In the 1850s, philanthropists Charles Eliot Norton and Abbott Lawrence made early attempts to construct clean housing for the working poor. When Lawrence died in 1855, he left funds to support the construction of the Lawrence Model Lodging Houses. The architects and reformers based their designs on English prototypes such as the model tenements at Birkenhead Dock near Liverpool and on Old St. Pancras Road in London, both completed by 1846. Kirby's and Goodwin's freestanding five-story brick buildings with segmental-arched windows and doorways each housed twenty apartments. Today they stand as evidence to their sound construction and as landmarks in Boston philanthropy.
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Lawrence Model Lodging Houses
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