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Amos A. Lawrence's Longwood Development

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1875–1876, Putnam and Tilden; 1886, Peabody and Stearns; 1894, Ball and Dabney. Monmouth St. and Monmouth Ct.
  • Amos Lawrence's Longwood Development (Monmouth Court Townhouses) (Peter Vanderwarker or Antonina Smith)

Amos A. Lawrence, who controlled development in the vicinity of his own house by constructing rental properties, initially built single-family houses. By the 1870s he accepted the desirability of denser development and erected four five-row house units. His civil engineer, Ernest Bowditch, created a small green mall in the center of Monmouth Court, the cul-de-sac off Monmouth Street. Each of the four blocks (53–61 and 66–67 Monmouth Street, 10–18 and 19–27 Monmouth Court, all NRD) offers architectural variations with elaborate roof treatments and panel-brick detailing. All four blocks are probably the work of Putnam and Tilden, although only two are documented through published designs. J. Pickering Putnam elaborately embellished the red brick of 10–18 Monmouth Court with Stick Style woodwork, a mansard roof, and pent roof entrance porticos. For 69–77 Monmouth Street, George T. Tilden adopted incised Néo-Grec ornament for the trabeated entrance surround. Numbers 19–27 Monmouth Court with hipped roofs and stepped gable dormers may also be Tilden, whereas the mansard on 53–61 Monmouth Street suggests Putnam's hand. The two men practiced jointly for a brief period but published their designs separately.

Lawrence carefully blended this urban scale with the surrounding predominantly single-family homes. A similar careful sensitivity characterizes the block of houses nearby at 74–82 Monmouth Street, designed in 1894 by Ball and Dabney. Here the fourth story of the block is set back behind the chimneys so that the block respects the three-story scale of the neighborhood. In the Shingle Style fire station (1886, NRD), now an arts center, at the end of the block, Peabody and Stearns also demonstrated a concern to maintain the residential character in this neighborhood that borders Boston.

Writing Credits

Keith N. Morgan


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Keith N. Morgan, "Amos A. Lawrence's Longwood Development", [Brookline, Massachusetts], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Massachusetts

Buildings of Massachusetts: Metropolitan Boston, Keith N. Morgan, with Richard M. Candee, Naomi Miller, Roger G. Reed, and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2009, 494-495.

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