QUINCY HISTORIC AND ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY OVERVIEW
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Minxie J. Fannin & Monique B. Lehner, July 1986
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The City of Quincy occupies 16.6 square miles and is bounded on the north by the Neponset River, the east by Quincy Bay and other tidal water, the south by the Town of Braintree, and on the west by the Blue Hill Reservation and the Town of Milton. Quincy is located between and around three irregular peninsulas, Squantum to the north, and Houghs Neck and Germantown to the south. Squantum and Houghs Neck are formed around drumlins, and all have extensive salt marshes and lowlands. The unusual 27-mile coastline, with deep tidal penetrations of the Neponset River, Black's Creek, Town River Bay and the Weymouth Fore River, has made Quincy a natural location for fisheries and shipbuilding.
The topography of Quincy is generally hilly with some area of plains. Notable hilly areas are the President-Hospital-Cranch-North Common-quarries series, the Forbes-Wollaston Hills, the Blue Hills-quarry series, and the Penn's Hill-Faxon Park-South Common group. The West Quincy and the North Common areas were important locations of the town's granite industry which to a large extent determined the economic growth of the town for most of the 19th century. At one time over 40 quarries operated in these parts of town.
The highest peaks in the Quincy portion of the Blue Hills Reservation are over 400 feet in height, Chickatawbut Hill is the highest at about 510 feet. An important element of the Blue Hill reservation is the Massachusetts Hornfels/Braintree Slate Quarry (National Register, Form #320), a complex of a series of pre-historic man-made as well as natural features containing pits, trenches, outcrops and glacial boulders. From 7,000 B.P. until the early 17th century, the quarry was used continuously as a source for slate and hornfels valued by eastern Massachusetts prehistoric cultures in the manufacture of chipped and ground stone tool forms. Significant land areas include: the "Captain's Plain" in Southwest Quincy and the Farms area of North Quincy which encompasses the Massachusetts Fields. Interesting archaeological sites are Squaw Rock, Dorchester Street (late Prehistoric Period, Form #439) and the Kettle Hole at Kendall Park, 103 Atlantic Street (Paleoindian Period, 10,000 BC, Form #24).
The city's principle streams, Furnace Brook and Town Brook, provided very limited water power. Important in the early history of the town, the Town Brook flows out of the Blue Hills through Braintree, winds across South Quincy plain through Quincy Center and on to the tidal Town River. As South Quincy originally was a good farming area, the Town Brook was useful to water the cattle. The Quincy Canal (1827, Southern Artery, Form #130), which extended from Town River Bay to Washington Street utilized the Town River. The Furnace Brook also flows out of the Blue Hills, but goes into Blacks' Creek (a tidal river flowing into Quincy Bay). [Ref: Holly, 350th, chapter 2]
II. POLITICAL BOUNDARIES
The story of Quincy really begins with the founding of Boston in 1630. There was soon a scarcity of land in that town for the increasing number of immigrants. Therefore, in 1634, Boston annexed the uninhabited Mount Wollaston area which was comprised of generally what is today the City of Quincy (less North Quincy), and the towns of Braintree, Randolph, and Holbrook. In 1640 this Mount Wollaston are became the Town of Braintree. [Holly, 350th, p.2]. In the early 18th century, new parishes were established in what is now Braintree and Randolph and the town was divided into precincts. The North Precinct became the Town of Quincy in 1792 and included the present North Quincy which had been part of Dorchester. The Town of Quincy was incorporated as a city in 1888. The portion of Suffolk County in which Quincy was located became Norfolk County in 1793.
III. HISTORIC OVERVIEW
The most important factor in Quincy's development is its proximity to the City of Boston. Quincy is a historic suburban industrial city on the primary southern corridor to the South Shore from inner metropolitan Boston. It is located between the Blue Hills and Quincy Bay with such important documented native settlement sites as Moswetusset Hummock, East Squantum Street (early 1600's, Nation Register, Form #436), and the Massachusetts Fields at North Quincy.
Although a brief flurry of settlement occurred with the arrival of the first European in Mount Wollaston in 1625, Quincy's town center was formed around the area annexed to Boston in 1634 and was settled by people from Boston. The town center grew up at a point on the Boston and Plymouth Highway that was close to the tide water. The Quincy stretch of the Boston-Plymouth Highway was from Milton to Adams Street, to Hancock Street, to School Street, to Franklin Street, to Braintree via Commercial Street. Important early preserved sites along this route include the John Quincy Adams Birthplace, 141 Franklin Street (1633, National Register, Form #ab-335) and the John Adams Birthplace, 133 Franklin Street (1681, National Register, Form #333), both part of the Adams National Historic Site, which form the core of the Adams Birthplace Local Historic District (Form #AB-322). Near this district is the Christ Church Episcopal cemetery, School Street (1725, Form #830).
The properties that form the core of Quincy Center Local Historic District (Form #QC-465) also are along the Boston-Plymouth Highway. The Hancock Cemetery at 1307-1349 Hancock Street (about 1640, National Register, Form #QC-802) is the oldest component of the District, followed by the Quincy Homestead, 34 Butler Road (original house, 1685 modified, 1706, National Register, Form #QC-202), and the Vassell-Adams House, 135 Adams Street (1732, National Register, (Form #QC-3, part of the Adams National Historic Site). Early and mid-nineteenth century additions were the United First Parish Church, 1306 Hancock Street (1828, Alexander Parris, National Register, Form #QC-163, National Historic Landmark), and the Quincy Town Hall, 1305 Hancock Street (1844, Solomon Willard, National Register, Form #QC-162).
Late nineteenth century institutions completing the core are the Adams Academy, 8 Adams Street (1872, Ware and Van Brunt, National Register, Form #QC-181), the Adams Building, 1342-1368 Hancock Street (1889, J. William Beal Sons, National Register, Form #QC-164) and the Thomas Crane Public Library, 40 Washington Street (1882, H.H Richardson, National Register, Form #QC-245). Although not in Quincy Center, other significant properties are the Josiah Quincy House, 20 Muirhead Street (1770, National Register, Form #497), located in the Wollaston/East neighborhood, the former Cranch School, 270 Whitwell Street (1900, Albert H. Wright, National Register, Form #104), located in the Hospital/President's/Cranch Hill neighborhood and the former Quincy School, 94 Newbury Avenue (1906, Hurd and Gore, National Register, Form #32), in the Atlantic neighborhood.
Important surviving industrial archaeological benchmarks of early industrial growth in Quincy include the John Winthrop Jr. Iron Furnace (Crescent Street, National Register, Form #460), and remains from the granite industry. Survivals from the quarrying operations are the Granite Railway, Bunker Hill Lane (1826, National Register, Form #319), and the Granite Railway Incline, Mullin Avenue (1830, National Register, Form #312). The surviving structure of the Lyons Turning Mill, off Recruit Drive (1894, National Register, Form #317) is a reminder of the once large granite cutting, finishing and polishing industry. The Souther Tide-Mill, 610 Southern Artery (1854, Form #131), is the older of the two standing tide-mills in Boston Bay (the other is the Slade Spice Mill in Revere) and in imminent danger of demolition.
Later major industrial activities grew up along the Old Colony railroad corridor which included Boston Gear, 14 Hayward Street (1909, Form #493) and Pneumatic Scale Co., 65 Newport Avenue, (1921, Form #563). In West and Southwest Quincy, the granite cutting industry continued to develop with streets such as Centre Street lined with polygonally shaped granite workshops and cutting sheds. In commercial building, the town focus remained at Quincy Center with suburban style business blocks with the exception of the Adams Building (see above), the South Shore Bank, the landmark Art Deco skyscraper at 1400 Hancock Street (1929, J. William Beal Sons, Form #QC-171) and the Gothic Revival Bethany Church (1927, J. William Beal Sons, Form #QC-252).
Outside of Quincy Center, the Southwest area along Town Brook and West Quincy developed as a worker's district with distinctive "Quincy Cottage" houses. In West Quincy, two early cemeteries, St. Mary's (Form #805) and Hall Cemetery (Form #804) were both established on the present Crescent Street on the Furnace Brook in 1842. There was an increased expansion of residential activity centered on the four railroad stations servicing Boston and Quincy: Atlantic, Norfolk Downs, Wollaston and Quincy (the fifth station, Quincy Adams, served more in an industrial capacity and the Granite Quarries Railroad hooked into the West Quincy Branch, but served the already existing industry). Two affluent residential districts expanded, Wollaston Hill (Area Form #WHPH-66) in the third quarter of the 19th century which included most of the residential styles of the period: Italianate, Mandardic, Queen Anne, Shingle Style, Colonial Revival, and Prairie-Bungalow, and the President's Hill (Area Form #PH-66) in the 1880's which included the same styles mentioned for Wollaston Hill plus elegant Greek Revival mansions and one Tudor Revival.
More development occurred through the late 19th century on the Hancock Street trolley line in North Quincy. Tract housing developed rapidly by the early 20th century throughout the city; Quincy developers responding to the need of housing the growing population of workers and suburbanites built double residences, three-deckers, modest bungalows and fine brick apartment buildings, traditionally designed and residentially scaled between the farms extending from North and West Quincy to Houghs Neck and Quincy Point. Houghs Neck underwent a gradual change from farmland and beach cottages and summer hotels with a large resort area complete with amusements and ballrooms, to a year around community, the big change coming when the heightened demand for housing during World War I led to the extensive winterization of homes. Merrymount, an area of smaller but substantial homes, was developed along Quincy Bay on the old John Quincy Adams farm in the mid 1910's.
Auto highway construction around Quincy Bay with the Quincy Shore Drive built in 1915 and the Furnace Brook Parkway in 1920, directed fringe activities along local parkways with early examples of gas stations and drive-ins. There was further development at Quincy Neck of the Fore River shipyard, 97 East Howard Street (1900s, Form #394) the tank farm on the Town River Bay and the Squantum Naval Airbase, now largely demolished for the Marina Bay development, 542 East Squantum Street (Area Form #23).
At present, the commercial and industrial activity along the major traffic arteries of Hancock Street, Quincy Avenue and Washington Street, has nearly overwhelmed the original fabric. Quincy Center has undergone development and revitalization along the Red Line corridor while losing some historic fabric due to pressure for commercial development and growth of Quincy as a banking center. The Quincy Bay peninsulas retain some of their authentic character; for example, East Squantum Street has several extant early buildings including the Glover house, 249 East Squantum Street, (1798, National Register recommendation, Form #22), a fine Federal house with a Greek Revival portico in North Quincy.
IV. CONTACT PERIOD (1500-1620)
A. Transportation Routes
Quincy was an important regional corridor, primarily along the route of the Boston-Plymouth Highway which was a trail before 1630. This primary trail to the South Shore went from Adams Street at the Milton Town Line to Monatiquot River in Braintree following Adams Street, Hancock Street, School Street and Franklin Street crossing the Furnace and Town Brooks. The branch trail to the Quincy Bay peninsulas were from Milton on West Squantum Street to East Squantum Streets to Squantum and Sea Street to Houghs Neck with a secondary branch on Palmer Street to Germantown. The early trail to Quincy Point followed the present South Street to the Weymouth Fore River. Granite Street was known as the "Road to the Woods" or "Road to the 600 Acres" as it led to the important woodlots in West Quincy. High Street was part of the old Taunton Path, known in Quincy as "the road to Bridgewater."
B. Settlement Patterns
Three documented period sites reported on Squantum Neck. All are burials which contained contact period artifacts and were exposed primarily by erosion or construction activity. Other reputed period sites on Houghs Neck and along the Neponset in the vicinity of the Wollaston golf course. Extensive shell middens with late Woodland components were at least five locations on Squantum Neck. Additional sites are likely in several areas of town including the whole Neponset estuary-Quincy Bay-Fore River margin, the adjacent well-drained knolls are terraces and along Furnace Brook. There is a high potential for rock shelters and quarry related sites in the interior portions of town." (MHC Town Report, 1981, and substantiated by telephone 06/30/1986 by the noted archaeological, Dr. George Horner).
Specifically, there are at least three archaeological sites of generally recognized importance in Quincy: the trilobite ledge from the Mid-Cambrian period, found at Hayward's Creek and the General Dynamics shipyard; the kettle hole at Kendall Park, 106 Atlantic Street (10,000 BC, Paleoindian Period, Form #24); and the shell middens at Squaw Rock, Dorchester Street (Late Prehistoric Period, Form #439). Raccoon Island, off Houghs Neck, (Form #121) is now part of the Boston Harbor Island Archaeological District with data classes of lithic, bone, shell and botanical.
Remains of recognized evidence of native settlement are Moswetusset hummock, East Squantum Street (early 1600's, National Register, Form #436) and the Indian quarries of the Blue Hills, notably the Massachusetts Hornfels/Braintree Slate Quarry, off Chickatawbut Road, which was in active use until the early 17th century (Form #320, for a fuller discussion, refer to Part 1. Topography of this narrative). Indian artifacts have also been found in other different areas of Quincy.
C. Subsistence Patterns
Quincy has a diverse and complex topography which provided a wide range of resources. It was a major access point to both estuary and marine food resources (fish runs, shell fish, waterfowl). This is a good land for horticulture, especially the "Farms" area (Montclair, Atlantic, North Quincy). There were several important sources of slate, so useful for the manufacture of tools, in the area which include the Massachusetts Hornfels/Braintree Slate Quarry mentioned above, the slate quarry at Apthorp Street (Form #39) and the trilobite ledge at Hayward's Creek "Braintree Slate" quarry on the site of the present General Dynamics shipyard. The extensive coastline and ease of access made this an area for occasional period trade between natives and Europeans.
The earlier MHC Town Report described Quincy as perhaps the "heartland" of the Massachusetts tribal group and certainly an area with dense period occupation, documented by ethnohistoric reports. The report further observes that adjacent areas in Milton, Dorchester and Weymouth, were one terminus of a probable seasonal axis of movement with the other being the upland ponds and tributaries of the Neponset and Montiquot Rivers. With much settlement, many important sites probably survive, despite intensive urban and suburban development of much of the city.
However, it must be recognized that the Native American population of Quincy was affected by the same four crucial events that affected the Native Americans of nearby towns. These were 1) the "plague" (1615-1619), 2) the loss of land to the Europeans, 3) the introduction of European currency, replacing wampum, and 4) the loss of identity by replacing Indian personal names with Western (H. Hobart Holly, ed. Braintree, Massachusetts: Its History, 1985, p.13.).
V. FIRST SETTLEMENT PERIOD (1620 - 1675)
A. Transportation Routes
Native trails improved as regional highways with the main road between Boston and Plymouth through Braintree/Quincy center delineated as Adams, Hancock, School and Franklin Streets leading to the South Shore, including bridges over Furnace and Town Brooks. The access to the John Winthrop Jr. Iron Furnace, Crescent Street (1644, National Register, Form #460), was apparently over Granite, Townhill and Common Streets to Furnace Brook. Before there was a bridge over the Neponset River in Quincy, there were two ferries. The first ferry was established in 1635 and quickly given up. The second, begun in 1638, was called the "Penny Ferry" and ran irregularly for some time.
The earliest permanent European settlement in Quincy started in 1634, by people from Boston, were generally immigrants from southwestern counties of England as Devon, Lincoln, and Somerset. The settlers came first to Boston as a destination and then individually, not as a group, they came to Quincy and other towns surrounding Boston. By the time of the formation of the first parish in Braintree/Quincy in 1639, there were about 80 families, almost exclusively in what is now Quincy , not including North Quincy, Scottish prisoners were imported in the mid 1640s to work for the John Winthrop Jr. Iron Furnace (see above) but there is no evidence of a permanent settlement.
The population in Quincy grew, not only because of its industrial growth but because Boston was running out of land, which was the reason for its annexation of Mount Wollaston in 1634. In a land dependent economy, the settlers moved first to areas like Braintree/Quincy but the second generation, by the 1640s, had to branch out even further to such towns as Randolph and Medfield.
There was a small early English short-lived settlement on Quincy Bay with the Wollaston-Morton group at Merrymount (1625) and possible trading activity along the Neponset River at Squantum. The town formally developed with first the "Chapel of Ease" (1637-1638, unknown whether this was an actual building) and the later stone meeting house, known to be in existence by 1666. Other important elements in the settlement pattern were the John Winthrop Jr. Iron Furnace (see above) and the Town Grist Mill, located at Fort Square (form #427), which was built by Richard Wright on the Town Brook and operated from 1640 to 1850. Important preserved sites from the early settlement include the John Quincy Adams Birthplace, 141 Franklin Street (1666, National Register, Form #AB-335) which with the later John Adams Birthplace, 133 Franklin Street (1681, National Register Form AB-333, both two-story frame houses of typical New England saltbox designs) forms the core of the National Adams Historic Site and the Adams Birthplace Local Historical District (Form #AB-322), and the Hancock Cemetery, 1307-1349 Hancock Street (about 1640, National Register Form #802).
Two steam-operated mills were developed in the 1640s: the John Winthrop Jr. Iron Furnace (see above) and the Town Grist Mill (see above). It was at the John Winthrop Jr. Iron Furnace that the first commercial iron in American was produced and it was from here that skilled iron workers went on to find ironworks in Saugus, Taunton and other locations. Sometimes called the birthplace of the iron and steel industry in America, the location on the Furnace Brook in West Quincy was chosen for its proximity to water power, bog iron and wood. The presently partially excavated iron works was built and operated by the Company of the Undertakers of the Iron Works in America of which John Winthrop Jr. (1606-1676) was the principal organizer and agent. From the report of the excavations by Roland Robbins in 1956 (Edwards, pp. 256-274), it appears that the furnace was successfully producing both pig iron and hollow ware at least as late as 1654. Both the Saugus Iron Works (1646) and the John Winthrop Jr. Iron Works operated simultaneously except the Winthrop Furnace gradually ceased production while Saugus increased production. The Winthrop furnace closed because of insufficient water power and a disappointing supply of iron ore from the Montclair marshes. The furnace appears to have successfully introduced a metallurgical process and furnace design largely copied in the erection and operation of the furnace at Saugus.
VI. COLONIAL PERIOD (1675 - 1775)
A. Transportation Routes
The Quincy highways remained the same from the 17th century with the main Boston-Plymouth Highway along Adams, Hancock, School and Franklin Street (c. 1730, Form #QC-910) is a remainder of this venerable highway, which was laid out in 1639. The outlying roads to Houghs Neck, Germantown, and Squantum were maintained through the 18th century. Other important routes were Granite Street, the "Road to the Woods" or "Road to the 600 acres" as it led to the important woodlots in West Quincy, and Elm Street, "the Road to the Landing-Place."
Seventy-two families were recorded in North Precinct (Quincy) in 1707, representing perhaps a total population of 350-450 people. German immigrants settled at Germantown in the 1750's to work in the glass and other industries. This was the first planned industrial development in the United States. Eight industries were planned, five got into operation of which glass manufacturing was the most important. By 1765, the population of combined Quincy-Braintree-Randolph was set at 2,433, of which perhaps a third (780 persons) may have lived in what is now Quincy. (All statistics from MHC Town Report, 1981).
C. Settlement Patterns
There was continued development of the town center along Adams, Hancock, School and Franklin Streets with a related mill site, the Town Grist Mill, in Fort Square (1640-1850, Form #427), on the Town Brook. In the Franklin Street area, an important preserved site is the John Adams Birthplace, which with the earlier John Quincy Adams Birthplace, forms the core of the Adams Birthplace Local Historic District (Form #AB-322). Close by to the Birthplaces is the Christ Church Burial Ground, 50-60 School Street (1725, Form #803). There were some Colonial Period country estates, notably the Quincy Homestead, the Vassell-Adams House, which is an important core of the Quincy Center Local Historic District (Form #132), and the Josiah Quincy House. There was residential development in North Quincy and Squantum as well as Penn's Hill and Quincy Point. The Germantown Glassworks, off Taffrail Road (1752, Form #64) thrived for awhile but tapered off in the early 1760's.
D. Economic Base
Braintree/Quincy continued to grow as a major center of economic activity. Shipbuilding was established before 1700 and the active fishing industry was encouraged by a town vote in 1755 to promote bank cod fishing. Trading had also been lively since early times. The first tannery was established by Benjamin Webb in 1700 on the Town Brook, followed later by others on the same stream.
The first planned industrial development in the country was in Germantown in 1750 (see Germantown Glass Works, Form #64). Joseph Crellius headed a company that started the enterprise but sold it to Joseph Palmer and Richard Cranch before operations began. Skilled German workers were brought in, especially for the glass works, which was the most important activity. Spermacetti, candles, stockings, chocolate and salt were also manufactured. It operated into the 1760's.
Boulders had been taken for building purposes since the settlement of the community, but the fear of exhausting the granite supply caused the town first to control stone removal from the town common lands in 1715. After stone was taken for King's Chapel (1749-52) in Boston, it was prohibited in 1753 to remove stone from the town common lands. Significant granite operations were not undertaken again until around 1800.
Although Quincy has no known First Period houses, at least two extant structures claim cores dating to the 1680's; the John Adams Birthplace, 133 Franklin Street (1681, National Register, Form #AB-333) a three-bay two story frame farmhouse with a saltbox profile and a fine pedimented entrance and the Quincy Homestead, 34 Butler Road (original house, 1685, modified 1706, National Register, Form #QC-282) which is an elegant Georgian house with a five bay facade, large chimney, dormers with alternating pediments and a balustrade at the break of the gambrel roof. A pattern book of the period was probably the source for the Greek pedimented main entrance. In spite of the numerous additions the house has retained its colonial character.
The most important Georgian structure in Quincy is the Vassell-Adams House, 135 Adams Street (1732, National Register, Form #QC-3) not only for its elegant version of the style, characterized by the end chimney gambrel roof but even more for its historical association with the Adams family. It is the most visited site in the city. Also associated with the Adams Family is the late Georgian Josiah Quincy House, 20 Muirhead Street (1770, National Register, Form #49) which has a symmetrical five-bay facade, an entrance flanked by half length sidelights, and unusual for Quincy, a monitor roof which was once balustraded as is now the main roof. The two side Doric porches were added in the Greek Revival Period; it is a beautiful Colonial residence which deserves to be visited more frequently. Undoubtedly Quincy has a few more Colonial survivals, but today, they are unrecognized or totally enveloped with a later envelope. The Crosby-Bass-Quincy-Wendell House, 7 Blake Street (1740, Form #504) has had so many modifications, alterations, and additions that it could not be considered for nomination to the National Register.
The large stone and earth wharf at Germantown, known as Old Stone Wharf, off Taffrail Road (1750's, Form #65) still survives in relatively good condition. There are remains of two tide-mill dams in Blacks Creek.
VII. FEDERAL PERIOD (1775 - 1830)
A. Transportation Routes
There was improvement of the North/South corridor between Boston and the South Shore with the Neponset Turnpike from the Neponset River to Quincy Center via Hancock Street (1803). Other new turnpikes in this period were the Braintree-Weymouth Turnpike via Quincy Avenue (1803) and the Quincy-Hingham Turnpike over the Fore River via Washington Street (1812). The Granite Railway, this country's first commercial railway, carried stone from the West Quincy quarries to the Neponset River. There are the remains of the 1826 railway at Bunker Hill Lane (National Register, Form #319) and of the Incline at Mullin Avenue (National Register, For, #312), and of the Bunker Hill Wharf in Milton. The saltwater transportation on sloops and schooners was very important to the Quincy granite industry. The Quincy Canal, off Southern Artery (1827, Form #130), from Town River Bay was also built for the loading of granite. The railway is a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark.
From 1790 to 1810 there was only a very slight growth in population, averaging perhaps 20 per year. By the latter date, the figure had reached only 1281. There was some increase in succeeding decades as the rate reached 40 per year by 1820, 60 per year by 1830, at which point the town, at 2201, had doubled its size from 30 years previous. (MHC Town Report, 1981).
The town focus remained at Quincy Center along the Hancock Street axis, stimulated by turnpike development from the Fore River, Neponset River and East Braintree during the early 19th century. The establishment of the West Quincy granite quarries (1826-1830) led to the formation of a worker's village in West Quincy.
D. Economic Base
Along the coast, fisheries, shipbuilding and salt works represented carryovers from the preceding period. The fishing industry was mainly at Quincy Point and Town River Bay. As late as 1836 business amounted to over $30,000 annually, employing 100 men. Daniel Briggs built at Germantown the great ship Massachusetts in 1789 (see Ship Massachusetts Park, off Taffrail Road, Form #63) for the Canton trade. The vessel was the largest ship built at that time in the country. By the 1820's, important yards were prospering at Quincy Point and Town River Bay. In the interior, spurred by turnpikes and the major route to Plymouth, carriage makers were in business in 1827 but their trade declined with the arrival of the railroad. Coach lace production was carried on from 1797 to 1840 largely by Wilson Marsh. (See Southwest Quincy Area Form #SW-417).
The major development of the period, both regionally and locally was in granite, which by the end of the period was well on its way to establishing not only a new local industry, but a new style of building, new forms of transportation, new tools, as well as providing an important magnet for immigrant laborers, inventive mechanics, and ambitious entrepreneurs alike. Solomon Willard started the quarrying industry here when he selected Quincy granite for the Bunker Hill Monument. Here he developed the stone-working techniques that made Quincy granite a practical building stone, and earned him the title of "Father of the Granite Industry." Earlier, Quincy Granite was used in the State Prison at Charlestown and the Dedham Jail (both 1817), and St. Paul's Church, Boston (1820).
Boston financier Thomas H. Perkins, and engineer Gridley Bryant were responsible for the Granite Railway. As the first railway common carrier, many railroad practices were pioneered here. To provide flexibility not required by earlier single-purpose railways, Bryant developed features that are still standard railroad practice today.
The survival rate of residences during the Federal Period is substantially higher than that of the Colonial Period. Of the 21 listed in the inventory, six are recommended for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places, three two-story houses and the three cottages. They include the Beale-Rice House, 181 Adams Street (1792, Form #QC-4), the outstanding Federal house of this list whose corner pilasters, balustraded cornice and plethora of classical details makes it the most elegant example of the style, the Miller-Everett House, 36 Miller Stile Road (1822, Form #243) and the Glover House, 249 East Squantum (1788, Form #22), the two-story houses; the three Cape Cod Cottages are the Noah Curtis House, 313 Franklin Street (1795, Form #385) and the Solomon Nightingale House, 429 Granite Street (1820, Form #551). They all merit consideration for their integrity of style and historical associations. The other 15 residences consist of four Cape Cod cottages (including one which was once a milk house), two "modernized" to the point where they have lost their Federal identities, six which have been altered beyond hope due to either vinyl or aluminium siding, and three two-stories houses, one which deserves to be mentioned, the Gay-Walker-Appleton House, 220 East Squantum Street (1820, Form #21) as a fine example of an early 19th century residence.
The First Parish Church, designed by Alexander Parris, at 1306 Hancock Street (1827, National Register, Form #QC-163) is the most significant and only surviving institutional structure of the period. Built of the local granite, the church is a monument to the importance of that stone to the city's economy as well as an example of the rational, geometric phase of early 19th century Neoclassicism rarely employed in the Boston area, where more conservative Federal brick of frame meetinghouses predominated. The former Town House and School House, now known as the Building (1357-1359 Hancock Street (1817, Form #QC-165), is extant but altered.
Three portions of the Granite Railway survive: about 125 feet of the original roadbed at Bunker Hill Lane, part of the Incline, and Bunker Hill Wharf in Milton. These are on the National Register. There are remains of the dam and tide-gate structure at Town River Bay for the operation of the former Quincy Canal, which is presently threatened.
Comprising one of Quincy's finest resources, at least seven of the quarries from the 1826-1830 period survive without being extensively filled. The five quarries included in this survey are the Bunker Hill Quarry, Bunker Hill Lane, (Form #318) and in the Mullin Avenue area, the Granite Rail Quarry (Form #313), the Little Granite Rail Quarry (Form #314) and Swingle's Quarry (Form #315). The final quarry surveyed was the Berry Quarry, off Ricciuti Drive (Form #316). Two other important quarries, which were not surveyed, are the Lyons and Fuller quarries.
VIII. EARLY INDUSTRIAL PERIOD ( 1830 - 1870)
A. Transportation Routes
The turnpike routes and Granite Railway remained from the early 19th century, with Willard Street improved to Granite Avenue to Milton and Dorchester. The Old Colony Railroad, which extended from Boston to Plymouth was constructed in 1845 and followed the Hancock and Franklin Streets to Independence Avenue corridor (now MBTA redline) through Quincy Center. A horse railway was incorporated in 1861 and ran from the foot of Penn's Hill to Field's Corner in Boston where it connected with the Metropolitan Railroad.
Quincy, due to its industrial expansion, emerged as a secondary urban center in this period. The city experienced a rapid population growth, particularly between 1840 and 1860. By the latter date, the population, at 6778, had tripled the figure of 30 years before. Many of the newcomers were granite workers including Scots, Irish Catholics, Scandinavian, and New Hampshire natives. By 1865, eighty percent of the foreign-born population were Irish, with a much smaller number from Scotland. After a slight loss of population during the war, Quincy made modest gains in the succeeding five years, reaching 7443 persons in 1870. (All statistics from MHC Town Report, 1981).
The axis of development continued along Hancock Street to Quincy Center and to the railroad corridor beyond. The rapid expansion of the granite quarries created a worker's district in West Quincy along Copeland Street around Furnace Brook. Affluent residential developments began on both President's Hill (Area Form #PH-66) above Quincy Center, and Wollaston Hill (Area Form #WH-527) above Wollaston Depot, and continued on through the Late Industrial and Early Modern Periods. A modest residential district developed around the base of the North Common (where quarrying took place), particularly on Granite Street. Although there were some market farms on East Squantum Street in North Quincy and along South Street in Quincy Point, agriculture was never an "industry" and the "market" was generally a roadside stand.
As a sign of Quincy's growing population, at least five new cemeteries were developed in this period. The Catholic St. Mary's, 115 Crescent Street (1842, Form #805) and the adjacent Hall Cemetery, also on Crescent Street (1842, Form #804) were established in the West Quincy neighborhood. Two sailor's cemeteries were laid out, the Sailor's Snug Harbor, Palmer Street (1857, Form #800) in the Germantown neighborhood and the National Sailor's Home, Fenno Street (1861, Form #806) in the Wollaston/East neighborhood. Also, in this period, the beautiful city cemetery, Mount Wollaston, Sea Street (1856, Form #801) was begun.
D. Economic Base
This period witnessed a dramatic rise in the number of people employed in what were now Quincy's principle industries, shoes and the quarrying and cutting of granite. At the same time, the arrival of the Old Colony Railroad in 1845 brought in industries and marked the beginning of a trend toward suburbanization. Quincy quickly became as accessible to Boston as Charlestown, and by the end period of 1870, the suburban land companies had been organized in the northern part of town (for example Bellevue Avenue in Squantum is named for the Bellevue Land Co.) Shipbuilding of wooden vessels reached its peak during this peak. Deacon George Thomas opened a yard at Quincy Point in 1854 and built many important vessels, including his last in 1877, the ship Red Cloud.
Shoe production rose steadily throughout the period from an annual value of $92, 653 in 1832 (193 hands employed) to $467,665 (472 men and women). The making of boots and shoes was one of Quincy's leading industries in the 1850's with the work allotted by a manufacturer and performed in the home and workshop. By the time of the Civil War, shoe factories were more prevalent. Although histories record that the business was badly hurt by the loss of the southern trade during the war, there is little evidence of this in the figures available. Shoe production continued to advance until 1885. Quincy's shoe activity was typical of this area.
The granite industry remained active in the Early Industrial period. The greatest number of granite workers (533) were employed in 1837, and the highest annual value of stone ($324,500) in 1845. There were big increases in granite production, but at the same time the number of quarrying workers was reduced due to the introduction of steam and compressed air.
Simultaneously, however, the number of workers in the granite cutting industry was rising and granite from other places was used as well as native stone. The use of granite paving blocks and the increasing use of the stone for monumental work added a new dimension to the industry. Blacksmiths continues to be of paramount importance to the granite industry because they were toolmakers as well as tool sharpeners. A blacksmith's station was part of each cutting shed and one blacksmith usually serviced five or six granite sheds each day. One of the more successful granite men, Joseph Richards of the granite firm of Richards & Munn, invented the bush hammer in 1831, the Badger Brothers operated a "Steam Buggy" in West Quincy in 1861 and in 1869, the art of polishing stone by machine was introduced, a technique that made important changes both to facilities and to rates of production.
The architecture of the Early Industrial Period reflects the mid 19th century economic growth, the sophistication of builders who had access to numerous publications and the influence of Boston architects who were not only designing high style variations of regional modes, but were also looking to Europe for new styles. There are 61 residences listed in this period in the following styles:
Federal mode. There are seven houses built in this retardataire style all with a longitudinal orientation and the five-bay facade of the past period. Of the seven Cape Cod cottages listed, only two have retained their architectural integrity, the White-Glover House, 32 High Street (1830's, Form #390) and the Joseph Crane House, 124-126 Franklin Street (1832, Form #AB-332). The dominant style of the period is the Greek Revival considered the first true American style, characterized by the use of bold, simple classic forms and the temple motif on the facade of the grander homes.
Of the 21 residences listed in this style, four are recommended to be nominated to the National Register of Historic Places. They are the Adams-Angier-Powell House, 79 President's Lane (1836, Form #PH-71) described in 1903 as "the magnificent homestead of the Hon Charles Francis Adams" with a fine Ionic portico, the Hardwick House, 59-61 Spear Street (1840's, Form #QC-266), and two cottages, one at 45 Spear Street (1860's, Form #QC-262) and 22 Willard Street (1840's, Form #453) both archetypal gable-end-to-the-street pedimented one story houses. The tragedy of this list is the Torrey-Anderson House, 259 President's Lane (1840's, Form #PH-78) once a magnificent temple front house worthy of Ithiel Town, now in sad disrepair. Of the 16 left in the Greek Revival, 109 Putnam Street (1830, Form #205) is worthy of mention as a fine example of the style.
There are nine residences la bled as "mixed" or traditional, exhibiting elements of two concomitant styles, usually Greek Revival with Gothic details. Two are recommended for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. They are the Thomas Curtis House, 279 Franklin Street (c. 1851, Form #345) and 24 Quincy Street.
Nine residences exhibit vernacular interpretation of the style; one, at 100 Willard Street (1830's, Form #454), and unusual house built of granite blocks is recommended to be listed in the National Register.
The last category is the Italianate Style, an import from Italy via the influence of the landscape painters of England which features richly articulated walls, heavy with ornamentation, a square tower on high style examples, irregular fenestration and the presence of brackets under the eaves. There are nine Italianate residences. One, the Charles Marsh House, 248 President's Lane (1860's, National Register recommendation, Form #PH-77) is a superb example of a simple gable-end-to-the-street house while 270 Adams Street (1860's, Form #84) is the best example of a high style Italianate house in Quincy, complete with tall square tower and architectural ornamentation along with 275 Fayette Street (1860's, Form #572).
The most impressive institutional structure of the period is Solomon Willard's City Hall, 1305 Hancock Street (1844, National Register, Form #QC-162) an elaborately detailed granite Greek Revival building with a monolithic Ionic portico and beautifully detailed anthemions as carved decorations. "The facade of City Hall was considered by the late Ralph Adams Cram, noted architect and author, to be one of the outstanding specimens of mid-century American classical architecture in the country." (NR form)
The three churches built in this period have all undergone such radical changes and alterations that they no longer resemble their original design. They are the First Universalist Church, 154 Washington Street (1832 and 1881, Form #269), sadly clad now in aluminum siding, the Quincy Point Congregational Church, 444 Washington Street (1838 and 1949, Form #273) once Gothic Revival, now with a Colonial Revival envelope and St. John the Baptist Church, 44 School Street (1853 and 1874, Form #321), a frame Gothic church, also sided in aluminum.
Unfortunately no schools exist from this period but the site of the Crane Schoolhouse (1838), the first schoolhouse in Germantown, is marked in front of the newer (1958) Snug Harbor School, 333 Palmer Street, (1958, Form #800). A handsome Civil War Monument, Sea Street (1868, form #903), from the period, designed by Charles Mitchell of the Mitchell Granite Co., is located in the Mount Wollaston Cemetery.
The most important industrial building to survive from the period is the frame Souther Tide Mill, 610 Southern Artery (1854, Form #131). This mill is the older of two standing tide-mills in the Boston Bay (the other is the Slade Spice Mill in Revere) and in imminent danger of demolition.
IX. LATE INDUSTRIAL PERIOD (1870 - 1915)
A. Transportation Routes
The Quincy Quarries Railroad served the West Quincy quarries and connected to the West Quincy Branch Line of the Old Colony Railroad. The Fore River Railroad was built to serve the shipyard and other industries. One of the smallest railroads in the United States with one engine, one track and a few employees, this railroad runs from a connector to Amtrak in Braintree and is still in operation (1986). The Quincy & Boston Street Railway Co. was incorporated in 1888 and the 1890's saw a large expansion of service as well as many intricate mergers and financial reorganizations. The main route was along Hancock Street with radials from Braintree and Weymouth on Washington Street, Quincy Avenue, and Independence Avenue. A local route to Houghs Neck followed Sea Street, to Beechwood along Elm Avenue, and another local route to Squantum along Atlantic Avenue and East Squantum Streets. A line to Wollaston went along Fayette Street and Newport Avenue. Another connector to East Milton followed Water Street, Copeland Street and Willard Street through West Quincy, avoiding Adams Street estates. Squantum Field was used for an early Boston air meet (1910) with historic demonstration flights.
Three distinct periods of growth were discernible in Quincy during this period. There was moderate growth 1870-1885, averaging about 300 persons per year; between 1885 and 1905 the rate generally varied between 800 and 920 per year; and during the period's last decade the rate reached 1500 per year. Essentially, this accelerating growth rate produced a population that doubled every 20 years, reaching 40,674 by the end of the period. The foreign -born population- about one fifth of the total in 1865- had grown to one third by 1905. Within this group the percentage of Irish immigrants had sharply declined (from 80 to 18 percent over the same 40-year period). Scottish immigration seems to have peaked about 1885 when the group amounted to 15 percent of the foreign-born. By 1905, Italian and Swedes each made up 11 percent of this group. (MHC Town Report, 1981).
Residential development continued to expand with continued growth of industrial fringe along the primary railroad corridor from Boston. A continuous fringe belt and related worker's district extended from West Quincy to South Quincy and on Quincy Point. Much of South Quincy was developed in this period by the Adams Real Estate Trust which was formed in 1886 by the descendants of Charles Francis Adams. Development expanded centered on the railroad stations from Boston into North Quincy and along the Hancock Street trolley line, primarily as modest single and two family housing. Quincy Center remained as the primary civic and commercial focus with an affluent residential district maintained on President's Hill (Area Form #PH-66), Wollaston Hill (Area Form #WH-527) and along the Furnace Brook corridor (Adams Street). Modest beach resorts developed along with trolley lines to Squantum and Houghs Neck by the 1890s.
D. Economic Base
The state census figures for 1865 and 1875 show a sudden increase in quarrying activities: in 1865 ten quarries operated by 306 men produced annually over $271,000 worth of stone; ten years later 37 quarries operated by 617 men quarried and dressed $775,884 worth. Much of this increase was due to a large growth in the stone cutting business. Of these, perhaps one of the best examples was the extensive shop built of stone in 1893 by the Lyons Granite Co., fitted with the largest lathes, jennies, derricks, and a 100-horsepower steam engine. It was the largest column-turning mill (Lyons Turning Mill, off Riccuiti Drive, 1894-1896, National Register, Form #317) in the United States and did many other types of cutting and finishing as well. Collateral to this new technology was a parallel growth in blacksmith and tool shops, particularly among the granite cutting shops in South and West Quincy. It was during this period that the Granite Cutters' International Association of America (see 18 Federal Avenue, Form #AB-368) established its headquarters in Quincy. After 1875, quarrying activity slackened. The improvement in inland transportation removed Quincy's advantage of cheap saltwater transportation and the coming of steel framed buildings further reduced the demand for building stone. By 1879, seventy percent of Quincy granite was being used for cemetery and monumental work. A large quantity also went into paving blocks which were shipped all over the East.
Quincy's most important modern industry traces its origins to the Fore River Engine Co. (See General Dynamics, 97 East Howard, 1900's, Form #394) in East Braintree, founded by Thomas A. Watson and Frank O. Wellington, in 1883. In the 1890s the company undertook construction of hulls as well as engines. Four years later, spurred by large war contracts, the yard moved to the present Quincy site on the Fore River. Between 1901 and 1913, the yard continued to receive government naval and other contracts. At the close of the period, in 1913, the business was purchased by the Bethlehem Steel Corporation.
In the 1870's, the Wollaston Foundry was begun in North Quincy, initially to produce piano plates. In the succeeding decades, however, a large group of related metal industries grew around it. These included the Pneumatic Scale Co., 65 Newport Avenue (Form #563), founded in 1893, and the Boston Gear Works, 14 Hayward Street (1909, form #493), both still prominent Quincy employers. Also founded in the period was Tubular Rivet & Stud, Linden Street (1875, Form #492). Shoe manufacture, employing 472 men and women had peaked in 1885 when output reached $750,000. In that year, the product was said to have exceeded both Brockton and Lynn in value. Quincy's shoe industry declined as shoe manufacturing centers developed.
The Braintree Dam was the supply for the Quincy Waterworks, 106 Penn Street (form #435), which was constructed in 1884 and purchased by the city in 1892, just seven years before the city joined the metropolitan system. Quincy had one of the earliest electric light companies: the first generating station of the Quincy Electric Light and Power Company was built in 1888 on Quincy Avenue. In 1902 a larger plant on Field Street (Form #506) was built.
High style residential architecture was limited to the area along Adams Street, with a majority of the residences being built in the 19th century. Queen Anne was the dominant style with the Colonial Revival following it in popularity in the early 20th century. Together these two styles make up over half of the 202 residences listed in the inventory. All but one of the styles reflect the architectural climate of the country rather than regional tastes. The exception is the "Quincy Cottage" which was a modest worker's house with certain characteristics which made it practical, attractive and easily recognizable due to the particular placement of the dormers which pierce not only the lower slope of the roof but also the eaves. The ornamentation reflect the current styles, either Italianate or Queen Anne. The majority of these cottages are in Southwest Quincy, with a few in St. Moritz and Quincy Point. (see 23-25 Prout Street, 1880s, Form #410 for a typical example) There are four listed individually, and two streetscapes, one at 44-66 Smith Street (1890s, Form #409) and the other at 19-24 Baxter Street (1880s, Form #3306). All the galaxy of styles are represented in this period, ranging from the Italianate to the Prairie-Bungalow.
Italianate: of the 17 listed, two are recommended for listing in the National Register: the Henry F. Baxter House, 103 Greenleaf Street, in the proposed extension of the Quincy Center Local Historic District (1871, Form #QC-213), an elegant suburban two-story residence, particularly rich in architectural ornamentation and 62 Quincy Street (c.1876, Form #SW-424) a fine example of a worker's cottage in this style. The majority of the others are gable-end-to-street, with brackets, bay windows and porches with chamfered posts. The style adapted well to the narrow lots then being sold by developers.
There were few Mandardic Style residences, nine in total, six one story cottages, two two-story and one with a tower, 67 Prospect Street (1860's, Form #WH-451). The grandest house of this style is at 79 Winthrop Street (1870s, Form #WH-551), in Wollaston Hill where the majority of the Mandardic houses are located.
"Quality over quantity" describes the Stick Style situation in Quincy; there are three listed and two are recommended for listing in the National Register, 284 Adams Street (1870s, Form #274), a superb example of the style with its walls "skeletally articulated" with a Queen Anne carriage house and the George W. Barker House, 74 Greenleaf Street, in the proposed extension of the Quincy Center Local Historic District, (1870s, Form #QC-211). The third house at 125 Greenleaf Street 91902, Form #QC-214) has fine gable decorations.
The Queen Anne residences, 56 in number, are the most picturesque, elaborate and charming houses of the period. Although many of the larger examples were built in Wollaston Hill, many were constructed in the other areas of Quincy, West Quincy, South Quincy, Quincy Point, and others. They were characterized by varied walling materials, asymmetrical silhouette, irregular fenestration, rich details and often with the status symbol of the period, the tower with a conical roof. Five are recommended for listing in the National Register. They are: 48 Grandview Avenue (1887, Form #WH-520), 853 Hancock Street (1880, Form #476), 24 Whitney Road (1909, Form #QC-218), and two modest residences in Southwest Quincy, the Edward J. Lennon House, 53 Taber Street, (1888, Form #431) and 50 Taber Street (1888, Form #430) both facing Liberty Square (Form #432).
The Shingle Style is well represented with 33 houses with the more ample versions in Wollaston Hill, and others scattered throughout the other areas of Quincy. They all have weathered shingled walls, compact massing, often under a gambreled roof, and in their detailing, anticipated the forthcoming Colonial Revival. Of note are 29 Beach Street (1900s, Form #499), 3 Berlin Street (1900s, Form #34), 70-72 Prospect Avenue (1890s, Form #WH-542), 75 Russell Street (1900s, Form #34), 15 Monroe Road (1900s, Form #PH-98) and 49 Wollaston Avenue (1890s, Form #508).
The favored Style in Quincy, as in many cities and towns in New England in this period is the Colonial Revival, in its numerous manifestations which include the American Four Square, the most popular with 35 examples out of the total of 49, high style Georgian (4 examples, on President's Hill and Wollaston Hill), gambreled (four). Cape Cod Revival included a simple version which was used by builders of three-deckers (three streetscapes and two residences). These houses were often a free interpretation of past colonial precedents, or were based on a specific structure, such as the Albert F. Schenkelberger House, 43 President's Lane (1896, Form #PH-69), which was inspired by the measured drawings of the 1737 Hancock House in Boston.
The last mode of the period is the Prairie-Bungalow, represented by four modest California type bungalows and a fine two story example at 355 Highland Avenue (1913, Form #WH-536) rich in Craftsman detailing. The balance of 24 houses were built in a plain version of the style, usually compactly massed and devoid of ornamentation.
Responding to the need of affordable Housing, apartment buildings began to appear in Quincy which were traditionally designed and residentially scaled, such as 1-7 Moscow Street, a wood gambreled structure (1900s, Form #QC-262) and 13-19 Old Colony Avenue (1890s, Form #482), a Shingle Style building. Of the five elegant Italianate Faxon Town Houses, only three have survived, now recycled as commercial buildings. Only one still retains its Italianate character, 30 Chestnut Street (1874, Form #QC-234). At the Vassell-Adams House, 135 Adams Street, NR, the Adams family built an exquisite small Gothic Revival stone library in 1870 which was designed by Edward C. Cabot and in 1873 a Ruskinian Gothic Stone carriage house, Cummings and Sears.
The most important public building in Quincy is the Thomas Crane Public Library, 40 Washington Street (1882, National Register, Form #QC-245), considered H.H. Richardson's best library. Sited in the Quincy Center Local Historic District, adjacent to the 1927 Gothic Revival Bethany Church and close to Alexander Parris' 1827 United First Parish Church and Solomon Willard's 1844 Town Hall it forms one of the state's most important enclaves of outstanding institutional architecture.
The following institutional buildings constructed in the Late Industrial Period are worth mentioning. They are the Wollaston Fire Station, 111 Beale Street (1900, Form #577), a towered Italianate brick building, the Court House (now used by Quincy College) 12-24 Coddington Street (1912, William Chapman, architect, (Form #QC-197) a yellow brick Classical Revival structure with a fine pedimented portico with Doric columns in antis, the U.S. Post Office, 47 Washington Street (1909, Form #QC-246), a severe Classical Revival building, the Women's Building, Merrymount Park, 100 Southern Artery (c. 1910, Form #435), the Quincy Pumping Station, off Fenno Street (1901, Form #506), the Quincy Electric Light & Power Station, Field Street (1902, Form #QC-129), the Fore River Clubhouse, 16 Nevada Road (c. 1910, Form #285), the Sailors Snug Harbor, 9 Bicknell (1909, Form #48), and the Quincy Yacht Club, 1310 Sea Street (1888, Form #111).
The Adams Academy, 8 Adams Street (1872, National Register, Form #QC-181) a magnificent granite and brick trim Ruskinian Gothic Structure designed by Ware and Van Brunt is the outstanding school building of the period. Thirteen schools are listed, of which three are recommended for nomination to the National Register. They include the Woodward School for Girls, 1102 Hancock Street (1893, E.G. Thayer, architect, Form #QC-146) the only Queen Anne School in the city, the Middle School, 1012 Hancock Street (1894, E.G. Thayer architect, Form #QC-136), a fine example of a Romanesque Revival institutional building and the Coddington School, 34 Coddington Street (1909, Charles Brigham, architect, Form #QC-198), a classical Revival school building.
The other school structures erected in this period all shared certain characteristics in massing: they were self contained brick buildings, generously fenestrated, with a axis and decorative elements in the classical or colonial revival modes. They are the Willard School, 1266 Furnace Brook Parkway (1891, Sturgis and Cabot, architects, Form #466), the Lincoln School, 100 Brooks Avenue (1892, Form #413) and the Wollaston School, 205 Beale Street (1913, McLean and Wright, architects, Form #580). Four schools were designed by A. H. Wright: the Gridley Bryant School, 111 Willard Street (1896, Form #455), the Massachusetts Fields School, Rawson Road (1896, Form #495), the Cranch School, 270 Whitwell Avenue (1900, National Register, Form #104) and the Adams School, Abigail Avenue (1913, Form #379). The first three Wright schools were built in the Renaissance Revival Style and the last, in the Colonial Revival Style. The Quincy School, 94 Newbury Avenue (1906, National Register, Form #32), the St. Johns School, 28 Phipps Street (1909, Form #375), the Atherton Hough School, 1083 Sea Street (1911, Form #108), and the Montclair School, 8 Belmont Street (1912, Form #562) end the list.
All but one of the nine churches constructed in the Late Industrial Period were in the acceptable ecclesiastical mode, the Gothic Revival. Five are recommended to be nominated to the National Register as fine examples of the style. They include the wood First Baptist Church, 81 Prospect Avenue (1873, Form #WH-543), the granite Christ Church, 12 Quincy Avenue (1874, Form #293), one of the finest churches in Quincy with an attached Tudor Revival church hall, the Shingle Style St. Catherine's Greek Orthodox Church, 157 Beale Street (1888, Form #579), the granite Salem Lutheran Church, 201 Granite Street (1892, Form #101), and the granite Atlantic Memorial Congregational Church, 65 Newbury Avenue (1910, Kendall, Taylor architects, Form #31). The other churches are the First United Presbyterian Church, 16 Pleasant Street (1899, Form #426), sadly altered by its vinyl covering, the Finnish Evangelical Mission Church of Quincy, 47 Buckley Street (1900, Form #408), also changed by its aluminium siding, the Union Congregational Church, 136 Rawson Road (1911, Form #494), the only granite Gothic Revival church with clerestory windows, the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church, 81-83 Suomi Road (1912, Form #468) and the Finnish Lutheran Church, 81-83 Suomi Road (1912, Form #468).
Parks, Monuments, Structures, Archaeological
Two notable parks were established in this period: Faxon Park (1885, 1925, 1940, Form #387), a gift from Henry Hardwick Faxon, the fabulously successful real estate entrepreneur and temperance fanatic, and Merrymount Park, 100 Southern Artery (1885, Form #509), which was deeded to the City by Charles Francis Adams so that there would be "one open, unspoiled body of land where the people of the town could go for quiet and recreation freely and without charge." (City of Quincy. Park and Recreation Board reference files).
Several striking monuments were erected in the 1890s, the granite Fountain, Mount Wollaston Cemetery, Sea Street (1891, Form #908) which was originally situated close to First Parish Church in Quincy Center, and the fieldstone and mortar Miles Standish Cairn, Squaw Rock Park, Dorchester Street (1895, Form #922), and Abigail Adams Cairn, 340 Franklin Street (1896, Form #920). A Quincy landmark for miles around, the granite and steel Forbes Hill Standpipe, Reservoir Road (1900-1902, Form #928), was built in the Chateauesque style reminiscent of medieval French chateaux. Of archaeological interest from the period is the Old Slate Quarry, Apthrop Street (1870's, Form #39). The original City of Boston Sewer, Moon Island (1883, Form #445) is of note to industrial archaeologists as the system of dumping sewage into the open harbor, miles from the center of population, was considered a major advance over Boston's earlier disposal solutions. Worthy of mention is the 600 Beale Street coursed random rubble granite wall which delineates the northern boundary of Wollaston Hill (Form #WH-927).
One of the outstanding commercial buildings is the Ruskinian Gothic, polychromatic Greenleaf Building, 1419 Hancock Street (1876, William Parker, architect, Form #QC-172) whose facade alteration prevents it from being nominated to the National Register. The Adams Building, 1342-1368 Hancock Street (1880-8 [questionable], 1889-90, J. William Beal Sons, architects, National Register, Form #QC-164), is a prominent Tudor Revival building in the center of the business district which has been recently restored to its picturesque glory. The well designed one story commercial structure in Southwest Quincy, the Malnati Block, 121 Liberty Street (1899, Form #433) is recommended to be listed in the National Register as a fine example of a modest commercial building of the late 19th century. Commercial buildings worth mentioning are the Classical Revival Quincy Savings Bank, 1372-74 Hancock Street (1897, Form #QC-166), and the much altered Remick's of Quincy, 1517 Hancock Street (1897, Form #175).
In addition to the Lyons Turning Mill (see earlier discussion), a number of polygonally shaped granite workshops were constructed along Centre Street, of which the old S.H. Barnicoat operation at 333 Centre Street (1890's, Form #404) is a good example. Another granite-related building of this period is the Compressor House, Mullin Avenue (early 1900s, Form #311), which was once the air compressor house for the Granite Railway Company's granite cutting sheds.
The Tubular Rivet & Stud Co., Linden Street (1875, Form #492), a large complex of brick industrial buildings with Italianate influence, was one of Quincy's largest manufacturing companies in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. A fine example of early 20th century industrial architecture is the pair of brick Italianate buildings, 162-167 Colony Avenue (1900s, Form #483) which has particularly well detailed fenestration. Most poignant of all at the giant General Dynamics shipyard complex, 97 East Howard Street (1900s, Form #394), which is in imminent danger of closing, is the warehouse wall on which is written the names an launching dates of all the ships that have been launched from the yard since 1966 (see enclosed photo). The Boston Gear Works, 14 Hayward Street (1909, Form #493) of which only two of its simple industrial style older buildings are included on the survey, is the world's largest manufacturer of standard stock gears.
X. EARLY MODERN PERIOD (1915 - 1940)
A. Transportation Routes
Secondary trolley routes were abandoned but the primary line from Quincy to the Fore River remained intact to the mid-20th century. Auto highway routes with the construction of both Quincy Shore Drive and Furnace Brook Parkway 1915-1920, and the Southern Artery around Quincy Center (1927). Route 3A followed Hancock Street to Southern Artery to Washington Street over the new Fore River Bridge, designed by George E. Harkness (1934, Form #917) to Weymouth. Route 135 (Adams Street) connected Quincy Center to Milton. There have been three airfields in Quincy, Squantum Field, used for air shows, the Dennison Airport, established in 1927 and the Naval Air Station. None of these facilities survive in 1986 (refer to Squantum Air Base, 542 East Squantum Street, Form #23).
Between 1915 and 1940 Quincy's population rose by 86 percent, with the greatest rise occurring in the 1920's, when the population grew on the average by over 2300 persons a year. It was said at this time to have been the fastest growing city in the Commonwealth. After 1930, the rate sharply dropped, the period's last quinquennial, the population dropped by 1100 persons. (MCH Town Report, 1981).
Development continued in the residential areas of North Quincy with beach resort buildings along the present Quincy Shore Drive and at Squantum. Related seaside neighborhoods were created at Merrymount and along the peninsula to Houghs Neck and Germantown. Status residential district remained limited primarily to Presidents Hill (Area Form #PH-66), the Adams Street corridor, and Wollaston Hill (Area Form #WH-527) with extensive tract housing for West Quincy to Montclair from West Squantum Street on the North Quincy Plain. Fringe activities expanded along Town River Bay with oil storage facilities and other industries along Southern Artery. Related industrial belt is maintained along Old Colony rail corridor between South Quincy and West Quincy to the granite quarries, with extension to North Quincy and harbor activities at Squantum shipyard. Primary civic and commercial focus was maintained at Quincy Center with extensive growth of highway activities along major radials on Washington and Hancock Streets and Quincy and Independence Avenues. Residential developments, begun in earlier periods, continued to flourish in South Quincy, North Quincy, Wollaston and Squantum.
D. Economic Base
The city's single largest industry throughout the 20th century has been the Bethlehem Shipbuilding plant, 97 East Howard Street (Form #394) on the Fore River. In 1917, the 70 acre "Victory Plant" at Squantum was built to mass-produce destroyers. In 1916, the company accepted 19 contracts and employed 15,000 men. The yards set new records for speed of construction. In 1929, the Quincy Yard employed 3500 men. During this period the granite industry was second in the number of workers employed and value of product. In 1924, there were seven quarries operated with 1035 men employed in quarrying and dressing stone, and an annual product worth $3,160,324.
By 1930, machine shops and foundries had multiplied in North Quincy and Wollaston. Pneumatic Scale, 65 Newport Avenue (Form #563) employed 600 hands in manufacturing, labeling and packaging machinery. Now known as the Mathewson Corporation, the former Murray & Tregurtha Co., a leading builder of marine engines at 2 Hancock Street, (1918, Form #10), was acquired in 1937 by the Mathewson Machine Works, inventor and patentee of mattress making equipment, which revolutionized he mattress-making industry with machines that multiplied factory capacity. One of the oldest firms, Tubular Rivet and Stud, Linden Street (1875, Form #492) employed 800 operatives in making rivets and shoe lacing hooks. Near the Milton line, the Brooks-Skinner Co., a leader in the manufacture of portable houses, established a factory and at the corner of Adams and Robertson Street, set up a semicircular display of different types of portable houses. At the very end of the period, the large Procter & Gamble plant, 780 Washington Street (1939-1940, Form #279), was constructed.
Much of Wollaston and Norfolk Downs were developed in the 1920s with many variations of the Colonial Revival, Tudor Revival and a few Prairie-Bungalows single family residences, while elsewhere much of the town built up two-family houses in similar styles. As in the previous period, the Colonial Revival is the predominant building style, with the American Four Square, characterized by a squarish compact massing under a hip roof, the most popular variety (eight out of seventeen).
Emphasis was now on correct architectural detailing and a quieter massing; there was almost a formula: a symmetrical five-bay facade, ridge roof, ornamented entrance, with details taken from both Colonial and Federal examples, as seen at 30 Virginia Road (1923, Form #127). It was also used for the expansive Eventide Nursing Home, 215 Adams Street (1936, Paul and Carroll Coletti, architects, Form #6) which is a sophisticated melange of Greek Revival and Georgian motifs.
The Prairie-Bungalow also has its variations: the modest one story California type as at 20 Ring Avenue (1923, Form #307), an archetypal example, and the Mediterranean mode, as at 346 Highland Avenue (1925, Form #WH-534) with its red tile roof and stuccoed walls. An unusual residence is the cobblestone faced bungalow at 561 Quincy Shore Drive (1919, Form #44).
The most prestigious residences in this period were built in the Tudor Revival Style which were large picturesque houses, replete with stuccoed walls, half-timbering, a multiplicity of gables, varied wall materials, casements windows with leaded panes and elaborate chimneys. Some of the finer ones are located at 77 Reservoir Road, (1933, Form #512), 66 Crabtree Road (1928, Form #449), 85 Dixwell Avenue (1938, Form #PH-93) and 360 Adams Street (1935, Form #7).
The balance of the houses listed in this period encompass four eclectic residences, a fieldstone house at 1 Winslow Road (1910s, Form #446) and a streetscape at 165-181 School Street (1925, Form #428). Numerous apartment buildings of three to five stories were built in this period; of the ten listed six were constructed of brick with Colonial Revival details. They are 57 Spear Street (1927, Form #566), the Wollaston Park Apartments, 71 Marlboro Street (1927, Form #505), the "Dorothy Q," 40 Butler Road (1929, Form 283), "The Georgian," 100 Washington Street (1929, Form #507) and 6-14 President's Lane (1940, Form #QC-67).
The picturesqueness and eclecticism of the past periods was replaced by styles influenced by classic architecture, either Classical Revival or Colonial Revivals which were considered to be the appropriate mode for public buildings. One of the most elegant buildings of this period is the Elks Building, 1218 Hancock Street (1924, J. W. Beal Sons, architects, Form #QC-155), a finely detailed Colonial Revival brick structure. Also designed by J. William Beal Sons is the limestone Classical Revival Masonic Temple, 1170 Hancock Street (1926, Form #QC-152). Both are recommended for listing on the National Register as fine examples of public buildings of the 1920s.
Of the 14 public buildings listed, four more are suggested for National Register listing. They are the Thomas Crane Library: Wollaston Branch, 41 Beale Street (1922, William Chapman, architect, Form #489), two Colonial Revival fire stations by George E. Robinson, the Central Fire Station, 26 Quincy Avenue (1938, Form #295) and the Quincy Point Fire Station, 516 Washington Street (1941, Form #278). The Classical Revival Administration Building of the Quincy City Hospital, designed by Paul and Carroll Coletti, 114 Whitwell Street (1936, Form #PH-103) is also recommended for nomination to the National Register as a fine institutional building of the 1930s. The balance of public buildings include the Quincy Electric Light and Power Company Station, Field Street (1902, Form #QC-129), fire stations, clubs, the Quincy State Armory, 1000 Hancock Street (1924, Form #QC-133), pumping stations and the traditionally designed Police Station, 442 Southern Artery (1925, Form #128)
Most of the schools are large, brick conservative Georgian or traditional designed buildings whose vast facades are relieved by the use of projecting end or central pavilions. They include the Daniel Webster School, Lancaster Street (1916, Cleveland and Godfrey, architects, Form #300), the Francis W. Parker School, 148 Billings Road (1917, Cleveland and Godfrey, architects, Form #28), the Quincy High School, 70 Coddington Street (1924, Cram and Ferguson, architects, Form #QC-201), the North Quincy High School, 318 Hancock Street (1926, Frank I. Cooper, architects, Form #11), St. Joseph's Parochial School, 22 Pray Street (1927, Joseph Brennan, architect, Form #286), The South Junior High School, 444 Granite Street (1927, Shepard and Stearns, architects, Form #401), the Merrymount School, 4 Agawam Road (1929, William Chapman, Form #122) and Gardner Hall, Eastern Nazarene College, 23 East Elm Avenue (1930, Wesley Angell, architect, Form #503). The exception to the above is the Squantum Elementary School, 50 Huckins Avenue (1919, McLean and Wright, architects, Form #443) which is a one story, residentially scaled school.
The Gothic Revival continues to be the favored style for ecclesiastical structures. Of the 13 listed in this period, five are considered to be eligible for nomination to the National Register as fine examples of 20th Century Gothic Revival. They include the First Church of Christ Scientist, 20 Greenleaf Street (1919. E.J. Lewis, architect, Form #QC-207), the Wollaston Congregational Church, 48 Winthrop Avenue (1925, Charles R. Greco, architect, Form #461), St. Ann's Church, 755 Hancock Street (1924 and 1940, William B. Colleary, architect, Form #474) and its rectory at 757 Hancock Street (1920s, Form #475) and the Bethany Church, 18 Spear Street (1927, J. William Beal Sons, architects, Form #QC-252) which has a magnificent tower thrusting in the skyline of Quincy Center.
Monuments and Structures
Many outstanding monuments were erected in Quincy during this period. Local sculptor Bruce Wilder Saville was the designer of the powerful "Doughboy", 8 Adams Street (1924, Form #QC-909) as well as the Adams Memorial, 100 Southern Artery (1926, Form #926), the seated figures of John Adams and John Quincy Adams. The 18-foot tall statue of Robert Burns, Granite Street/Burgin Parkway (1925, Form #916), the "Scot's Poet", was the work of another local sculptor, John Horrigan. Two additions to the Mount Wollaston Cemetery were the Policeman's and Fireman's Memorials. An interesting memorial, in the form of a lighthouse, honors Daniel Shed, Palmer Street (1916, Form #900). Fashioned at the time of the City of Quincy's tercentenary celebration, the huge polished granite sphere at the Fore River rotary (1925, Form #916) greets the Quincy visitor arriving from Weymouth.
A major structure of the period was the Veteran Memorial Stadium at Merrymount Park (1938, Form #924). Built by the WPA, the winding granite walls of Faxon Park (1930's From #919) were an achievement of a different type. The Chickatawbut Observation Tower, Chickatawbut Road (1930-1940), National Register, Form #918) was also built in the 1930's. A commercial archaeologist's delight is the Quincy Filling Station's Lighthouse at 728 Southern Artery (Form #915).
Well designed, high quality commercial buildings continued to be built at Quincy Center and by the end of the period, the Center had achieved a degree of architectural sophistication unequaled in the study unit, with the exception of Boston itself. Among the buildings constructed were several two and three story Georgian and Colonial Revival buildings, a Federal Revival commercial block, a few Neoclassical bank buildings, and the most sophisticated commercial building of the period, J.W. Beal's Art Deco South Shore Savings Bank, 1400 Hancock Street (1929, National Register recommendation, Form #QC-171) a skyscraper with setback upper stories whose profile dominates the business center of Quincy.
Also recommended for National Register nomination is the Colonial Revival Munroe Building, 1227-1249 Hancock Street (1929, Shepard and Stearns, architects, Form #QC-156) and the Adams Arcade, 1479 Hancock Street (1928, Blackhall, Clapp and Whittemore, architects, Forms #173). The buildings listed in this section reflect the growing economic life of Quincy, for it includes banks, gas stations, and numerous two-story office buildings. A fine movie theatre, a survivor of the pre-television generation is recommended for nomination to the National Register as an excellent example of a 1920's suburban movie house. It is the Wollaston Theatre, 14 Beale Street (1926, Form #487). "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) of which Quincy has one at 117 Beale Street (1926, Form #578) worthy of nomination to the National Register.