Richard J. Monks, a banker and lumber merchant, hired Alexander Esty to design this building for offices of Monks and Co., flour and grain dealers. Few commercial buildings in Boston more strongly suggest English Victorian architecture than this one. Designed in the High Victorian Gothic style, it occupies a narrow urban lot with its two-bay principal facade on West Broadway, and the body of the building extending eleven bays along E Street. Its steeply pitched polychromatic slate gable roofs ornamented by decorative dormers and chimneys make the Monks Building a highly unusual landmark for the neighborhood of South Boston. Primarily known for the design of Gothic schools and churches, Esty reveals here his deep interest in English architectural sources.
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