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Dedham Common Houses

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High and Church sts.
  • Dedham Common Houses (Peter Vanderwarker or Antonina Smith)

Colonial Revival remodeling of Colonial and Federal houses became a common pattern in Dedham, of which we have three examples here. Known since 1922 as the Community House, the most architecturally outstanding nineteenth-century building in Dedham faces the north side of the Common. Samuel Haven constructed the brick-ended Havens-Bullard House (671 High Street) in 1798. In 1886 John Bullard purchased the house and hired Van Brunt and Howe to remodel it extensively with Federal-style ornamentation, making the house an extraordinary example of the Colonial Revival. Where there were originally corner pilasters, the architects added corner-attached columns and pilasters on either side of the porch. Where there was a roof balustrade with simple finials, the architects added large scroll-shaped brackets and classical urns. A new central entrance and porch roof balustrade (since removed) were also added and the interior remodeled.

On the other side of the Allin Congregational Church lies the Dexter House (699 High Street), built in 1761 as a two-story hipped roof dwelling. In 1901 Parker and Thomas designed a major expansion, which transformed the house into a three-story Federal Revival town house. Four years later, near the south side of the Common, the Norfolk House Inn (19 Church Street) also underwent a dramatic transformation. Constructed in 1801 for Martin Marsh, the three-story inn was, by the end of the century, a boarding house. Charles H. Gifford purchased the house and hired Dedham resident Frank Chouteau Brown to convert the building into a single-family house. Brown embellished the interior and exterior of the simple Federal-style brick building, adding a large two-story portico on the front that has since been removed.

Writing Credits

Keith N. Morgan


What's Nearby


Keith N. Morgan, "Dedham Common Houses", [Dedham, 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, 539-540.

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