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Winthrop Center Public Buildings

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Metcalf Sq. and Pauline St.
  • Carter Building (Keith Morgan)

A single architect or firm dominated many suburban Boston communities; in Winthrop, Willard M. Bacon was that individual. Although his office was at 27 Kilby Street in Boston, he was a resident of Winthrop for more than sixty years and the most prolific designer of key public buildings. His first significant commission was the design of the Frost Memorial Public Library (2 Metcalf Square) in 1898. Like other suburban Boston libraries of this moment, it is designed in a classical revival manner, influenced by the recently completed Boston Public Library (BB42) designed by Charles F. McKim, albeit of brick and at a much smaller scale. In the same year Bacon designed two fire stations, including one at 40 Pauline Street, beginning a relationship with the town government that would continue until the Great Depression. Other important projects included E. B. Newton Elementary School (45 Pauline Street, NR) of 1908, the town's first masonry school building and a fine example of the Tudor-influenced academic architecture that proliferated throughout the Boston area at the turn of the twentieth century. The culmination of Bacon's Winthrop career was the 1928 design for the Town Hall (1 Metcalf Square) adjacent to the public library and very sympathetic in tan brick and Renaissance Revival styling. All of these buildings by Bacon document the transition of Winthrop from an agricultural and fishing area and summer resort to a suburban commuter community with transportation and cultural ties to the central city.

Writing Credits

Keith N. Morgan


What's Nearby


Keith N. Morgan, "Winthrop Center Public Buildings", [, 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, 371-371.

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