Facing onto Church Green, the southeast section of the original common, stands a fascinating and diverse group of buildings. Organized in 1636, the town raised its first meetinghouse in the vicinity of the Hill Burying Ground, on the northeast side of Monument Square. The second meetinghouse (1673) stood on the southwest side of the square just north of the current First Parish Church (NRD) at 20 Lexington Road. First Parish Church, designed by Cabot, Everett and Mead, is actually the 1901 rebuilding of the 1841 third meetinghouse, a magnificent example of Greek Revival architecture with a dramatic portico and tower remodeled by Richard Bond. The church also landscaped Church Green in 1841, converting the land from training field to park. Just southeast of the church are three modest early dwellings, including the William Munroe/Joseph White Cottage (NRD) at 19 Church Green, which may date from the 1650s. North of the church stands Wright Tavern (NHL/NR/NRD), a hostelry built originally in 1747 that became immediately a central institution of the town. Here and at the adjacent second meetinghouse, the Continental Congress met in 1774–1775 to plan the rebellion against British rule.
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