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North Woburn Historic District

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Main and Alfred sts.
  • 1790 House (Peter Vanderwarker or Antonina Smith)

The Loammi Baldwin Mansion (c. 1750, c. 1785 remodeled, NR) at 2 Alfred Street (NR) and the neighboring 1790 House (1790–1800) at 827 Main Street (NR) are complementary buildings that contributed to one of Woburn's finest estates during the Federal period. The three-story Baldwin house with rusticated facades and monumental corner pilasters originally was located 800 feet away on Elm Street. About 1785, it was extensively remodeled, with a new entrance and a Palladian window added. Baldwin was an officer in the Revolutionary War and the propagator of the Baldwin apple. In 1791, he bought a neighboring property, so that his estate embraced 212 acres. With the purchase, he also acquired an unfinished house that had been framed a year earlier. Baldwin completed the building, now known as the 1790 House, a clap-boarded hipped-roof structure with corner quoining, aprons between the first- and second-story windows, and a projecting pedimented two-story porch, as a space for entertaining, including a ballroom on the second floor under a domed ceiling.

Between 1793 and 1803, Baldwin was chief engineer and builder of the Middlesex Canal (1803) from Route 128 to Kilby Street (NR), which ran through his property. The canal was 27 miles long and ran from the Merrimack River in Lowell to the Charles River in Boston. It included twenty locks and eight aqueducts and was crossed by forty-eight bridges. These have disappeared, but many sections of the canal and its towpath survive; one section runs past the Loammi Baldwin Mansion and the 1790 House. The construction of the canal was associated with a number of innovations, including one of the first uses of hydraulic cement in the United States. Through the early decades of the nineteenth century, boats transported raw materials and finished goods, most notably cotton, along the canal route. After the opening of the Boston & Lowell Railroad in 1835, business declined, and the canal stopped operating in 1853.

Today the Loammi Baldwin Mansion functions as a restaurant. The 1790 House, moved a few yards from its original site in 1998, now is an office building.

Writing Credits

Maureen Meister


What's Nearby


Maureen Meister, "North Woburn Historic District", [Woburn, 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, 419-421.

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