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Farlow Park

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1883, George F. Meacham. Newton Corner.
  • Grace Episcopal Church

In 1883, John S. Farlow donated Farlow Park, bounded by Eldridge and Church streets, to the city as a suburban version of the Boston Public Garden (BB1). Like the Public Garden, Farlow Park was the work of Meacham, who provided landscape designs. The park, which once included specimen trees and a pond spanned by a rustic bridge, has been denuded of much of its original character.

As one of the premier residential neighborhoods in Newton, the adjacent streets became the location for several architecturally important churches. Alexander Esty designed Grace Episcopal Church (76 Eldredge Street, NRD), a large stone Gothic building of 1872–1873. An English country parish church with its gable-roofed nave and semi-detached bell tower inspired Esty's scheme. Several additions, also in the Gothic style with matching stone, continued the tradition. One block north at the intersection of Vernon Street rises the former Channing Unitarian Church (NRD), now Presbyterian, built in 1881 and designed by Meacham. He derived this urbane design from Venetian Gothic architecture, using a combination of dark brown and light sandstone. Like all of this architect's work, the exterior is vibrant, with boldly articulated details creating a forceful presence.

A third, and quite different, masonry church stands at the other end of Church Street near the corner of Centre Street. The former Immanuel Baptist Church (187 Church Street, NRD), now Greek Orthodox, was built in 1885–1886, and is a lesser known work of H. H. Richardson. Richardson's characteristic tightly compressed Romanesque style is evident here in the cruciform plan with a squat square tower at the crossing. He framed a large round-arched entrance with clustered pilasters supporting massive cushion capitals, a motif continued for the small second-story windows. Although the interior has been altered and was damaged in a fire in the 1960s, the church survives as a distinctive Richardson building.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Keith N. Morgan
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Citation

Keith N. Morgan, "Farlow Park", [Newton, Massachusetts], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/MA-01-NW15.

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, 486-487.

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