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Lower Lexington Road

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1653–1899. Lexington Rd. from Monument Sq. to Cambridge Turnpike.
  • Lower Lexington Road

The history of Concord's domestic architecture of the seventeenth through the nineteenth centuries can be charted in a distinguished line of buildings running eastsoutheast along Lexington Road from Church Green. Founded in 1635, Concord retains several houses that in part date from the seventeenth century. From deed evidence, the Thomas Dane House (NRD) at 47 Lexington Road dates from before 1653, perhaps beginning as a three-bay half house that was lengthened in the eighteenth century. Long thought to be the oldest house on Lexington Road, the Reuben Brown House (NRD) at 77 Lexington Road appears to date from the third decade of the eighteenth century, providing shelter for a series of saddle makers, including Brown, who bought the house in 1773. Reuben Brown's saddlery shop stands next door at 69–71 Lexington Road (NRD), a building erected sometime between 1737 and 1750 and converted to a residence in the 1850s. In 1719, John Brown purchased land and began the construction of a center-chimney saltbox house (NRD) at 105 Lexington Road, a building distinguished for its lapped, beaded clapboards and projecting two-story porch (added in the late nineteenth century) centered in the facade. An equally fine building of this period (1728) is the Pellet/Barrett House (NRD) at 5–7 Lexington Road, a gambrel-roofed block with a stuccoed facade imitating stonework. At 37 Lexington Road, silversmith John Ball built in 1752–1753 a two-story, double-pile, five-bay house, typical of the finest mid-eighteenth-century dwellings. After the Revolution, Concord's return to prosperity can be seen in the Captain John Adams House (c. 1817, NRD) at 57 Lexington Road, one of several magnificent brick-ender Federal-style houses built in Concord at this time. In 1835, poet, essayist, and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson purchased a large wooden house (1828–1829, NHL/NR/NRD) at 28 Cambridge Turnpike (at its intersection with Lexington Road). Here he lived and wrote until his death in 1882, rebuilding the house after serious fire damage in 1872. The granite Gothic Revival house (NRD) that stonemason Cyrus Pierce built for his family at 23 Lexington Road in 1850 signaled a new spirit in domestic architecture, both in materials and ornamentation. But the grand residence (NRD) that Edith and Frederick Sellors built in 1898–1899 next to her ancestors' house at 105 Lexington Road returned to earlier images and patterns. Boston architects Peabody and Stearns created for the Sellors a flamboyant rumination on the forms of the Vassall-Craigie-Longfellow House (BS7; 1759) in Cambridge, a Georgian mansion here manipulated into a Georgian Revival masterpiece.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Keith N. Morgan
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Citation

Keith N. Morgan, "Lower Lexington Road", [Concord, Massachusetts], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/MA-01-CN4.

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, 450-451.

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