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Industrial School for Girls

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1859, George Snell. 232 Centre St.
  • Industrial School For Girls (Keith Morgan)

Founded in 1855 as a training school for neglected or destitute girls from ages six to eighteen, this institution was constructed in Dorchester rather than Boston, presumably because its semirural environment was considered more conducive to the good health and moral upbringing of the girls. George Snell's design for the brick building conveyed the character of a romantic cottage with wide overhanging eaves, vergeboards, and a cupola, clearly a rejection of the traditional austere poorhouse. In this way the architecture reinforced the training in domestic skills provided for the girls. Renovations that detract from the building's historic character are single-pane replacement sash windows and shutters that are too small.

Writing Credits

Keith N. Morgan


What's Nearby


Keith N. Morgan, "Industrial School for Girls", [Boston, 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, 261-261.

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