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Wayland Center Historic District

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Wayland Center.

An exceptionally fine Federal meetinghouse, the First Parish Church in Wayland, Unitarian/Universalist (50 Cochituate Road, NRD), anchors the Wayland Center Historic District. Built by Andrew Palmer of Newburyport in 1814–1815 following an Asher Benjamin model, the meetinghouse contains a recently restored Paul Revere bell in the three-tiered cupola and a second-level auditorium; there is a framed seating plan on the rear wall. In 1860, while pastor, the Reverend Edmund Sears composed the Christmas hymn “It Came Upon a MidNight Clear.” Outside are twelve bays of the original 1815 carriage sheds that were sold to parishioners, as were the pews inside. East of the church stands the 1815 Old Green Store (NRD), a five-bay clap-boarded hipped-roofed house with handsome colonnaded semi-circular porch, constructed in 1815 from materials of the previous meetinghouse. Used as a dwelling and store, the building had a second-story town meeting hall; in 1889 Willard Bullard converted the building to his summer residence, which he named Kirkside. Opposite the church at 55 Cochituate Road stand the town's first high school (NRD), a two-story Italianate structure built in 1854 and converted to an Odd Fellows Lodge in 1896.

In 1841, Wayland constructed its first town hall (NRD), the Greek temple building at 21 Cochituate Road. In addition to the meeting space, the building provided the first home of the Wayland Public Library, established in 1850 as one of the earliest in the region. In 1878, the building was converted to a market when a new town hall was constructed across the street. The Grout-Heard House (12 Cochituate Road, NRD), begun about 1740 and expanded in 1800 (now the Wayland Historical Society), had been moved to make way for a new town hall and was moved back following demolition of the 1878 town hall. The board-and-batten Wayland Railroad Station (1881, 1 Cochituate Road, NRD) and freight house document the conversion of the community from agricultural village to commuter suburb. Adjacent to the freight house is the robust 1900 brick Public Library (5 Concord Road) by Cabot, Everett and Mead.

Writing Credits

Keith N. Morgan


What's Nearby


Keith N. Morgan, "Wayland Center 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, 464-464.

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