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600 Memorial Drive (Modern Continental Company) and Pfizer Discovery Technology Center (U.S. Tire Company)

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Modern Continental Company
c. 1920s; c. 1997, Carr Lynch and Sandel; 1923, Frank Norcross; 1995, Dean Tucker Shaw. 620 Memorial Dr.

Set back from Memorial Drive, these two industrial structures from the 1920s were redressed and expanded in a postmodernist mode. At 600 Memorial Drive, a paradigmatic postmodern renovation characterizes this six-story ten-bay structure built on a reinforced concrete frame. The double bay entrance is marked by the original copper canopy trimmed with anthemia, counterpointed by a convex balcony on the fourth floor. Colors are characteristic of the late-twentieth-century style—namely, lime and strawberry punctuated by spandrels of red brick. The sixth story and penthouses are additions.

Built as a warehouse for the U.S. Tire Company, 620 Memorial Drive is now part of Pfizer Global Research and Development. No excess in the postmodern mode has been avoided from the lime-colored hipped roof to the central projecting entrance facade with a segmentally curved pediment. The renovation stripped the building to its concrete frame and added two stories to the original structure, including a checkered brick inset below the upper floor center. The broad windows are marked by grid patterns, their openness belying the closed nature of the operation within.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Keith N. Morgan
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Citation

Keith N. Morgan, "600 Memorial Drive (Modern Continental Company) and Pfizer Discovery Technology Center (U.S. Tire Company)", [Cambridge, Massachusetts], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/MA-01-CS10.

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, 295-296.

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