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Belmont Square

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  • Belmont Square (Peter Vanderwarker or Antonina Smith)

The East Boston Company began developing Jeffries Point with the Belmont Square neighborhood in 1833. Located at the top of Camp Hill, the rectangular Belmont Square (now Brophy Memorial Park) provided panoramic views of Boston Harbor. A row of nine Greek Revival brick bowfront row houses at 177–193 Webster Street defines the southern boundary of the square, looking much like contemporary buildings on Beacon Hill, in the South End, or in Charlestown. On three of the original 90 × 100–foot lots, Benjamin Lamson built these houses between 1847 and roughly 1852 for professionals and businessmen working primarily in Boston, reached by steam ferry. Farther east on Webster Street, contemporary and later brick and wood frame houses survive from the mid- and late nineteenth century. At the southeast corner of Belmont Square, the Golden Stairs, a recently reconstructed run of concrete steps descends the steep southern face of Camp Hill to Marginal Street at the water's edge.

The location of an immigration station (demolished) at Jeffries Point led to rapid changes in East Boston's population in the second half of the nineteenth century. On the north edge of Belmont Square stands Our Lady of the Assumption (1869–1873, Patrick C. Keely, 404 Summer Street), the third Roman Catholic parish created to serve new Irish and French Canadian immigrants. Nearby, overlooking Belmont Square, stands the former Our Lady of the Assumption School (1890–1891, Herman Drake, builder) at 611–615 Seaver Street, now converted to housing. Just southwest of Belmont Square, the intact Tudor Revival Samuel Adams Elementary School (1910, Brigham, Coveney and Brisbee) at 165 Webster Street documents the rapid expansion of public schools at the turn of the century, as the population of East Boston more than doubled between 1885 and 1915.

Writing Credits

Keith N. Morgan


What's Nearby


Keith N. Morgan, "Belmont Square", [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, 215-216.

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