Laserfiche WebLink
INVENTORY FORM B CONTINUATION SHEET LEXINGTON 87 CLIFFS AVENUE <br /> MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL COMMISSION Area(s) Form No. <br /> 220 MORRISSEY BOULEVARD,BOSTON,MASSACHUSETTS 02125 <br /> 2209 <br /> ❑ Recommended for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. <br /> If checked,you must attach a completed National Register Criteria Statement form. <br /> Use as much space as necessary to complete the following entries, allowing text to flow onto additional continuation sheets. <br /> ARCHITECTURAL DESCRIPTION: <br /> Describe architectural features. Evaluate the characteristics of this building in terms of other buildings within the community. <br /> 87-89 Cliffe Avenue occupies a modest lot that slopes steeply down from the street behind the house. Shrubs, lawn, and <br /> decorative stone paths comprise the front yard, while the larger yard on the right side contains mostly lawn and mature trees. <br /> The building is positioned at the front left corner of the parcel, with a paved drive in front of the building. A stone walkway, <br /> framed by sturdy cobblestone pillars, leads to the front entry. The T-shaped building consists of a 1 '/2 story main block with a <br /> substantial rear wing. <br /> The rectangular main block rises from a fieldstone foundation to a side gable roof with gable returns and dentils and modillion <br /> blocks at the eaves. Each end wall has an interior chimney. Walls are sheathed in vinyl with vinyl trim. Windows typically have <br /> 1/1 or 4/4 double hung sash. The front fagade (west elevation) has a substantial projecting center entry vestibule with a low flat <br /> roof and dentils and modillion blocks at the eaves. The entry comprises a center single-leaf door framed by half-height sidelights <br /> and a paneled wood header above. Each side of the vestibule contains a pair of 8-light casement windows with a paneled wood <br /> header. A molded wood band rings the vestibule above the window and door heads. To each side of the entrance vestibule is a <br /> tri-partite window unit with 1/1 sash. The front slope of the roof contains three gabled dormers, all with gable returns, crown <br /> moldings on their raking fascia boards, and dentilled eaves. A large dormer is centered over the entrance vestibule; its 4/4 <br /> center window is trimmed with a bold cornice molding on small modillion brackets. The side dormers are smaller and slightly off- <br /> center in their bays; each contains one 4/4 window. <br /> The side elevations are not easily visible form the street due to surrounding trees. The south (right side)elevation of the main <br /> block contains a partially exposed basement, due to the slope of the site, four 4/4 windows on the upper levels, and a side door <br /> with a stone and concrete stair. Similarly, the north (left side) elevation main block contains an exposed basement level and six <br /> 4/4 windows. Due to the steepness of the sloping parcel, the rear wing rises 2 '/z stories to a gable roof and features an interior <br /> chimney, 4/4 windows, and a center dormer on both long sides. <br /> Well maintained, 87 Cliffe Avenue is an uncommonly stylish example of small-scale, early 20th century suburban housing in <br /> Lexington. Although it has lost architectural integrity due to the application of artificial siding, the house is remarkable for its <br /> decorative eave trim, emphatic dormers, unusually detailed entrance vestibule, and the cobblestone pillars at the street edge. <br /> HISTORICAL NARRATIVE <br /> Discuss the history of the building. Explain its associations with local(or state)history. Include uses of the building, and the role(s) the <br /> owners/occupants played within the community. <br /> The neighborhood centered around Bow Street and Hillcrest, Cliffe, and Rindge avenues covers a steep hillside between <br /> Massachusetts Avenue and Lowell Street along the Arlington town line. The Great Meadows and Arlington Reservoir are <br /> located to the west and east, respectively. By 1898, a very short stub of road between Mass. Avenue and the B&M Railroad <br /> tracks is labeled Bow Street. North of the tracks, it continues as a pathway to a farmhouse identified as J. A. Wilson. The 1899 <br /> directory identifies a James Wilson, farmer and market gardener, with a house off Bow, and a James A. Wilson, market <br /> gardener, with a house on Bow. The land remained undeveloped as part of the Wilson Farm until at least 1906. <br /> Most of the streets here were laid out and platted for house lots by 1927; development most likely began after 1918. <br /> Development slowly crept up the hillside through the early and mid 20th century, most densely along the grid of streets closest to <br /> Massachusetts Avenue. The Wilson farm remained in existence east of Bow Street(in the area now traversed by South Rindge <br /> Continuation sheet 2 <br />