Dorchester/Milton Lower Mills Industrial District (2001 Amendment and Boundary Extension)
Reported date 2001.
[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]
The Dorchester/Milton Lower Mills Industrial District, as extended by this boundary increase and technical amendment, includes 16 industrial buildings, all but one of which were associated with Walter Baker & Co., chocolate manufacturer. The Mason Regulator Co., at the comer of Medway and Adams Streets, is the only contributing building that is not associated with the Baker corporation. This amendment adds one building, the Baker Warehouse (1947, map # 17) at 4 River Street, to the district. It was the last major building to be constructed for the Baker complex.
Five of the 16 contributing buildings are located in the town of Milton, while the remainder are in the Dorchester neighborhood of the city of Boston. The boundary between the two communities extends along the center of the Neponset River, which runs east/west through the district. This industrial complex developed in the second half of the 19th century and into the 20th century around Dorchester’s Pierce Square, where Washington and Adams Streets and Dorchester Avenue converge. There are three short side streets (essentially alleyways) that lead off the Washington/Adams axis. These are Millers Lane and Bakers Court in Boston, and Elliot Street in Milton.
Buildings in the district are constructed of brick (with one exception), many with annexes and additions. These buildings exhibit elements of many architectural styles, including Queen Anne, Romanesque Revival, Second Empire, Georgian Revival, Tapestry Brick and Modern. There is a single wood-frame building, a three-story gabled structure of vernacular design (map #10).
Since the district was first listed in 1980, two structures have been demolished: the large bean storage silos (part of the Baker complex, map # 14) and the Queen Anne style residence at 15-17 Medway Street (associated with the Mason Regulator Co., map # 16). Buildings in the district were constructed between 1868 and 1947. In the 1980s seven of them were converted (as certified rehabilitations) to residential condominiums (map #1, lA, 3,5-7 and 13). The Mason Regulator Co. (map #15) was converted to elderly housing (also a certified rehabilitation) in 1989. Four others (map #2,8-10) remain in use to one degree or another by various businesses. The four remaining buildings (map #4, 11-12, 17) are vacant. Those that were rehabilitated are in good condition and are well preserved, while the others remain largely intact, although some are in need of maintenance. Alterations have been minimal, typically limited to replacement of windows, and small side or rear alterations.
The building being added to the district through this boundary increase is located at the intersection of Washington and River Streets, just west of Pierce Square. 4 River Street is a large brick and concrete warehouse standing on a 109,200 square foot parcel of land. The original building is set back approximately thirty feet from River Street, but the addition is flush with the sidewalk. Designed with an L-shaped plan and minimal classical ornamentation, the main building has a reinforced concrete foundation, a flat roof, concrete coping, and very few windows. A chain-link fence partially encloses the site. A 15-bay, one story brick addition (1958) runs along the west (River Street) elevation, partially obscuring the original facade.
The horizontality of the north facade is relieved by brick quoins at the corners and punctuated by seven pairs of shallow piers, which frame flush brick panels. Near the roofline, a rectangular brick medallion unites each of the paired columns. Both corners of the facade step up slightly at the roofline so that the quoins read as piers. The northeast comer is further detailed by an additional step at the roofline and a projecting panel decorated with three columns of rectangular brick medallions. The medallions descend at least four rows before being obscured by the addition, which contains 16 paired windows and a central vehicular entrance framed by a trabeated concrete architrave.
The east elevation, which faces a parking lot, steps up at the roofline near the center of the elevation. On the first floor, roughly centered on the elevation, are double doors sheltered by a metal canopy resting on utilitarian iron posts. A concrete stoop leads to the entrance. A c. 1958 concrete porch with an iron pipe railing extends north to the junction of the addition. A concrete, ramp with iron pipe railing leads to a secondary entrance at the south end of the elevation. Above the entrance, just off center, is a squared opening that is fitted with louvers and a security screen. To the left (south) of the entrance are five windows. The three closest to the door contain identical paired sash, each with four horizontal glazed panels, while the other two windows are odd-sized. All windows are covered by security screens, have concrete sills, and no other trim. Two metal vents and a metal smokestack project through the upper portion of the roof. A loading dock sheltered by a metal canopy extends from the south end of the east elevation. Resting on a concrete block foundation, it contains eight bays, seven of which are fitted with corrugated metal overhead doors. The door in the third bay from the east end appears to have been added in 1967.
The south (rear) elevation consists of 14 concrete piers supporting an overhanging brick second story. The overhang shelters five loading docks with corrugated metal doors. (Originally the overhang also covered the terminus of a railroad spur, sheltering rail cars during loading and unloading.) The wall surface beneath the overhang is of concrete block punctuated by flush concrete columns with flared projecting capitals. The brick-faced upper story contains a former opening that fed into a conveyor bridge (now blocked by brick). The bridge, which was 40′ above the ground, connected the warehouse to the Baker manufacturing plant, and was present from 1947 to at least 1965. The east-facing section at the rear of the building, consists of a brick second story with stepped roofline supported by a concrete first story. On this elevation there is a secondary entrance fitted with a heavy metal security door.
The west elevation is a brick surface relieved only by the return of the quoins at the northwest comer and a step-down of the roofline at the southwest comer. A narrow 1 1/2 story concrete block addition, which is partially obscured by foliage, projects from the rear elevation near the junction with the railroad docks.
- Statement of Significance
Shepard, George F.
Walter Kidde Constructors Inc.
The Warehouse at 4 River Street is significant for its association with the manufacturing plant of Walter Baker & Co., makers of chocolate and cocoa products. It is consistent with the architectural and historical significance of the Dorchester/Milton Lower Mills Industrial District and possesses integrity of location, design, setting, materials and workmanship. As such it is eligible for listing in the National Register as part of the Lower Mills District under Criteria A and C. This nomination is intended to extend both the boundaries and period of significance of the Dorchester/Milton Lower Mills Industrial District to include the Baker Warehouse at 4 River Street, Dorchester.
The history of chocolate manufacturing in the area goes back to 1765 when Dr. James Baker befriended an Irish immigrant named John Hannan. Hannan had learned the chocolate trade in Ireland but was unable to find work in America due to the lack of a major chocolate manufacturer. Together, Baker and Hannan established the first chocolate factory in this country, run by Hannan and financed by Baker. The story is told that in 1780 Hannan suddenly disappeared, presumably returning to Ireland to escape his henpecking wife, and was never heard from again. Baker took over the manufacturing business and made the first Baker brand chocolate. His business prospered and was eventually taken over by his son, Edmund Baker who ran the business until he retired in 1824, leaving the business to his son Walter. Under the proprietorship of Walter Baker the company became well known. After Walter Baker’s death in 1852, the company was taken over by Sidney Williams, who died shortly thereafter.
WALTER BAKER & CO. UNDER HENRY L. PIERCE: CREATING A LEGEND
Under its third president, Henry L. Pierce, the Baker chocolate company achieved growth and prosperity which would continue into the 20th century, establishing Baker as a leading name in the manufacture of chocolate for everyday consumption and household food products. Pierce is the man most responsible for the great prosperity and growth the company enjoyed in the 19th century. In 1868 he initiated a major building program for the factory. Most of the existing buildings were constructed during his tenure. Several key factors were put into place during Pierce’s tenure. 1866 saw the acquisition of the renowned “German Chocolate” by Baker & Co., formerly produced by Dorchester merchant Samuel German, which would prove to be a leading product in sales for years to come. In 1883 the trademark “La Belle Chocolatiere” was officially licensed to the firm. Advertising activity increased substantially beginning in the 1870s following the company’s subscription to the Niles agency, which distributed newspapers in New England, many featuring ads for Baker chocolate. Perhaps most notable was the introduction of the famous “Chocolate Girl” logo, used in advertisements for the first time in 1878. After that year, distribution of lithographed Walter Baker cards and signs to grocery stores and consumers outside New England, and the placement of ads on bulletin boards and trolley cars in large cities became common practice. Arguably the most important legacy left by Henry Pierce to the company was the successful marketing of the Baker name, and the course he set for the enduring prominence of Baker products in the consumer market even after the firm’s acquisition by General Foods Corporation in 1927. After managing the company for more than 40 years, Pierce died in 1896.
THE VENTURE CAPITAL PERIOD AND “ELECTRIC AGE”: 1890-1927
Although Walter Baker & Co.’s growth was considerable through 1896, the year H. Clifford Gallagher succeeded Pierce to the presidency, the company’s venture capital period of 1890-1927 was equally important to its success into the 20th century and broadening activity outside the northeast. Increased demand for cocoa in the U.S. after 1890 coincided with this period: domestic imports numbered at 24 million pounds in 1893, more than tripling that amount in 1903 with 63 million pounds, and reaching an astounding 275 million by 1921. Apart for greater demand for chocolate, Baker owed its success to the advancement of technology anticipated by Pierce and put into place by Gallagher through the 1890s. As early as 1894 Pierce and Gallagher traveled to Europe to buy chocolate-making machines, which were more power-efficient and easily operated.
1895 was a milestone year for the firm, marking its incorporation as “Walter Baker & Co., Limited,” under which title it was organized as a corporation subject to the general laws of Massachusetts. At the time of corporate takeover, Henry Pierce is reported to have said to his secretary Margaret MacGillivary, “Walter Baker & Company are now a corporate body… I have done what I think best for the business and for everyone.” According to a Baker Company calendar, transfer of the property and business of Walter Baker & Company, Ltd. to the purchasing syndicate had officially taken place by January 1, 1898, although the process had begun well before that date. The syndicate was comprised largely of Boston capitalists, including J. Malcolm Forbes, and the price paid for each of the 10,000 shares was $475, making the company’s total dollar value $4,750,000 in 1898. Detailed reports of product sales exist for the years 1896 and 1897. Comparison of both years indicates that healthy activity was sustained during the period of transition from private status to venture capitalist ownership. Between 1896 and 1897 the types of chocolate being manufactured by the firm numbered at least 55; of these, approximately 30 underwent an increase in sales between the two years, while sales dropped form approximately 15 and stayed even for the remaining ten.
The turn of the century again saw increased activity for Baker. An 1899 entry in the corporate calendar reads, “We are having the largest trade in the history of the Walter Baker chocolate business, and will have to make an addition in our machinery during the coming year.”
Consistent quality control was an objective of Baker’s. Evidently products used in the manufacture of chocolate continued to be substituted with cheaper ingredients by other companies. One incident which took place in 1900 after the Pure Food Law was passed, involving an accusation against Baker’s Ceylon Cocoa, may have been a direct result of the more stringent policies surrounding food manufacturing. The offense was hardly serious in nature. The product was only inspected and found to be non-uniform in color. The company decided to print a guarantee sheet for enclosure in each case of Baker Chocolate Liquor that year to enhance competition against manufacturers using “un-pure” products in their liquor.
Business was overall satisfactory throughout much of 1900. During that year several positive new developments got underway. In the spring Gallagher placed orders for new mills and machinery from Bothfeld & Weygant of New York. Also on the agenda for the summer was a European trip planned by Gallagher during which he would attend the Paris Exposition. His reports of the Exposition were favorable, and his outlook optimistic especially in regards to the emerging confections industry. “There were many exhibits of great industry to chocolate manufacturers, and confectioners,” he wrote in a journal entry. “The display of chocolate confectionery, in comparison with that of the Exposition of ‘89, would lead me to think that there has been a great growth in that branch of the business during the past ten years.
Apart from (or perhaps as a result of) Baker’s prominent role in the industry, the company held itself to high standards of public service and community involvement under Gallagher’s management. On a local level, evidence suggests that Baker was widely recognized in Dorchester and neighboring towns. Correspondence dating from 1900 between Gallagher and a Dana P. Dame of the Tucker school in Mattapan, and Alma Pierce of the Wadsworth School make reference to a teacher visit planned to the Baker factory and an invitation extended to Gallagher to visit the school. Where charitable donations were concerned, Baker & Co. appear to have been overextended, even outside the northeast. Gallagher wrote to Lilly Turner of Chicago’s Nursery and Half-Orphan Asylum in 1903: “I am today leaving on my vacation, and on my return will take the matter up of making a contribution of cocoa and chocolate to your Asylum. Our calls are many and the territory is very extensive so that we cannot give in any large quantity to any one object, as all our customers seem to think that we ought to do something for each individual section.”
With the first decade of the century came the arrival of the “Electric Age.” At least two new buildings were constructed at the Baker complex between 1902-03, Ware Mill and Preston Mill respectively. As late as 1905, however, power for the chocolate mills was still being provided by water wheels and steam engines, and gaslight remained the main source of illumination in the plants. In 1906 electricity finally arrived at the Baker complex, initiating an overhaul of the company’s existing systems for generating power that ultimately would increase efficiency and output. A central power plant was built that year which contained three boilers, two large generators, electric lights and motors in the mills, among other new equipment. By far one of the most important advancements of the Electric Age occurred in 1907, with Baker’s installation of a refrigerating plant. Chocolate production during summer months had previously proven highly impractical. Even in temperatures which were well below excessive heat the company had resorted to the practice of attaching sprinklers to horses in order to water the lawns bordering mill buildings, and thereby cool the surrounding air. Several purchases of electric trucks took place between 1909 and 1913. As a result of business outgrowing the capacity of existing facilities, Forbes Mill was built in 1911, and a new plant established in Montreal. 1914 saw the introduction of hydroelectric generators at Webb and Eagle Mills, and in 1916 steel grinding rolls for sweet chocolate were adopted to replace slower granite rolls. The last significant change under H.C. Gallagher took place in 1921, with the company’s switch from coal to fuel oil for its central powerhouse.
The advent of World War I in 1917 was disruptive to Baker & Co.’s operations, although not with negative results. As younger Baker employees joined the armed forces, the company was forced to hire new staff, made up largely of older men and women. Despite changing market demands and internal reorganization, manufacturing of even luxury products at Baker did not come to a halt. According to the company’s calendar, production concentrated on chocolate for the Allied armies, branded “W.T.W.” for Win The War. Neither did the company experience a setback in growth during World War I, as evidenced by its undertaking to build a new administration facility in 1918. Such extravagance on the part of Baker was cause for some consternation by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, whose Sub-Committee on Capital Issues sent notice to H.C. Gallagher on April 18, 1918, that the high cost of the building was decidedly inappropriate according to “both Sec. McAdoo and the Federal Reserve Board;” and that “during the continuance of the war, municipal and corporate financing of any character should be strictly limited to projects which will contribute to the successful prosecution of the war, or which are absolutely necessary for public health or welfare.” The building was nevertheless completed by 1919, whether with modifications to its original plan and budget or with the help of alternative private resources.
A practice of providing superior employee benefits which began under Gallagher was not incidental to Baker’s continuing success, as such policies during the first quarter of the 20th century predicted the direction Baker would take in achieving better accountability to workers and greater standardization of operations under General Foods. An early example of an effort to improve employee relations took place in 1904, during which year workers with one or more years of service with the company received one week’s salary as compensation. In 1909 Baker anticipated new Massachusetts work laws prior to their being put into effect, taking proactive measures by reducing the 58-hour workweek to 56. Employees were receiving a co-operative group life insurance plan by 1922, and payrolls were introduced for the first time in 1923. By 1924 a medical department had been installed at the Baker plant, and a registered nurse was on duty at all times of operation. Equally important, pride in being a part of Baker’s far-reaching success had trickled down to the worker ranks by Gallagher’s presidency. The 1911 completion of Forbes Mill was reason for celebration by all. A dinner given by the Board of Directors was attended by as many as 800 Baker employees.
BAKER UNDER GENERAL FOODS & THE AGE OF CONFECTIONS: 1927 ONWARD
William B. Thurber followed H.C. Gallagher as President of Walter Baker & Co., Ltd. in 1926. One year following Thurber’s appointment, ownership of the firm was transferred to General Foods Corporation. Operations of Walter Baker & Co. continued under the Postum Company, Inc., a division of General Foods. Partially as a result of acquisition by General Foods, Baker’s line of confectionary chocolate expanded. Baker’s first milk chocolate was introduced as late as 1928. By 1936, some of the other new confectionary products which had been introduced into the market included Mint Wafers, Rum and Butter Wafers, Milk Chocolate Bars, Almond Bars, Semi-Sweet Bars, milk chocolate bars in mocha, coconut and cashew varieties, and semisweet chocolate bars. Many of these enjoyed high visibility in the commercial market as a result of General Foods’ advertising campaigns. A Cincinnati Post headline in April of 1930 read, “General Foods Wins Record Sales with $1,000,000 More Advertising.” The article further stated, “The Walter Baker bars are enabling General Foods to enter the confectionary field and candy and drug store outlets for the first time. Retailing at five and ten cents, they have been tested for several months in New England and New York State. Coinciding with the expanding domestic market for confections, the passing of the Hawley-Smoot tariff laws in 1929 aimed at eliminating foreign competition and stabilizing post-war prices proved effective in reducing chocolate imports from countries such as France and Switzerland.
In addition to the main plant in Dorchester, by 1929 Walter Baker & Co. was producing in Montreal, Canada as well. It appears that the Canadian operation was short lived, as by 1941 it was no longer listed in General Foods annual reports.
By the 1920s General Foods had clearly established themselves as a major food production and distribution corporation. It had acquired 19 of the most successful companies (and their subsidiaries) in the food production industry and had control of plants across the country, including several in New England. By 1941 the number of companies owned by General Foods had increased to 28 and nearly doubled that by 1950.
By the mid-1930s Baker had proven itself to be a valuable asset to General Foods. A corporate newsletter from 1934 includes the following salute to Baker: “Age and income make the Walter Baker Chocolate plant more important than most of General Foods’ factories.” Baker continued its practice of strict quality control that ensured consistent delivery of well-made products. A laboratory was even maintained for “the sole purpose of marking each batch of Baker products to prepare for quick identification in the event of an inquiry.”
The year after Curtis H. Gager succeeded Thurber as Baker’s president (1939) the U.S. imported a record 679 million pounds of cocoa, an increase approaching sixty percent since 1921. That same year, Breakfast Cocoa retails. were at the their lowest price since 1780, at 1 1/2 pounds for 25 cents, and Baker was preoccupied with the costly task of remodeling its warehouse and installing modem refrigerating equipment to replace the units from the early 1900s and help stabi1ize employment during summer months.
By the late 1940s the company added to its line of products new “recipe-friendly” items marketed to housewives. These included fortified chocolate syrup, chocolate ice cream flavors, Baker’s 4-in-1 Sweet Cocoa Mix – a new instant cocoa mix which could be used to make “chocolate fudge, frosting, sauce, or a hot or cold beverage in an instant,” and a hazelnut chocolate bar.
In 1941 eighteen storage silos for cocoa beans were added to the Dorchester plant. General Foods’ 1941 annual report noted that “our previous storage facilities were needed by the Government.” The last major construction project to be undertaken by Baker in Dorchester was a warehouse for finished goods, erected at 4 River Street in 1947 adjacent to the storage silos, and heralded in the 1947 Annual Report as “a new air conditioned warehouse for Walter Baker at Dorchester, Massachusetts, scheduled for completion in June.” The report goes on to note “added storage permits manufacture of a uniform production rate to meet seasonal demands.” Completed chocolate products were stored in the warehouse until shipped out for sale. At the stockholders tour of 1948, the new facility was described as follows: “It’s air conditioned, fire protected, and has the latest and best equipment for handling chocolate products in a sanitary fashion….Without an air conditioned place to store our product in hot weather, we just couldn’t make chocolate. Now, with this warehouse out people can keep working year round.”
Successful marketing under General Foods continued through the 1950s and into the 60s, portraying Baker increasingly as a trusted household name that had a place in a contemporary kitchen. A quarterly report (March 1964) documented the arrival of Samuel German’s chocolate at the White House, being used in a cake for a state dinner honoring Chancellor Ludwig Erhard of West Germany.
As General Foods continued to expand their mid-20th century holdings, it was reorganized into various divisions to ease the administration of the numerous companies they controlled. By 1958 General Foods had grown to fourteen divisions, operating plants in 52 locations. In addition to their package grocery products, other divisions served the hotel and restaurant trades, and an International Division attested to the worldwide scope of their products. The Walter Baker Co., under the Jell-o Division continued to produce “cocoa and Chocolate, an instant chocolate drink, chocolate chips for the grocery trade, and bulk chocolate and cocoa for the baking, ice cream and candy industries.”
The quality of benefits for Baker employees reached their peak after acquisition by General Foods. By 1934 Baker had established a co-operative retirement plan for employees, and two years later paid vacations were offered to all permanent workers. An Industrial Relations department was established the same year. Permanent workers received sickness benefit packages in 1937, and termination allowance was offered beginning in 1938. The same year also saw the establishment of an AFL union at the Dorchester Lower Mills. In 1939 Baker’s group life insurance plan was broadened to include all employees, and by 1940 over 100 former staff were retired on pensions, a large number for a firm that employed fewer than 1000 people. By 1948 Baker offered employees a group life insurance plan, retirement plan, and an accident and sickness plan. Additionally, the average worker received two weeks paid vacation yearly and 2/3 pay for up to two weeks of illness.
CONSOLIDATION OF JELL-O DIVISION; CLOSING OF DORCHESTER PLANT
In 1960 General Foods made the decision to consolidate the four plants operating under the Jell-o Division at a centralized facility. These four food-processing plants had been operating as self-contained units in widely scattered locations, with the Walter Baker plant in Dorchester, the Jell-o plant in upstate New York, a Baker cocoanut factory in Hoboken, New Jersey; and the Minute Tapioca plant in the western Massachusetts community of Orange. A press release from 1965 explained that the four plants “were simply not efficient by current-day standards,” and that consolidation would allow for a single administrative organization which was expected to be more cost effective and efficient. The new consolidated facility was constructed in Dover, Delaware, opening in 1965. This move marked the end of 188 years of chocolate production in Dorchester.
BAKER WAREHOUSE (4 RIVER STREET)
The Baker Warehouse stands on the eastern portion of a large parcel of land originally numbered 1153 Washington Street to 20 River Street. It was built in 1947 for Walter Baker & Co., which by that time was a division of General Foods. The building, used for shipping and receiving, was served by a railroad spur of the New Haven Railroad that ran along the rear lot line, passing by 16 cocoa bean storage silos before reaching its terminus under the overhang at the rear of the warehouse. In addition to being an integral part of the Baker complex, the warehouse at 4 River Street is significant as an example of the work of Walter Kidde Constructors, Inc., an innovative modern industrial design/build firm, whose work was well known and respected. With the exception of a one-story office addition on the River Street elevation, the building’s exterior has had only minor alterations.
According to the original building permit, the warehouse had one room in the basement for cocoa storage, while the first floor contained five rooms used for storage, order assembly, shipping and office space. In July 1947 a second building permit was issued to construct a steel conveyor bridge connecting the “new warehouse” to the adjacent Mill #6. In 1957 the firm of Cleverdon, Varney & Pike designed the one story office addition located on River Street.
In 1965 General Foods sold 4 River Street to Burke Warehouse, Inc., a distribution company that continued to use the building as a warehouse and for offices. By 1976 the building was occupied by Berger Instruments, a high voltage engineering fIrm, which changed the use of the building from that of a warehouse to light manufacturing of survey instruments. It has remained in use by Berger until recently. The building is currently vacant.
ARCHITECTURAL SIGNIFICANCE (BAKER WAREHOUSE)
The simple modernistic style of the Baker Warehouse is representative of an architectural trend toward more sleek, functional design and is in sharp contrast to the highly ornamented 19th and early 20th century buildings of the district. Modern buildings like the Baker Warehouse became the standard throughout the country in the mid-20th century, particularly for industrial and office buildings.
Walter Kidde Constructors, Inc., designer for the warehouse, was a New York City design/build finn specializing in industrial structures. Among the firm’s many commissions were the Allen Manufacturing Plant in Bloomfield, CT; the Johnson & Johnson Surgical Dressings Plant in North Brunswick, NJ; and the Fuller Brush Company Plant and Offices in East Hartford, CT. In 1959 Architectural Record recognized the firm for their ability to solve industrial problems and integrate these into a “coherent architectural expression.”
- Major Bibliographical References
Boston Inspectional Services Department – permit records.
Original architectural drawing (October 29, 1946)
Suffolk County Deeds (Deed 7868/1)
National Register nomination for the Dorchester/Milton Lower Mills District.
Architectural Record (“Industrial Buildings” – January 1959)
Baker Library, Harvard University. Business School. Various materials from Baker records in Historical Collections, including letterbooks, ledgers, payroll books, journals (day books), calendars, and miscellaneous unbound material.
Miscellaneous materials on General Foods Corporation at the archives of Kraft Foods, Inc., including annual reports (various years), stockholders tour script (1946), and press releases (May 5, 1965).
E: 19/329660/4682680 F: 19/329100/4681640
Verbal Boundary Description The boundaries of the Dorchester/Milton Lower Mills Industrial District (Boundary Increase) are delineated with a bold dashed line on the attached map (copy of City of Boston map 12E 9N).
Revised boundaries for the Dorchester/Milton Lower Mills Industrial District (Boundary Increase) were selected to include the only remaining historic industrial building contiguous to the existing district. In addition, the one building being added is the only structure associated with the Baker manufacturing complex that was left outside the district previously. Other lots surrounding the district were evaluated to determine if their inclusion was appropriate. Lining the north side of Pierce Square along Washington and Adams Streets are a series of buildings, many of which were formerly residences, that currently house retail spaces (and some residential above) and date from roughly the late 19th century through the 1980s. East of the district (along Medway Street) and to the northwest (along the north side of River Street) are residential areas with houses primarily from the late 19th to early 20th centuries. The southern boundary runs along trolley tracks of the MBTA’s High Speed Line. South of the tracks, on both sides of Adams Street in Milton, there are several commercial buildings, including a notable Victorian commercial block from 1881 that does not relate to the district but has merit on its own. Set back from the east side of Adams Street, behind the commercial buildings, is a large c. 1950s industrial building that is now owned by Hood; it relates neither historically nor physically to the district. On the west side of Adams Street (in Milton) is a residential area of houses primarily from the early 20th century, interspersed with more recent dwellings.