Quincy, Mass. Historical and Architectural Survey

507 Furnace Brook Parkway

The Wollaston/Forbes Hill neighborhood of Quincy is bounded by the MBTA tracks (east), Furnace Brook Parkway (south), Adams Street (west) and Beale Street (north). In 1869 the Wollaston Land Associates purchased an initial 300 acres on and near the Wollaston Hills for the purpose of developing a status residential area. This was a portion of the tract allotted in 1636 by the Town of Boston to William Hutchinson, the husband of Mistress Anne Hutchinson. When the development began in 1870 there was but one house in the entire section from the railroad tracks to Adams Street to the Milton line. The early lots sold for about 12 cents a foot but the development accelerated after George F. Pinkham, the business manager of the Associptes, got the Old Colony Railroad to issue free passes good for three years to anyone purchasing a house lot from the land company. To quote H. Hobart Holly: "This emphasis on commuting was an important factor in setting the pattern for Wollaston and communities to thp north as primarily residential rather than manufacturing areas." Forbes Hill lies a bit to the West of Wollaston Hill and is dominated by a magnificent standpipe and the Furnace Brook Golf Course.

Furnace Brook Parkway had only been completed for four years when local builder Eric A. Ekblom erected first the garage in 1924 and then the $1000 filling station c. 1929, for Edward Sandberg, Ordinarily a gas station is hardly a welcome neighbor in a residential area but this well-maintained filling station which includes a small grocery store could only be a welcome convenience in its neighborhood. The gas station also preceded many of the residences!

Assessors Records.
William Churchill Edwards. Historic Quincy, Massachusetts. 1957. p. 297.
H. Hobart Holly. ed. Quincy: 350 Years. 1974. p. 51.
D. Foster Taylor. "Wollaston As It Was In 1870's." (written in 1946). Quincy History. Quincy Historical Society, January 1985.

"Out of the need to service the automobile developed a building type that would become a ubiquitous cultural landmark - the gasoline station." (Built in the U.S.A., p. 86) After a period of stations designed in fantastic shapes to attract customers, there followed stations built in a "functional" style meant to update the image of the oil company, which in were replaced by stations designed to blend with neighboring residences. The 1929 gas station at 507 Furnace Brook Parkway, sited in an area of traditionally styled houses, was constructed in a commercial Cape Cod Revival Style. The station has the same symmetry as a Cape Cod house the traditional sash windows replaced by large square windows responding to the need of lighting large areas. Fine details not ususally found in small commercial building include the row of headers of the cornice level and sill level and the well proportioned dormers. Today, this building has been successfully recycled into a grocery store. In the rear of the property is a granite structure, once part of the garage complet with a raised parapet, and large garage door. It is a fine commercial structure which integrates well with its neighbors.