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Warren Street Area Institutions

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1893–1947. Cambridge, Warren, and Washington sts.
  • (Peter Vanderwarker or Antonina Smith)

Brighton's population explosion (more than doubling between 1910 and 1930) and importance as a center for public and Catholic institutions are especially apparent in the concentration of turn-of-the-century buildings along Cambridge, Warren, and Washington streets. City Architect Edmund March Wheelwright designed two buildings here. The Brighton Police Station (1893, 301 Cambridge Street, NRD) is a characteristic yellow brick with terra-cotta trim Renaissance Revival municipal block. Nearby, the former Brighton High School (now the William Howard Taft School) is a red brick Georgian Revival structure at 26 Warren Street, built in 1894, the same year as Wheelwright's wooden Oak Square School (AB6), also in Brighton. When Wheelwright's high school became too small, O'Connell and Shaw, known for municipal buildings and Catholic institutions throughout the area designed a new Brighton High School across the street at 25 Warren in 1930. This granite Tudor Revival design reminds us of the image of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point (1903–1910), a project by Boston architect Cram, Goodhue and Ferguson. On the top of Nevins Hills, above the high school, sits St. Gabriel's Monastery (159 Washington Street), a Mission-style retreat house of the Passionist Fathers built in 1908 to designs by T. Edward Sheehan (and now used as a hospital). Part of the monastery complex, St. Gabriel's Church rose in 1927–1929 to designs by Maginnis and Walsh, the premier Catholic church architects of the Boston area; its entrance arch resembles at a modest scale their earlier scheme for the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. Hospitals surround this district: the Franciscan Children's Hospital (1947, originally the Kennedy Memorial Hospital, 30 Warren Street), the Brighton Marine Hospital (1938–1940, originally the U.S. Public Health Service, Louis A. Simon, supervising architect of the U.S. Treasury, 77 Warren Street), and the yellow brick behemoth St. Elizabeth's Hospital (736 Cambridge Street), another Catholic institution that moved here from the South End in the early twentieth century.

Writing Credits

Keith N. Morgan

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