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frye area

frye area

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Published by Lee Wright

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Published by: Lee Wright on May 09, 2008
Copyright:Public Domain


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Area LetterForm Numbers in Area
125, 702-747
<Name of Area
;Present Use
Frye Area
Construction Dates or Period ca ]860'5 to
early 20th C.
Overall Condition---------
fair to good
Major Intrusions and Alterations iome lliiible

alterations; including considerable synthetic siding; a feww id- to late-20th C housesin E. section, many in W. section.

Recorded by
Anne Forbes, consultant
Marlborough Historical Comm,
Streets included*:
Allen Court
Boudreau Avenue
Brigham Avenue
Jonas Court
Pearl Street
Pleasant Street (#s 182 and 190)
Roosevelt Street
Spring Street
"boundaries include entire street, unless
otherwise noted
Follow Massachusetts Historical Commission Survey Manual instructions for completing this form
Mssachusetts Historical Commission
80 Boylston Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02116
-:-; ~e-tJt.. ~,
\u2022..;;;.;.:'\'fow n
Flace(neighborhood or village)
Assessor's Sheets
(X]see continuation sheet
Describe architectural, structural and landscape features and evaluate in terms of other areas within the

Although the ca. 30-acre neighborhood north of Elm Street betw een Pleasant and Roosevelt Streets contains vernacular houses built from the late 1860's through the early tw entieth-century, this area derives most of its architectural character from the rapid grow th of the 1890's. Thus it is the vernacular Queen Anne style, particularly as expressed in small w ood-frame, gable-end cottages, that predominates. Most of the modest houses here have been altered to some extent, especially by synthetic siding and changes in w indow s and doors. Most of the residences w ere built in the era w hen porches w ere fashionable; many porches have been enclosed, how ever, and w ith other expansions and additions, few buildings remain in their original form.

At the southeastern edge of the area is a short side street, Allen Court, that w as part of the S.H. How e home factory complex. Its three houses include a 2- and a 2 1I2-story gable-end, and an example of a less common late-nineteenth-century building type, a large 2 1/2-story, three-bay, side-gabled house w ith tw in ridge chimneys at #3. Marked as a "tenement" on maps, #3 may have functioned as a boarding house for How e factory w orkers. The small altered2-story, three-bay gable-end house at #1 Allen Court w as moved back from the edge of Pleasant Street betw een 1885 and 1889. (Cont.)

[Xlsee continuation sheet
Explain historical development of the area. Discuss how this area relates to the historical development of
the community.

After the Civil War, coinciding w ith a period of rapid expansion in Marlborough's shoe industry during the last third of the nineteenth century, much of the former farm district that flanked Pleasant Street north of the West Village w as gradually laid out w ith side streets and filled w ith modest, mostly single- family houses. As in the Maplew ood area east of Pleasant, and in the linear developments along upper Mechanic and Hudson Streets, the primary occupants of this area w ere shoe-w orkers' families, although people w ho w orked at other trades moved here to purchase affordable, middle-class homes, as w ell.

With the exception of one house that disappears from maps after 1803, through the first quarter of the nineteenth century, the mid-eighteenth-century Asa Brigham Homestead and Tavern w as virtually the only residence in the area. It stood just north of Spring Street (w hich w as in existence by 1800), until the 1970's, w hen it w as finally demolished. (see Form #25). By the mid-nineteenth-century the house and w hat w as left of the surrounding farm in the area's eastern section had been inherited by Asa Brigham's grandson-in-law , Stephen How e, and then his son, Elbridge (see FonTIM: Witherbee Street). The w estern section w as by then part of one or tw o farms belonging to other descendants of the Brigham family. (Cont.)

BIBLIOGRAPHY and/or REFERENCES ( ]see continuation sheet
Maps, birdseye view s, and atlases: 1871, 1875, 1878, 1879 (Pictorial Marlborough), 1889,
Sanborns from 1885.

Bigelow . Historic Reminiscences of Marlborough. 1910. Conklin, Edw in. Middlesex County and its People. 1927. Hurd. History of Middlesex County. 1890.

Marlborough directories and tax valuations.
[] Recommended as a National Register District.If checked, you must attach a completed
National Register Criteria Statement form.
Iassachusetts Historical Commission
JOBoylston Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02116
Form Nos.

Most of the houses on Pearl Street w ere constructed betw een 1865 and 1870. Others in the area built betw een the late 1860's and late 1880's include tw o gable-ends onFrye Street, three on Boudreau, and the tw o houses at 182 and 190 Pleasant Street. The latter is of the tall "upright-and-w ing" type, w ith its main entry in the side w ing. 15, 23, and 38 Pearl Street and 15 Boudreau Avenue are of the same type. In spite of considerable alterations to these houses, a few remnants of Italianate detail remain on some of them, such as the elaborate, bracketed door hoods at 14 Boudreau Avenue and 35 Pearl Street, and the double-leaf, glass-and-panel door at 50 Frye Street and 29 Pearl Street. One of the most unusual house designs in the area is the double-house 13 Frye Street. A 2 1/2-story, tw in-chimney, side-gabled house, standing w ith its end to the street, it is divided lengthw ise dow n the middle, w ith each unit occupying one long side of the house and half the east kitchen ell. Although a porch w as added across the south facade early in this century, and an oval-light door installed at about the same time, 5/7 Frye is perhaps the best-preserved house in the neighborhood. Three- by tw o-bays, it retains all its 2-over-2-sash w indow s, a tw o-light glass-and-panel door under a bracketed hood on the north facade, and, most unusual in this area, its clapboard siding.

The vernacular Queen Anne streetscapes of Boudreau Avenue, the east side ofFrye Street, and the middle section of Spring Street consist primarily of three types of gable-end houses, most built w ithin a few years of each other in the 1890's. The most common house type, also seen in a few examples in

"t eMaplew ood area (see Area Form W) is a small tw o-story cottage w ith tw o facade doors, one at the

.de-hall entry of the main house, the other in the front of a short side bay. A w raparound porch extends from one entry to the other, sometimes spanning the entire facade, and a short ell extends to the rear of the bay. (Many of the porches, all probably originally standing on turned posts w ith saw cut brackets, have been enclosed or otherw ise altered. Intact examples remain at 42 Boudreau Street and 109 Spring Street.) In the groups of cottages at 101 to 111 Spring Street and 18 to 42 and 25 to 35 Boudreau, and at 43, 49, 53, 65, and 69 Frye Street, the tw o w indow s of the second story facade are asymmetrically placed. In another group. of four slightly taller cottages at 83 to 93 Spring Street, the asymmetry is carried through in a "cat-slide" roof extension in front of the side bay. Typical of their era, the more intact of these 1890's houses retain 2-over-2-sash w indow s. Most w ere built w ith glass- and-panel doors w ith a square glass light; at least one door w ith tw o vertical lights remains on Boudreau Street, at #42. Similar doors and w indow s are seen at some other nearby larger gable-end houses, also probably built during the 1890's. The 2 1/2-story gable-end at 59 Frye Street, how ever, has a double- leaf glass-and-panel door. One altered example of another common Queen Anne house appears at 42 Pearl Street, w here the facade has a w ide polygonal bay at the first story and a rectangular, bracketed one above it.

There w as little construction in this area in the early tw entieth century. A few houses w ere built on the w est side of low er Frye Street, including a side-gabled Craftsman bungalow at #32 and a pair of Dutch Colonial Revivals on rubble foundations at #s 18 and 22. Across the street, at 53 Pearl Street, is a large multi-unit building that may have been a boarding house for theI.A. Frye Shoe Company. This is a tw o-story, hip-roofed, nine- by four-bay rectangular building, also on a rubble foundation, w ith a single entry under a w ide porch on short square posts. Although the w indow sash appears to have been replaced, the building retains its w ood clapboard siding. Other early-tw entieth-century buildings '., the area, all built in the 1920's, include tw o American Four-Squares, at 113 Spring Street and 36 rlgham Avenue, a few very altered gable-end Craftsman bungalow s and simple, tw o-story Colonial Revival houses in the Brigham subdivision, and a three-bay, 11/2-story gable-end cottage w ith 6-over-l- sash w indow s at 60 Roosevelt Street.

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