21609 Walton and Roslin Halls
The following is from the National Register form for Walton and Roslin Halls, 702-708 Washington Street and 710-726 Washington Street.
Walton and Roslin Halls consist of two L-shapcd buildings at the intersection of Walton and Washington Streets, located four blocks south of Codman Square between Walton and Roslin streets, in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston. The buildings face west on a major roadway, across from two- and three-family wood-frame houses; there is a vacant lot to the south of the buildings, at the corner of Washington and Roslin Streets. The late 20th-century Codman Square Branch Library is immediately north of the buildings on Washington Street, beyond which is the Shingle Style former Dorchester Temple Baptist Church (1889, Ml IC Il BOS.6358, NR 1998). A rear yard separates Walton and Roslin Halls from a large neighborhood to the east, made up of one- and two-family wood-frame houses constructed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Although constructed in two building campaigns, the wood-frame, Classical Revival-style Walton and Roslin Hall buildings read essentially as one. Walton Hall (702-708 Washington Street, with a side entrance at 3-5 Walton Street) is a three-story building, with residential entrances on the west and north elevations accessing two floors of residential units located above the first-floor, orange-brick, storefront level. Roslin Hall (710-726 Washington Street) is a three-story building with two residential levels above first-floor storefronts that are primarily clad in clapboards. Residential entrances arc located along the west elevation. Both buildings have secondary doors at the eastern, rear elevation, accessing the yard. Both stand close to the front of their lots, with small planting areas at the corner of Washington and Walton Streets, and along Walton Hall’s Washington Street side. The buildings feature a strong base, middle, and top, a heavy overhanging
Walton Hall 1897 (702-708 Washington Street/3-5 Walton Street): Exterior
Walton Hall is a three-story, wood-frame building, located at the corner of Walton and Washington Streets, that features ground-level commercial space topped by two stories of residential units (Photographs 1 and 4). The building rests on a rubblestone foundation, is ten bays wide and six hays deep, and features a footprint that extends to the lot line along much of the two primary facades, the west (Washington Street) and north (Walton Street) elevations. The first story is clad in elongated, narrow orange brick with decorative stone capitals at the storefronts, and the second and third stories arc covered in painted clapboards. All windows are aluminum replacements (Photographs 1 and 4). The building’s south elevation connects to the adjacent building, Roslin Hall, at 710-726 Washington Street. The intersection of the Walton and Roslin Halls is accentuated with a two-story, fluted pilaster at the second and third stories of the Washington Street elevation. The building’s flat gravel roof is defined by a heavy overhanging denticulatcd wood cornice along the primary elevations.
The west elevation features commercial space at the first story (702 Washington Street) and a pair of residential entryways at 706-708 Washington Street (Photograph 5). The recessed entry at 702 Washington Street is set beneath a raised wood-panel entablature. The doorway and corner storefront are a modern aluminum and glass system, separated by brick piers. The paired doors at 706-708 Washington Street (Photograph 6) arc set beneath a projecting Classical Revival-style hood spanning the two-bay entryway. The entrance hood is set on projecting brick pilasters with cast-stone capitals. Pairs of carved brackets support the overhang, which is detailed with an egg-and-dart mod”, small brackets, and a denticulated cornice. Six concrete steps provide access to the inset entrance. Two modern steel entrance doors with glass panels and solid and glass-panel sidelights are separated by a two-panel pier. A second set of doors provides access to the interior of the building. Single and paired windows flank the entrance on the first floor of Walton Hall at 706-708 Washington Street.
Walton Hall’s second story is separated from the first story by the storefront’s broad cornice, above which is a narrow beltcourse. The clapboarded second and third stories are enlivened by a mix of projecting bays separated by punched window openings. Along Washington Street, Walton Hall has four two-story, oriel bay windows, two polygonal and two rounded, each with three window openings. The oriel bays are supported by carved wooden brackets and feature raised panels below the windows at the second and third stories, and projecting bellcourses above the second stories. The polygonal bays are surmounted by projecting flat roofs with dentils. The round bays feature fluted pilasters at the second and third stories and are engaged with the building’s cornice. A second-story projecting hood, situated above the residential entryway at 706-708 Washington Street, is supported by carved brackets set atop fluted brick pilasters; additional decorative moldings include an egg-and-dart motif consistent with the hood above the entrance.
A two-story fluted pilaster at the second and third stories turns the corner onto the north elevation (Photograph 4), which is clad in orange brick on the first story and clapboards above. The centrally located two-bay entryway on the building’s north side (Photograph 3) is set beneath a projecting Classical Revival-style hood. Three concrete steps provide access to the entrance, which is set back several feet within the opening. Two modem steel entrance. doors with glass panels and solid and glass-panel sidelights are separated by a two-panel pier. The entrance hood is set on projecting brick pilasters with cast-stone capitals. Pairs of carved brackets support the overhang, which is detailed with an egg-and-dart motif, small brackets, and a denticulated cornice. A second set of interior doors provides access to stairways to the residential units. The entryway is flanked, to the east, by a paired and a single window, and to the west by the continuation of the Washington Street side’s modern storefront.
The second and third stories of the north elevation are detailed in a manner similar to the west elevation. A pair of two-story oriel windows, one polygonal and one round, is set on each side of the elevation’s two central bays. A projecting second-story hood supported by carved brackets set atop fluted pilasters divides the two central bays. The hood features decorative moldings, including an egg-and-dart motif. Both oriels are supported by carved wooden brackets and feature raised panels below the windows and above projecting beltcourses. The polygonal bay is surmounted by a projecting, flat roof with dentils. The rounded hay features fluted pilasters dividing the three lights at the second and third stories and a molded lion’s head centered above the third story.
The cast, rear side of Walton Hall has several lightwells that create a varied elevation. The northernmost four bays consist of a red-brick first story and clapboarded second and third stories. The upper stories are articulated at the north end with a fluted pilaster. The first-story window openings have stone sills and splayed, soldier-course lintels. The upper floors are minimally detailed with wood window casings. Two of the window openings have bccn reduced in size but remain in their original locations. The projecting wood cornice extends around from Walton Street to this side or the building.
The remainder of the three-story, vinyl-clad east side of the building features a polygonal bay window on the south-facing elevation, and two three-story ells on the east elevation. Original to the building, the three-story ells were historically clothes-drying balconies and were enclosed at an unknown date (likely after 1983). These ells are two bays wide and clad in vinyl siding. Single and paired windows arc situated on all elevations of the main block and the ells. Five modem steel doors are located at the first floor of the east elevation and the south elevation of the northern lightwell. The doors open onto modern wood-frame landings with wood steps providing access to the grass-covered rear yard.
The original layout of the interior of the building remains largely intact, with lirst-floor commercial and residential space topped by two floors of residential units. The building is divided into four sections separated by brick firewalls that extend up to the roof. Three residential units are on the ground floor: two south of the office space and one to the east. The residential units at 3-5 Walton Street and 706-708 Washington Street are accessed by two main staircases separated by a central brick firewall. A small entrance lobby is located inside each entrance door. Residential units are accessed directly off landings at each enclosed staircase. Each section of the building also contains a secondary wood fire stair, which provides access to the rear yard. existing stairs arc wood with vinyl slip-resistant coverings. The second and third floors contain four units per floor. Interior finishes in the residential units consist of late 20th-century wood and vinyl-tile floors, flat piaster walls with wood baseboards, and flat plaster ceilings throughout. Doors and windows are generally wood trimmed. Kitchens and bathrooms are situated within each unit. Modem modifications include relocation of interior partition walls and installation of’ drop ceilings. No original finishes exist on the interior, with the exception of the stairs.
Roslin Hall 108 (710-726 Washington &reel): Exterior
Roslin Hall is a three-story, wood-frame building located immediately south of Walton flail on the east side of Washington Street. The building’s architectural details are very similar to Walton Hall. The west elevation features ground-level commercial space topped by two floors of residential units (Photographs 6 and 7). The building rests on a rubblestone foundation, is ten bays wide and six bays deep, and features a footprint that extends to its parcel boundary along the west (Washington Street) elevation. The first story contains storefronts and clapboard-clad bays. The upper stories are also clad in clapboard, and are articulated with wood trim. All sash within the building are 1/1 aluminum replacements. The building’s flat gravel roof is defined by a heavy overhanging denticulated wood cornice along the west elevation that wraps around to the first bay of the south elevation. The building’s north elevation connects to the adjacent Walton Hall.
The north end of the wood-clapboarded west elevation features three original wood-panel and plate-glass storefronts and recessed entrances at 710, 718, and 720 Washington Street. Two former storefronts at the south end of the first story have been infilled with residential-scale windows and clapboard siding within the original storefront bays. The paired residential entrances at 714-716 and 724-726 Washington Street (Photograph 7) are both set beneath a projecting Classical Revival-style hood, spanning the two-bay, recessed entryway. The entrance hoods are set on projecting brick pilasters with cast-stone capitals; pairs of square brackets support the overhang, which is detailed with an egg-and-dart motif, small brackets, and a denticulated cornice. Each entrance is situated atop concrete steps and is set back several feet within the opening; the two entry doors at each entrance (714-716 and 724-726) are separated front one another by a central concrete wall that divides the recessed entry opening. Modern steel entrance doors with glass lights, set beneath glass transoms, provide access to the building; those at 724 and 726 are also flanked by partial sidelights.
The clapboarded second and third stories of the west elevation follow the same pattern as N,Valton I lall; however, all four oriel bays arc polygonal, These bays alternate between tall bays engaged with the building cornice and lower bays finished with a projecting decorative cornice consistent with the remainder of the building. Each polygonal bay contains three lights at both the second and third story.
An engaged single-story brick pier turns the corner onto the building’s south elevation. The south elevation abuts a vacant parcel of land at the corner of Washington and Roslin streets. This elevation is set on a raised granite foundation, is clad in wood clapboards, and features evenly spaced window openings with flat wood trim and slightly projecting wood sills. The building’s projeeting wood cornice continues from the main façade to the first bay of the west elevation. A two-story, polygonal oriel window is situated at the east end of the elevation at the second and third stories.
The east, rear side of Roslin Hall has several lightwells that create a varied elevation. The entire east side of the building is set on a granite foundation and is clad in vinyl siding. This rear elevation is similar to the east side of Walum I tall; however, the southernmost bays are clad entirely in vinyl siding rather than brick and clapboard, The remainder of the three-story, east side of the building features a polygonal oriel window on the northracing elevation, and two three-story ells on the east elevation. Original to the building, the three-story ells were originally clothes-drying balconies and were enclosed at an unknown date. These ells are two bays wide and clad in vinyl siding. Windows are situated on all elevations of the main block and the ells. Five modern steel doors are located at the first floor of the east elevations of the main block and both ells. ‘1’hc doors open at grade or onto modern wood-fratnc landings with wood steps providing access to a large, grass-covered yard behind Roslin Hall.
The original layout of the interior of ROS1111 Hall remains largely intact, with ground-Ilcior commercial and residential space topped by two floors of residential units. The building is divided into four sections and separated by brick firewalls that extend up through the roof. The ground floor features commercial space at 710, 7111, and 720 Washington Street. Two residential units are also located on the ground floor at the southern end of the building. No original materials exist on the interior of the building, with the exception of the stairs.
The residential units at 714-716 and 724-726 Washington Street are accessed by two main staircases, which are separated by a central brick firewall. A small entrance lobby is located inside each entrance door. Residential units are accessed directly off landings at cach enclosed staircase. Each section or the building also contains a secondary, wood fire stair, which provides access to the rear yard. Existing stairs are wood with vinyl slip-resistant. coverings. At 714-716 Washington Street, some original railings and balusters remain on the upper floors (Photograph 8).
The second and third floors each contain four units, accessed by the original unit corridors. Interior finishes of all residential units consist of wood and vinyl tile floors, flat plaster walls with wood baseboards, and flat plaster ceilings throughout. Doors and windows are generally wood trimmed. Kitchens and bathrooms arc situated within each unit. Modern modifications from the original floor plan include relocation of interior partition walls and installation of drop ceilings.
While no ancient Native American sites are currently known at the Walton and Roslin Halls properties, sites may have been present. The property is located at the western base of an unnamed minor glacial hill, approximately 1.4 miles northwest of the Neponset River. Minor streams, natural springs, and ponds may have existed in the area, but have since been lost to urban development. One Native American sitc exists within one mile of the property. The unnamed site (19-SU-92) is located in Dorchester Park, on the summit of a minor topographic high point near the banks for the Neponset River, nine-tenths of a mile to the southeast of the property, The tbotprint of the extant structure covers most of the property. The only undeveloped area within the properties lies in the eastern rear of the structures. This area may have preserved natural soils, though it is surrounded by the extant structures on three sides, is very small in area, and may have received ground disturbances during construction of the buildings and landscaping of the properties. Given the above information, a low potential exists for locating ancient Native American resources on the property.
There is a low potential for locating historic archaeological resources on the Walton and Roslin Halls parcel. The parcel was originally part of the George Welles estate, with the Welles mansion located on the parcel directly to the north across Welles Street. Historic maps do not indicate any structures within the property relating to the Welles mansion. The property appears to have been undeveloped prior to the construction of Walton and Roslin Halls, though it was likely part of the farmland associated with the earlier pastoral usage of much of Dorchester. The small area left undeveloped to the (eastern) rear of the buildings may contains scattered historic field debris from farming and passive use of the land, and later use or the property by residents of the Halls, though the likely impact from construction of the buildings and subsequent landscaping indicates that this area has a low potential for early historic archaeological resources.
Architecture: At the end of the 196 century, Walton and Roslin Halls were the only two wood-frame apartment buildings located on Washington Street in the vicinity of Codman Square. The buildings arc excellent and well-preserved examples, in the Classical Revival style, of the work of locally prominent architect Cornelius A. Russell, who specialized in residential properties. Built using balloon-frame construction, and with ornamentation in the form of a mix of rounded and polygonal bays accented by denticulated cornices, applied panels, and fluted pilasters, these multifamily apartment buildings provided economical but stylish housing in Boston’s Dorchester section.
Community Planning and Development: The development of apartment buildings within the Cadman Square neighborhood at the turn of the 20111 century reflects a major shill in the character of the Dorchester section of Boston. Up until the 1.890s, Dorchester was largely occupied by single-family houses. Tice shift to multifamily dwellings is directly associated with the electrification of the streetcar, which offered a reliable, cheap, and fast mode of transportation into and out of downtown Boston for work and commerce. As the middle-class population in Dorchester expanded, so too did the need for quality multifamily housing. Triple-deckers, apartment blocks, and residential hotels took hold of all neighborhoods within the city, and had a profound effect on how the city looks today. Walton and Roslin Halls reflect this developtnent and are significant under Criterion A,
Developmental history/additional historic context information (if appropriate)
History q f Multifamily Housing in the United States
The development associated with multifamily housing in the United States was first seen in the 1830s, with the construction of tenement housing built to accommodate the nation’s working-class immigrants.
In Boston, tenetnents were most prevalent in the North End, the West End, and the back slope of Beacon Hill. Typical examples of tenements in the United States contained five to seven stories and occupied large tots with less than a foot between adjacent buildings. Row houses were another form of multiunit dwellings. Constructed by factory owners in manufacturing centers like Lowell, Massachusetts, the rowhouse organized groups of six to twelve workers and a landlady into a shared, quasi-familial household. Such living arrangements were more economically viable for all social classes, especially for those living in expensive urban centers. However, because tenements and rowhouses were associated with laborers, the American middle class tended to avoid them. The development of apartment buildings in and around urban centers such as Boston and New York emanated from the growing desire among the middle class to occupy affordable housing with access to transportation. For many, the cost of apartment living was only a fraction of the price °I–maintaining a private house with comparable amenities, and thus became a desirable housing option. By the mid to late 19′1‘ century, balloon-frame construction, inexpensive machine-made nails, and the ready availability of cut lumber due to transportation improvements all made multilevel wood-frame construction an attractive and economical alternative. To address potential fire concerns, individual sections of multifamily buildings were separated by interior vertical brick firewalls. These building techniques were employed at Walton and Roslin Halls.
Housing Development in Codman Square
The development pattern in Codman Square began with the laying out of Norfolk Street in the early le century. One of the oldest roads in Dorchester, it intersects with Washington Street four blocks north of Walton and Roslin Halls. As the major connector from inland Massachusetts to the city of Boston, Washington Street was the only overland access to the Boston peninsula. The intersection of Norfolk and Washington Streets—later Codman Square—became a significant crossroads for commercial activity in the 18111 century. The square’s first commercial establishment was a one-story, wood-frame store operated by James Baker ca. 1763 at the intersection of what would become Norfolk and Washington streets. Surrounded by large estates with grcat tracts of land, the intersection was referred to as Baker’s Corners. By 1830, the immediate vicinity of Codman Square was comprised of only fourteen buildings, including the Second Church of Dorchester built in 1806 (NR 1983, MHC # BOS.6359) and the Town Hall (1816, demolished tbr the Codman Square branch of the Boston Public Library in 1904). The congregation of the Second Church renamed the area Codman Square in 1848, in memory of their late leader, Reverend Doctor John Codman, who had died on December 23, 1847, By 1850, the population of Dorchester totaled 8,000. In 1869, Dorchester was annexed by the City of Boston and officially became part of the city on January 3, 1870.
Many wood-frame houses were located along the Washington Street spine in and around the square throughout the 19th century. Additional buildings were constructed, including churches, schools, governmental buildings, and single-family houses, though the area remained sparsely developed until the 1890s when the electrification of the Metropolitan Street Railway allowed for easier access. Although the railway had been present in the square since 1874, when it was powered by horses, its electrification brought reliable and faster transportation to the area.
In the late 19th century, apartment buildings began to appear in and around the square, the first of which were attached, three-story, three-family masonry buildings constructed in 1886 on the west side of Washington Street (no longer extant). Though apartment houses became a viable and oftentimes preferred mode of living by the 1880s, construction of single-family, homes continued on large tracts along newly laid-out streets, ust south of the crossroads of Washington Street and Talbot Avenue, in an area known as Ashmont Hill. In 1871, a street and lot subdivision plan was drawn up and Alban, Welles, Harley, Walton, and Roslin Streets were laid out with rows of 6,000-square-foot lots. Walton extended
from 700 Washington Street to 15 Harley Street and Roslin from 730 Washington Street to 60 Ocean Street.
The Development of Walton and Roslin Halls
As of 1874, the land located between Walton and Roslin Streets was owned by the heirs of A.T. Wells. George D. Wells was later identified as the sole proprietor. Wells lived in a mansion located on the northeast corner of Walton and Washington streets, where the Henry L. Pierce School was later constructed in 1892. This site is now occupied by a branch of the Boston Public Library. The land on which Walton and Roslin halls would eventually be built was subdivided by Wells into seven vacant parcels of five 8,000-square-foal lots hound by two 10,000-square-foot lots. He retained ownership until at least 1894, at which point all seven parcels were sold to James F. Haddock.
At the turn of the century, the availability of reliable transportation affbrded many middle-income families the opportunity ro live outside the densely settled urban core of Boston. With the increasing number of people desiring to settle in Dorchester, and available house lots becoming scarce, apartment buildings became a popular alternative to home ownership in this attractive middle-class neighborhood. The seven Wells parcels were combined to create two equal-sized lots, and construction of Walton Hall, an eight-unit structure with ground-floor retail space, began in 1897. Roslin Hall was completed a year later, and included nine residential units and two ground-level stores. The two apartments, called “Hails” on maps and building permits, were named for nearby streets as noted above, and were designed by locally prominent architect Cornelius A. Russell.
With their location in the socially acceptable neighborhood of Codman Square, Walton and Roslin !falls were intended for the middle class. Each unit contained one chamber (bedroom), a parlor, parlor chamber, dining room, and kitchen. Each unit also had a clothes-drying balcony (now enclosed) at the rear of the apartment. These small units were designed to be homes for couples or couples with one child, unlike many apartment buildings ()I’ the period, which included multiple bedrooms for larger families. As the 20th century progressed, the size of families .occupying the apartments was much larger, suggesting that former parlor chambers may have been repurposed as bedrooms to accommodate additional occupants. Several local small businesses, including a grocer, were located within the ground-floor commercial spaces during the first half of the 20th century.
‘these buildings also had an interesting stratification of ownership. An investor’s available capital affected the size and length of time of ownership. Paul Grath in Living Downtown notes that small-scale business people purchased properties on the fringes of downtown as an income base, while well-connected and wealthy capitalists bought closer to the city and turned over property faster. James Haddock was a locally well-connected speculative developer of income property in Dorchester. In 1904, Haddock sold Walton I lull to George W. Soren, perhaps as a way to stave off foreclosure, as he no longer controlled Roslin Hall, which was under the ownership of the Charlestown Savings Bank by 1904. Soren retained ownership of Walton 11a11 until at least 1918, while the turnover of Roslin Hall continued unabated with the 1910 ownership by Ezra F. Pratt, who sold to Bessie Klous by 1918. In 1933, ownership of Walton Hall was in the hands of Edward Levenson, and Roslin Hall was owned by Anna Gordon. Today, both buildings are owned by the Codma.n Square Neighborhood Development Corporation, which purchased them in the 1980s.
Cornelius .4. Russell
Cornelius A. Russell (185 l-ca.1925) was an architect with offices located at 46 ‘/2 Warren Street in
Roxbury. Russell specialized in the construction of both single-family houses and midi–hi/lily/commercial blocks in the cities of Boston, Brookline, and Chelsea as well as the towns of Duxbury and Manchester. With the exception alone Colonial Revival-style commercial/apartment block constnicted in 1908 in Chelsea, all of Russell’s known multifamily designs were in Boston. His efforts were focused primarily in the newly tilled and opened lands in Roxbury, Mission Hill, Dorchester, and Jamaica Plain, where the construction boom during the last quartet’ of the 1911‘ and first quarter of the 20fir centuries was focused.
Russell designed many buildings, including several listed in the National Register of llistoric Places. Russell’s earliest known design hi Boston was for a single-family, wood-frame house at 4 Aspen Street in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood of Roxbury in 1890, a property listed in the Mount Pleasant Historic District (NR 1989). Consistent with many architects practicing during the building boom of the late 19th century, Russell constructed a number of three-deckers, double houses, and apartment houses in the popular Classical Revival and Romanesque styles between 1892 and 1900. Walton and Roslin Halls clearly display Russell’s interest in the Classical Revival style, and are excellent examples of the types of apartment houses he designed. Although not a departure from his other works stylistically, the two buildings’ size and architectural form and detailing, together with their execution in wood, is a marked change from Russell’s more modestly sized, three-story, brick-and wood-frame buildings of this period.
Residenis and Businesses of klialton and Roslin Halls
Consistent with the occupants of other, similar apartment buildings in Boston, and specifically Dorchester, most residents of Walton and Roslin Halls in 1900 were American horn, and included small families and widows, sometimes living with their adult children. The 1900 U.S. census recorded a widower living with his adult daughter, an aged couple living with their adult daughter, and a single woman living alone. Widows residing in Walton and Roslin Halls survived on incomes presumably associated with their deceased husbands, became dressmakers to support themselves, or relied on their children’s earnings. The remainin inhabitants were stockbrokers, land examiners, salesmen, coal engineers, and store clerks. More often than not, it appears that at the turn of the century residents of Walton and Roslin 11alls were middle-class professionals.
As of 1910, the buildings accommodated mostly American born couples with one or no children, or widows, sonic of whom lived with their adult children. Most of these residents held trade jobs, with men in positions as teamsters, shoemakers, and plumbers, as well as water inspectors and teachers. Other men occupied clerical positions in offices or worked in die maritime industry. Families in nearby single-family houses were also middle-class residents who practiced law or were wealthy merchants with large families and servants. Cornincipikil ccitants in the buildings included a newsstand, a tailor, and a grocer.
By 1920, the property continued to house couples and single people, though the influence of immigration to the United States is clearly eviclenc with many occupants born in Scotland, Nova Scotia, Germany, and Russia now residing in the property. The increase in immigrant residents was consistent across the immediate neighborhood; nonetheless, the area maintained a significant percentage of native-born Americans. Oftentimes, extended families lived with the primary residents of Walton and Roslin Halls, many of WKITII maintained jobs to aid in providing for the family. Occupations at the time included laborers, machinists, store clerks, and salesmen. The newsstand, tailor, and grocer remained in the first-floor commercial spaces, and were joined by an upholsterer and a piano repair shop.
The population at Walton and Roslin l lalls expanded as of 1930 to include larger families with multiple children, along with the occasional lodger. This change suggests that the buildings now served as multibedroom apartments rather than their original use as single-bedroom units for couples or small families. The financial disaster of the Great Depression may have necessitated housing extended fatnily members and adult children in the apartments. The majority of residents were born in New England and Canada, and all spoke English. Heads of household held jobs such as plumbers, tax collectors, and teamsters, and their children or spouses held jobs such as bookkeepers, dyc workers, and teachers. During this period, the tailor shop changed hands but remained in the same commercial space at 704 Washington Street. Other commercial tenants included the same newsstand as 1920, a plumber, a barber shop, and a furniture repair shop.
By ca. 1940, the majority of occupants included moderately sized young families, aged or retired couples, and a few lodgers. The number of young men eligible for selective service living in the buildings was low. As of 1940, twelve of the 62 occupants of Walton and Roslin Halls were men between the ages of 18 and 45 (see Selective Service Act of 1917, amended 1918). Occupations ranged from salcstnan, teacher, and waitress to funeral director, theatre hand, and attorney. The overwhelming majority of those residing in the apartments were born in the United States, though Russian, Irish, Scottish, and Canadian immigrants appear in the census records. The newsstand continued to operate on the first floor in 1940, as did the barbershop and plumber, although both were under different ownership. A “Chinese laundry,” an upholstering company, and a toyshop were also located on the first floor.
Walton and Roslin Halls continued to serve as apartment units throughout the 2011‘ century, with small, ground-floor retail establishments. The buildings fell into disrepair during the mid to late 201” century. In 1979 the proprietor of Walton Hall, Brantwood Realty Trust, received notice from be Cily of Boston’s Building Department stating that the building situated at 702-708 Washington Street was “unsafe and dangerous; windows and doors are broken; building is open to the elements and trespassers.” A permit was issued to board up all windows along the rear elevation of the building, as those along the facade were already covered. In 1983 Alfredo Domenech, proprietor of Roslin Hall, received a similar notice from the Building Department stating that the building was “unsafe and dangerous…vacant and open…also rear porch in danger of collapse and building is also being vandalized.” Between 1983 and 1985, the Cadman Square Limited Partnership acquired both properties. in July of 1985, the Partnership undertook a major rehabilitation of the buildings to put them back into use. In 1989, the first floor in Walton Hall was rezoned to accommodate office space.
Today, the buildings serve as 100% affordable apartments with ground-level commercial spaces and are undergoing a certified historic tax-advantaged rehabilitation to preserve the 21 units of affordable housing and ground-level commercial units. ‘[he rehabilitation project includes replacement in-kind of the deteriorated exterior clapboards, repair of the entry stairs, installation of new historically appropriate windows, and the creation of two fully accessible units on the first floor of each building.
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