area during the mid 19th century. 1084 Adams Street is an Italianate house which displays an irregular form, encircling verandah porch railings with punched and cut detailing, and narrow Doric corner boards. It stands with three bay end wall gable facing the street. Its front door is set within molded, segmental arch enframements. Still intact at the rear of the property is a belvedere-topped stable. The western portion of Adams Street (southern side) did not develop until the late19th century because it was still being utilized for agricultural purposes, hence the c. 1890s Queen Anne housing such as 1122 Adams Street, with its irregular form and intact sheathing. The housing stock on the north side of Adams Street, between Richmond and Adams Street, is more of a mixed bag, with everything from an L-shaped Greek Revival cottage at 1109 Adams Street, through an L-shaped, 2.5 story Italianate housing at 1075, 1079, and 1119 Adams Street, to a late 19th century Queen Anne at 1051 Adams Street. "Infill" housing from the first quarter of the 20th century includes the Dutch Colonial suburban residence at 1089 Adams Street (typical long rectangular form, symmetrical main facade, distinctive Dutch gambrel) and Craftsman style housing at 1101, 1115 Adams Street and 16 Butler Street (corner of Adams). 16 Butler Street is a particularly noteworthy Craftsman / Colonial Revival house, complete with boxy 3-bay x 2-bay stucco covered form, projecting and enclosed entrance and side porches as well as exposed rafters beneath the hip roof.

The Italianate style is by far the best represented style in this area, with most examples of this style dating from 1865-1880. Typically, 2.5 stories tall with L or T-shaped forms, clapboard siding, 3-bay main facades and street facing, end wall gables with return eaves, these houses border Butler Street and central Richmond Street.

Diagonally across the street from St. Gregory's Roman Catholic Church and adjacent on the north to Dorchester Park is St. Gregory's Convent and St. Gregory's Grammar School at 2214 Dorchester Avenue.

The former St. Gregory's Convent was built in a restrained Georgian Revival style in 1920-21. Constructed of red brick and rising to a height of three stories, it is enclosed by a flat roof. Its 5-bay main block has a perpendicular rear ell. The main facade's center entry is reached via a flight of stone steps; the entrance is boldly set off by engaged and banded Tuscan columns. These columns are surmounted by a triglyph-ornamented entablature. The entablature, in turn, is surmounted by an ornamental plaque which is flanked by small obelisks rising from plinths. Above these ornate entrance enframements is a fully enframed, broken pedimented window. Aside from the entrance bay's exceptional ornamentation this is an extremely plain building which culminates in a tall parapet with stepped and pedimented cresting.

St. Gregory's Parochial Grammar School is a T-shaped, Tudoresque institutional building that was built in 1915. It is a two story structure which is constructed of red brick with granite trimmings and is enclosed by a flat roof. Like the convent, most of its architectural interest lies in its ornate entrance bay with the remaining wall surfaces treated in an austere manner. Its three-bay main facade is flanked by projecting wings. Banks of five contiguous windows are located on either side of the entrance bay and on the main facades of the wings. The entrance bay is characterized by a dense concentration of ornament and culminates in a shaped gable. The main entrance is recessed within a semi-circular console keystone arch and is surmounted by a panel exhibiting a checker board pattern of bricks and granite. At the second floor is a tripartite Tudor window which is flanked by small, narrow windows. At the enter of the parapet's shaped gable is a heraldic shield surrounded by stone floral forms carved in high relief.

Moving northward along the west side of Dorchester Avenue, the boundary line terminates just south of the modern apartment building at 2163 Dorchester Avenue. The section of Dorchester Avenue from 2171 to 2207 Dorchester Avenue represents a diverse collection of mid-late 19th century housing, including Queen Anne single and two family dwellings and three deckers. The oldest house along this stretch of Dorchester Avenue across from Dorchester Park is the Late Federal Italianate 00use at the south west corner of Dorchester A venue and Gregory Street (address unclear, possibly 2197 Dorchester Avenue). Pre-dating 1850, this Late Federal/Italianate 5-bay, two pile, center entrance house features Italianate window enframements, cornice brackets and arched attic windows. Its edges are accented by pilasters and its volume is enclosed by a gable roof.

The eastern end of Richmond Street is built up with early 19th century suburban housing types including boxy, rectangular, Colonial Revival 2-family houses at #'s 122, 126 and 130 Richmond Street, a 2-story, hip roofed Queen Anne/Colonial Revival house at # 118 Richmond Street and a Cape Cod cottage at #116 Richmond Street.

To recap: Adams Street exhibits the broadest sweep of housing development over time with pre-1850 Greek Revival and Greek Revival/Italianate houses (and stables) at its eastern end (southern side). On the north side and further west along Adams Street is a very diverse collection of housing ranging from Italianates through Queen Anne Colonial Revival and Craftsman housing. Richmond Street tends to be lined with L-and T -shaped Italianates along its central portion, with c. 1880s and 90s Queen Anne housing at its western end and early 20th century Colonial Revivals and Capes at its eastern end. Indeed, one of the most memorable streetscapes in this area is 100 to 130 Richmond Street, a rhythmic progression of boxy forms leading the way to the villa at 1049 Adams Street. 1049 Adams Street's asymmetrica1, towered form is rooted in the romantic taste of the mid 19th century. The Stick Style makes a rare but noteworthy appearance at #2 Butler Street, corner of Richmond Street (Stick saw tooth attic sheathing and king post mixed with Italianate irregular form, window enframements and Tuscan columned Colonial Revival verandah). The Shingle Style is represented at 1044 and 1046 Adams Street; obviously designed as a duo by an architect, these wood shingle clad houses display a witty relationship with #1044 's gambrel end walls facing east-west and 1046's gambrel profiles facing north south. Huntoon and Branchfield Streets, at the extreme southwestern corner of the district possess a collection of Queen Anne single family and three deckers that are of moderate architectural merit but are compatible with and sufficiently intact to be included with the more design-noteworthy housing bordering Richmond and Adams Streets. Particularly noteworthy at this end of the Lower Mills East area is #25 Medway Street, an L-shaped, wood frame house noteworthy for its stick work elements.

From both an architectural and historical point of view, a segment of Dorchester Avenue is somewhat awkwardly included within the Lower Mills East area. Its houses and Catholic church complex relate more directly to the development of Lower Mills West. The inclusion of 2171 to 2227 Dorchester Avenue within the Lower Mills East area is predicated on the location of its contiguous, intact historic resources in relation to the nearest adjacent concentration of similar historic resources. St. Gregory?s Roman Catholic Church at 2221 Dorchester Avenue represents an earlier church of 1863-64 that was extensively rebuilt between 1895 and 1902. Originally designed by Brooklyn, New York-based church architect Patrick C. Keeley, its present appearance dates to the turn-of the-century remodeling by Boston architect Patrick W. Ford. This Gothic Revival church is constructed of red pressed and common brick with brownstone and molded brick trimmings. It rests upon a rubble and quarry-faced granite foundation. The floor plan is that of a Latin Cross with two sacristies flanking the sanctuary at the head of the cross. The steeply pitched roofs of the nave and the transept are clad with gray slate tiles. Rising from the point of the nave and transepts? gable roofs? intersection is a low octagonal copper belvedere with louvered windows and pyramidal roof cap. The unusual main facade is characterized by a broad central gable flanked by round, conically capped. gold cross-topped towers. These distinctive towers render this church a major landmark on the Lower Mills ?skyline? and when viewed from elevated areas such as Codman Hill, serve to locate and contribute to the still-discernable village qualities of this area. The central gable's first floor is treated as a pointed arch loggia with entrances set within the two center arches. Above the entrances is a great recessed brick and brownstone trimmed pointed arch which contains five lancet windows of graduated height.

Rising from the center of the brownstone-edged central gable is a gold cross. St. Gregory's side walls are pierced by six tall lancet windows. Noteworthy interior features include oak pews, a ceiling elaborately stenciled with geometric and floral designs in red, blue, green, black and gold leaf. The interior columns were once marbleized and each has a shallow Corinthian capital. The Corinthian acanthus leaf motif is continued in the gilt cornice below the ceiling as well as in the smaller half-columns and pilasters found throughout the church.




Historical Narrative

The area called Lower Mills East for the purposes of this survey, although close to the industrial core of Lower Mills and the neighborhood of workers housing to the west, has a very different history of development. Until the 1870s, the portion of this area encompassing Richmond and Adams Streets was farm land divided between a handful of families. While the Dorchester Avenue portion is tied to the pre-l850 development of the center and western portions of Lower Mills, Dorchester Avenue was set out as a Federal period tall road as early as 1804. In 1848, the Dorchester and Milton Branch of the Old Colany Railroad was set out through Lower Mills along the Neponset River. During the mid-late 19th century, this area could easily have been called Swansville as several houses were owned by this family of farmers, carpenters and bankers. The 1850 map shows only 5 houses extant in the Lower Mills area including the residences of the W.H. Swan (1058 Adams Street), J. Swan (1066 Adams Street) and N. and A. Pope (1076 Adams Street). Housing owned by a C. Swan which are all extant. This map shows a house labeled Packard an the north side of Adams Street, beyond present day Butler Street, which may still exist in an altered form. In 1874, # 1058 Adams Street was owned by Charles F. Swan, a bookkeeper at the New England National Bank, 61 State Street. This house remained in the Swan family until at least the 1930s. # 1066 Adams Street was owned by John Swan, carpenter who may have built this house during the 1840s. Swan owned this house until at least the mid 1880s. A Lydia Fay lived here from the 1890s-1910s and Nora F. Burke owned this house during the 1920s and 30s. # 1076 Adams Street was owned by James Pope, carpenter and builder. He may have built this house during the 1840s. This house remained in the Pope family until c. 1920. By 1933, Edward J. Harte, motorman, owned this property.

Between c. 1875 and 1895, a ?third wave? of house construction activity in the area occurred. Representing mostly Queen Anne housing, 98 Richmond Street is representative of this late 19th century housing. Extant by 1884, this house was associated with the Ernest R. Wendemuth family from the 1880s until c. l900. He was a local "boots, shoes and dry goods" dealer on Dorchester Avenue near Richmond Street. From the 1910s until at least the early 30s, this house was owned by Catherine F. and Daniel F. Dunn. Also dating to c. 1880 is the Italianate house at 110 Richmond Street. Built for Walter E. Swan, "clerk on the water board", this house remained Swan-owned until at least 1933. Across the street at 113 Richmond Street is an Italianate/Mansard house owned by an Eathan A. Cushing, millwright. Perhaps the "star" of this third building wave at Lower Mills East is 2 Butler Street, the Italianate/ Stick house built for and undoubtedly by this neighborhood's late 19th century builder James Pope. From the 1910s until at least the early 1930s, Frederick A. Frizzell, photographer lived here. Built between 1884 and 1894 on a lot carved from the Huntoon tract that stretched from 1084 Adams Street westward across Butler and back to the railroad tracks is 122 Adams Street. [is it Adams Street or Richmond? Adams? numbering is not right.] This Queen Anne house was the home of Clara A. Perkins, widow of Frederick, from c.1890 until at least the early 1930s. By 1894, Henry Pierce of 1049 Adams Street commissioned the construction of 1071Adams Street as an investment property. Thomas J. Glover may have been the first owner-occupant of 1071 Adams Street; his occupation is listed as "overseer". By 1933, Francis W. Mahoney, electrical engineer lived here. Also dating to between 1874 and 1884 is the Queen Anne house at 1050 Adams Street built for Caroline D. Pope. By the early 1930s, it was later owned by Frederick C. Adams, broker.

Moderate "infill" building activity occurred in this area between 1895 and 1915, representing mostly Craftsman style housing although a pair of Shingle style houses were constructed at 1044 and 1046 Adams Street by Dorchester builder Patrick O'Hearn, the original owner of these buildings. More typical of housing built during this later period, although an unusually formal example, is the Craftsman/Colonial Revival house at 16 Butler Street, built for N.P. Perkins et al. and by 1933 was the home of Mary E. Tucker, teacher at the William E. Russell School and Charles E. Coursey, chauffer.

The Greek Revival house at 1109 Adams Street may be the house labeled Packard on the 185 Map. By 1874 it was owned by Eldridge G. Packard, piano maker. This house provides an important physical link with the woodworking industries at Lower Mills (including furniture, pianos and bas-viols). Benjamin Crehore started the manufacture of piano fortes at Lower Mills during the early 19th century. Additionally, Colonel Stephen Badlam and Edward H.R. Ruggles were important furniture makers in this area during the Federal period. In any event, Packards owned 1109 Adams Street until c. 1900. During the 1910s, an Adeline D. Moulton lived here. During the late 191os until at least the early 1930s the family of James D. Otis, "repair man" lived here. The Greek Revival house at 1109 Adams Street may be the house labeled Packard on the 1850 Map. By 1874 it was owned by Eldridge G. Packard, piano maker. Other early houses in this area include the Late Federal/Italianate house at 2201 Dorchester Avenue and the double workers? house to the rear. The William Gaskin house at 2201 was probably extant by 1850, although it is hard to tell from the map of that year. In 1869 this house was valued at $1,600 while a shop on this property was valued at $300.00. This shop may well represent 6, 8 Gregory Street behind this house. Directories do not list William Gaskins' trade. Gregory Street started out as a cul de sac/driveway leading to 6, 8 Gregory Street originally called Bellows Place. A Fred Gaskins owned this house during the early 1930s. At that time, Amanda Hildred, dressmaker, Adeline S. Baxter and F. Parker Swallow lived at 6, 8 Gregory Street.

During the early 1860s the first Roman Catholic church in Dorchester was established at 2221 Dorchester Avenue. Only a decade earlier, Dorchester had been almost exclusively Protestant. Sadly, a Catholic church nearing completion on Washington Street in Dorchester had been burned to the ground in 1854 by "some ruffians" in an incident that may have been orchestrated by a national political organization aptly named the ?Know Nothing? party. By the early 1860s, the opposition to Catholic church construction had dissipated and by the time St. Gregory's was completed in 1864, Dorchester had a relatively large, primarily middle class Irish immigrant population. In 1865, 1,647 out of 10,717 or 20% of the residents of Dorchester were born in Ireland. The newly created Dorchester Parish included the towns of Milton, Hyde Park and a section of Quincy called Atlantic-Squantum. The founding pastor of St. Gregory's was Fr. Thomas R. Mc Nulty. In 1870 the parish lost its first territory; Hyde Park, a new town made up from parts of Milton, Dedham, and Dorchester, became a parish unto itself. In 1871 the A.tlantic-Squantum territory was added to the Quincy parish. In 1872, St. Gregory's experienced a major watershed in its history with the partitioning of the northern half of Dorchester to St Peter's Parish. During the pastorate of Fr. William H. Fitzpatrick (1875 -1913), St Gregory's experienced a great expansion of its congregation, church buildings and properties. Fr. Fitzpatrick was born in Earltown, Colchester , Nova Scotia in 1832. He immigrated to the Boston area in 1852 and worked his way through Holy Cross College, Worcester, graduating in 1856.

The first St Gregory's Church was described as a ?neat brick building.? It was designed by Patrick C. Keeley (1816-1896), a Brooklyn, New York -based architect. Born in Kilkenny, Ireland, Keeley immigrated to the United States in 1841. He is reputed to have built at least 500 Roman Catholic churches and cathedrals in New York state alone, exclusive of New York City. Keeley's Boston work includes the St. James Church on Harrison Avenue in Chinatown (1850s), St Frances De Sales R.C. Church in Charlestown (1859-62), the Church of the Immaculate Conception (early 1860s) and the Cathedral of the Holy Cross (1865-75) in Boston's South End. Between 1894 and 1902, St. Gregory's was completely remodeled and enlarged.

This undertaking included the construction of a completely new main facade and a transept was added at the rear, with large vestry rooms, giving a seating capacity in the upper church of 1,200, and in the basement of 1,000.

In 1878, lighting struck the original church's 130 foot steeple. The steeple had to be taken down and repairs to the roof and interior of the church were necessary. Designs for the remodeling of St Gregory's were provided by Boston church architect Patrick W. Ford. During the 1870s Ford collaborated with Keeley on the Sacred Heart Church in East Cambridge. He was also responsible for the design of St. Phillips Church in the South End. One measure of how far the Catholic Church had come in terms of community acceptance by Protestants was industrialist Henry L. Pierce's generous bequest of $3,000.00 to St. Gregory's in 1899. According to St. Gregory's historian the Reverend Michael Parise, "this was a significant donation since Henry L. Pierce was responsible for a forty year expansion of the Baker Chocolate Mills which made Lower Mills famous. The mills employed hundreds of St, Gregory parishioners and supported the community until 1960 when the operation was moved by General Foods to Maryland [Delaware?]." Under the pastorate of Rev. Francis X. Dolan (1914-1944), the focus of St. Gregory's Parish was to a great extent the building of an outstanding Catholic education for the children of its parishioners. In 1915, ninety-five children were enrolled in the first and second grades of the new school at 2234 Dorchester Avenue.

Returning to post Civil War residential construction it should be noted that little in the way of house building occurred this area until the late 1860s/early 1870s, despite the nearby industrial concerns such as Baker's Chocolate and access to the railroad. By that time, carpenter/builders like James F. Pope were active in the house construction business in this area. James F. Pope undoubtedly built the Italianate house at 1119 Adams Street. Pope is listed in the 1874 Directory as a carpenter and builder. In the 1869 Tax Evaluation of Dorchester, Pope is listed as owning land on Adams Street but no house was mentioned. By 1884, an Elizabeth T. Daly owned this house. By 1933, Harold B. Daly, clerk and William J. Mason, "Police Division 4" lived here. Another house that James F. Pope owned and probably built c. 1870 is the Italianate house at 12 Butler Street. It was part of his multi-lot tract at Butler and Adams Street. Butler Street is shown on the 1874 Atlas as a proposed street. By 1910, a Stephen A. Pope lived here. By 1933 Etta M. and Richard D. Schmidt, physician owned this house. Pope probably built the c. early 1870's double (workers?) housing at Richmond Street and Swan Court (103/105 and 107/109 Richmond Street). Another product of c. early 1870s moderate building activity at Lower Mills East -- and a stellar example at that -- is the Italianate/ Mansard villa at 1049 Adams Street. This house is listed as "House in process" in the 1869 Taxable Valuation of the Town of Dorchester. It was built for Henry Pierce of T.C. Bacon & Co., 1 Union Wharf. Pierce was a major land owner in this area, owning 9 acres of Neponset River Marsh in addition to his 59,888 square foot house lot. This house remained in the Pierce family until the 1910s. By 1933, this house was owned by Carl Herman Frejd, wood grader. The Italianate George S. Estey house at 1075 Adams Street was built during the early 1870s. Estey was part of middle management at Walter Baker (Chocolate) & Co. He is listed as a superintendent. This house remained in the Estey family until the 1910s when it passed to a C.H. Chute and by 1933 was owned by Halbert E. ackman, clerk, Exchange Place. 1079 Adams Street is an Italianate house built for John A. Tucker, harness maker who worked "near River Street." This house is listed in the 1869 Taxable Valuation of the Town of Dorchester. Tuckers lived here until c. 1920. By 1933 Mary and William G. Swan and Harry H. Hynes, sales manager lived here

Statement of Significance

Lower Mills East

Qualifies as architecturally / historically significant residential district with a handful of Greek Revival and Italianate housing pre-dating 1860; the bulk of its housing stock was constructed between 1870 and 1915. Until as late as the 1870s, Lower Mills East, was open farm land despite its proximity to the industrial section of Lower Mills. During the mid-19th century, this area was divided between a handful of families, including members of the Swan and Pope clans. Swan and Pope farmhouses include 1058 and 1074 Adams Street, respectively. To a remarkable degree, houses such as the Italianate residence at 1084 Adams Street, together with landscape elements such as mature trees, side driveways, and belvedere topped-barns capture the Currier and Ives-like flavor of the Lower Mills area during the mid-19th century. Particularly noteworthy and standing sentinel-like on a rise overlooking Adams Street at the eastern entrance to this area is the towered Italianate / Mansard villa of merchant Henry Pierce (1049 Adams Street). Encompassed within Lower Mills East is the Gothic Revival St. Gregory?s Roman Catholic Church, an 1864 Patrick C. Keeley-designed church which was extensively enlarged and redesigned by Patrick W. Ford at the turn of the century. The twin round towers of St. Gregory?s are the major landmarks on the Lower Mills ?sky line.? This area satisfies criteria A and C of the National Register of Historic Places. Lower Mills is also recommended as an architectural conservation district.


Bibliography and/or References


Boston and Dorchester Maps, Atlases - 1830, 1850, 1874, 1884, 1894, 1898, 1910, 1918, 1933

Boston Directories: 1870-1933

Dorchester Taxable Valuation, 1869

Parise, Rev. Michael, The History of Saint Gregory?s Parish Lower Mills Dorchester and Milton, 1862-1987.

Orcutt, William Dana, Good Old Dorchester (1893)

Sammarco, Anthony Mitchell, ?Lower Mills Square named after chocolate company owner,? 4/20/1990, Dorchester Community News


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Created: July 18, 2005   Modified: February 22, 2012