The large, ca. 50-acre area east of East Main and Maple Streets, and stretching south from East Main to Essex Streets, contains some of the most varied residential architecture of any of the nineteenth- to early-twentieth-century neighborhoods at Marlborough center. 215 houses, one church, and one 1931 school building fill its streets. Although with a scattering of 27 modern houses, this area has more intrusions than some of the other center-city neighborhoods, in general the architecture here is better preserved than in some of the others.
This was a rural area until well into the 1850's, and one large hip-roofed, five-bay Federal style farmhouse stands at 153 Hildreth Street (see Form #205) near the eastern edge of the area, next to a cluster of modern houses built on its former farmland. One of the largest groups of vernacular Greek Revival houses ill Marlborough, however, is situated near the altered Greek Revival/ltalianate/Colonial Revival First Methodist Church (see Form #97) at 52 Church Street. Seven houses here on Church and Front Street, built between 1853 and 1857, display characteristics of the Greek Revival style, including pedimented side- or facade-gables, paneled corner pilasters, and full-length divided sidelights at the entries. (Cont.)
The residential area centered on today's Church Street, between East Main Street at the north to northwest, and Essex Street to the south, developed over the course of the second half of the nineteenth century and the first thirty years of the twentieth into one of the largest and most varied residential neighborhods ill Marlborough. Although the line of Hildreth Street through the middle of the area was in existence by 1800 as an eastward extension of Main Street, no buildings save for the large late-Federal Robinson family farmhouse at 153 Hildreth stood in that central section until after 1857.
Building began first at the northern and southern edges of the area. In 1853, after a fire had destroyed the Methodist Church in Feltonville, a segment of the congregation organized to build a new one here in Marlborough on land belonging to the church's major benefactor, Solomon Weeks. The church (see Form #97) was dedicated here that October on the first section of Church Street, which ran from East Main to Hildreth. At about the same time, Front Street was laid out opposite the church. The Methodist Parsonage was built next to the church at 50 Church Street (MHC #567) shortly afterward , and by 1857 a cluster of eight more houses, the beginnings of a new residential neighborhood, stood nearby on the two new streets. For a time, until more surrounding houses were built by non-Methodist owners, the area around the Church/Front Street intersection was referred to as "Methodist Village." (Cont.)
Most, including the otherwise well-preserved gable-end at 16 Front Street (MHC #572) and the two-story, pedimented-side-gabled Weeks House at 15 Front Street (form #203), were updated later in the nineteenth century with such features as Queen Anne porches on turned posts. The Greek Revival continued to at least 1860 in several more houses on upper Church Street, including two large side-hall-entry gable-ends--the Nourse House at 18 Church (MHC #565), which still has its pediment, paneled comer pilasters and 6-over-6-sash windows, and Sylvester Bucklin, 2nd's residence at 9/11 Church (MHC #562), which also has 6-over-6 windows, and an entry with an octagonal-paneled door, full-length divided sidelights, and transom.
The very large three-bay, center-entry gable-end residence of the Rev. Sylvester Bucklin at 27 Hildreth Street (see Form #83), which was built before 1853, probably had Greek Revival details originally, but was updated with large Italianate round-headed windows, cornice brackets, and an entry hood on chamfered, square posts in about 1870. (See Form #83.) Several other houses, especially in the north part of the area, display vernacular Italianate details such as bracketed door canopies. A few of the "upright-and-wing" type, built ca. 1870, including Sylvester Bucklin, 2nd's two rental houses at 6 and 14 Church Street (MHC #s563 and 564), and the A.P. Sanborn House at 90 Church (MHC #582), have the tall, narrow proportions and shallow-pitched, overhanging roofs that clearly show the Italian origins of the house form. 6 and 14 Church have brackets at the cornice lines, and the Sanborn House has a circular window (now filled in) in the peak of each gable.
Four Second Empire houses also were built in the north part of the area in the 1860's-early 1870's. One, the altered L-plan house at 22 Hildreth Street (MHC #586), is two stories; the others, at 40 Hildreth, and the Luther Tarbell House at 34 Church, and the Thomas J ackson House at 7 Walnut Street, are all mansard cottages. (MHC #s 585, 566, and 202). 40 Hildreth and 34 Church are of the large, three-bay, symmetrical-facaded form; 7 Walnut is a small L-plan house.
While the north part of the Church Street area was filling with stylish Greek Revival, Second Empire, and Italianate houses, Essex Street at the south edge of the area was being built up with more modest, nearly astylistic, houses on smaller lots. A few major building-types prevail in this section. The earliest is the little three-bay, "story-and-a-half' cottage. Several were built on the south side of Essex west of Church Street between 1853 and 1857. All have been altered, but four, at 77, 81, 87, and 99 Essex, (MHC #s 619, 620, 621, and 623) are still recognizable in spite of having been enlarged over the years. The 2 liZ-story side-gabled house is also found at several locations throughout the area. Most, such as the ca. 1855 Hunter/Rice House at 28 Front Street, and a ca. 1870 pair at 22 and 26 Vine Street, are three bays wide, and nearly devoid of decorative detail. (MHC #s 571, 568 and 569). A few, including the three-bay 78 Essex Street and the five- bay Coolidge House at 21 Front Street, which have Italianate bracketed door hoods and a pair of rectangular bay windows on the facade, are more indicative of the fashion of their times. (MHC #s 620 and 573). (Cont.)
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?