The commercial block at 1 Winthrop Square, one of the most unusual structures built after the Great Boston Fire of 1872, dominates the small square. William Ralph Emerson and Carl Fehmer based their design on the Lustschloss, a Renaissance palace in Dresden, probably familiar to Fehmer, who was born in Mecklenburg, Germany, and came to this country in 1858. Replacing another commercial palace destroyed in the fire, the architects responded to concerns for improved fireproofing by using granite construction and selecting a standing seam metal hipped roof, originally with ornamental cresting, instead of the popular mansard roof, thought to be a conduit for fire. This block of stores was constructed for James M. Beebe and William F. Weld, two wealthy Boston developers. The same firm designed the block behind this structure, which extends down Otis Street to Summer.
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1 Winthrop Square
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