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Bedford Block

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1874, Cummings and Sears. 99 Bedford St.
  • Bedford Block (Peter Vanderwarker or Antonina Smith)

The Bedford Block is Boston's best surviving example of Venetian Gothic-style commercial architecture, popularized by the writings of John Ruskin. No firm in Boston was more closely associated with Venetian Gothic–inspired architecture than Cummings and Sears, best known for their New Old South Church (BB43) on Copley Square. Erected in 1874 for Henry and Francis Lee, the Bedford Block was constructed of red granite from New Brunswick, Vermont marble, and Philadelphia pressed brick to achieve a polychromatic effect. On the second floor are iron balconies in an almost abstract design. The short corner tower facing the intersections of Bedford and Church Green streets has been removed, but the clock tower retains its glazed tile face.

Writing Credits

Keith N. Morgan


What's Nearby


Keith N. Morgan, "Bedford Block", [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, 71-72.

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