On and off Benefit from George Street south to Williams Street stands a remarkable ensemble of nineteenth-century buildings, especially of the Federal period, which deserve attention, although few can be individually discussed. Farther south, Benefit and its side streets—Williams, John, James, Arnold, Transit, and Sheldon—are an equally outstanding architectural district in which two-and-one-half-story Federal dwellings predominate. Formally, their chief variations lie in entrances and roof forms. Sociologically, they tend to become smaller and plainer toward the bottom of the hill, indicating a shift in original ownership from business and professional men to skilled artisans. A few later buildings filled vacant lots, but the area has remarkably consistent and little altered street views. The choice of John and Arnold Streets as the route to leave Benefit Street is almost arbitrary, and so are the few houses featured here. The entire district is worth exploring.
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