You are here

Bow Street Historic District

-A A +A
Bow St.
  • Bow Street Historic District (NRD) (Keith Morgan)

Once part of an eighteenth-century road between Charlestown and Cambridge, Bow Street originally curved to avoid marshland. Here stand a cluster of architecturally distinctive buildings that date from the late nineteenth century. Prospect Hill Congregational Church of 1887–1888 (17 Bow Street) remains one of the most architecturally distinguished buildings in Somerville. Described at the time as having a “bold and massive exterior,” the brick and granite Romanesque-style church by Henry S. McKay incorporates a great round-arched entrance portal and rock-faced granite trim, almost sculptural in its effect, particularly on the tower with its two-stage pyramidal roof.

At the other end of Bow Street, the former Somerville Police Station (now an American Legion Hall, 50 Bow Street,), an 1874 High Victorian Gothic structure with lively brickwork and a striking entrance porch designed by George A. Clough, has lost its mansard roof. At the corner where Summer Street intersects Bow Street stands Crescent Row, an unusual curvilinear brick apartment block erected in 1900. Three stories high with a hipped roof, the building has recessed round-arched entrances for the various units. Nearly opposite at 1 Summer Street, Clough also designed the Methodist Church in the same year. The variety of architecture from the 1870s continues with the Lambert House (26 Bow Street), erected a few years earlier in the Stick Style.

Writing Credits

Keith N. Morgan


What's Nearby


Keith N. Morgan, "Bow Street Historic District", [, 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, 400-401.

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.