Quincy, Mass. Historical and Architectural Survey

87-89 Goddard Street

The South Quincy neighborhood is bounded by the MBTA tracks (west), School Street (north), Quincy Avenue (east) and the Braintree Town Line (south). The old Boston-Plymouth Highway followed two important streets in the area, School and Franklin, and it is on Franklin Street that are found the birthplaces of the two presidents, John Adams and John Quincy Adams, around which the Adams Birthplace Local Historic District is formed. This was a residential area and many of the homes belonged to those connected with the nearby granite industry. The earliest houses were along the old Boston-Plymouth Highway with woods and farmlands stretching behind. Now the major farms in the area, principally those of Charles Francis Adams and Job Faxon, have been subdivided and there is much commercial activity along Quincy Street, Franklin Street, School Street and the beginning of Independence Avenue. A notable feature of South Quincy is the 54-acre Faxon Park, given to the City of Quincy, beginning in 1885, by the Faxon family.

The handsome $5000 three decker at 87-89 Goddard Street was designed by architect Herman G. Olson and built for Gustaf Stein, a blacksmith, in 1907. Many blacksmiths were needed by the granite cutting industry because of the constant demand for sharp tools. A blacksmith's station was part of each cutting shed and one blacksmith usually serviced five to six granite sheds each day. The land on which 87-89 Goddard is located was originally part of the Adams farm which became part of the Adams Real Estate Trust by 1907.

Building Permit.
H. Hobart Holly. Quincy: 350 Years. 1974. p. 58.
H. Hobart Holly. "Quincy's Granite Hills Were Golden". Quincy History, Spring. 1980.
Paul Robert Lyons. Quincy: A Pictorial History, 1983. p. 95.
William S. Pattee. History of Old Braintree and Quincy. 1879, p. 166.

Responding to the need of housing, developers in Quincy in the early 20th century built three-deckers such as this fine one at 87-79 Goddard Street which housed three families, one on each floor. It was a workable and affordable solution which was adopted by of any urban areas in New England (The Three-Deckers of Dorchester by Arthur Krim). This three-decker with its three tiered porch, low hip roof and overhanging dentiled cornice is a fine example of an "Early Classic Style" (A.Krim) building which still incorporates some of the picturesque elements of the Queen Anne such as the projecting bay windows and details of the forthcoming Colonial Revival as seen in the balustraded porches with columnar supports and ball finials and the pedimented gabled on the side elvation. The building is set on a typical Quincy granite foundation. Its verticality, enhanced by the columns on the porches is balanced by the balustrades and the wide cornice. In the rear, there are also three porches. It is a fine example of this type of multiple housing and part of the urban fabric of Quincy. It is an attractive component on the Goddard Street streetscape.