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James Blake House

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1661; 1895–1896 moved; 1896–1907 restoration, Charles Hodgdon; 2006 restoration, Historic Preservation and Design, John Goff, principal. Edward Everett Sq. 735 Columbia Rd.
  • James Blake House (Keith Morgan)

The James Blake House, formerly located on Cottage Street, is one of only three known mid-seventeenth-century buildings to survive in Dorchester into the early twentieth century. On the basis of dendrochronological evidence, the house, with its elaborately chafered frame, dates to 1661. At two-and-a-half stories in height and with two rooms per floor and a central chimney, the building was one of the larger houses of its time. The roof frame of principal rafters at the bays with common rafters tenoned into purlins is the type of frame used in the handful of surviving houses in the Boston area from before the mid-1670s. Originally, facade gables lighted the attic. The house retains rare examples of wattle and daub wall fill. The Dorchester Historical Society acquired the house and razed early-eighteenth-and nineteenth-century additions when they moved it to Edward Everett Square in 1896. Over the next decade it was partially restored by Charles Hodgdon, a well-known Dorchester architect. The recent restoration has maintained the form and material established by Hodgdon.

Writing Credits

Keith N. Morgan


What's Nearby


Keith N. Morgan, "James Blake House", [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, 257-258.

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