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Monument Square Historic District

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1853–1912. Centre, South, and Eliot sts.

Opposite the Loring-Greenough House (JP9) stands the Civil War Monument (1871, William W. Lumus), one of the major landmarks of the community, set in the Y-shaped intersection formed by Centre and South streets. Facing the monument, the First Church of Jamaica Plain (6 Eliot Street, NR/NRD) is an early work by Nathaniel J. Bradlee erected in 1853–1854 of quarry-faced granite blocks with ashlar granite trim. In 1871 Ware and Van Brunt extensively remodeled the church, creating a new open truss ceiling on the interior, removing stone battlements on the tower and adding a slate roof (later replaced with copper). The parish house addition dates from 1889. Behind the church is Eliot Hall (7A Eliot Street, NR/NRD), a meeting hall of around 1832 enlarged and made famous as the site of the oldest continuing amateur theater organization in the United States. Since 1878 the Footlight Club has occupied this building for its theatrical functions.

On the other side of the street next to the Loring-Greenough House is the Municipal Building, formerly Curtis Hall (20 South Street). Erected in 1868 as the West Roxbury Town Hall, it served a variety of community uses after the town's annexation by Boston in 1873. George Ropes, a Boston architect who designed a number of institutional buildings before leaving New England in 1875, had originally planned the building with a mansard roof that extended only over the central three bays. This partial mansard, an architectural anomaly, was destroyed in a 1908 fire, leaving the now flat-roofed building looking much more like a product entirely of the twentieth century. The classical entrance portico was added in 1912.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Keith N. Morgan
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Citation

Keith N. Morgan, "Monument Square Historic District", [Boston, Massachusetts], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/MA-01-JP10.

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, 270-270.

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