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INVENTORY FORM B CONTINUATION SHEET LEXINGTON 18 BOWKER STREET <br /> MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL COMMISSION Area(s) Form No. <br /> 220 MORRISSEY BOULEVARD,BOSTON,MASSACHUSETTS 02125 <br /> 2196 <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 /> 18 Bowker Street occupies a small lot that is level at the right side and slopes steeply down to the left. Set at an angle to the <br /> street, the building has modest front and side setbacks, which are maintained with lawn and extensive landscaping. A brick <br /> walkway and wood stairway access the front entrance, and a fieldstone retaining wall runs perpendicular to Bowker Street at the <br /> left side of the property. A paved driveway leads to the back of the house from neighboring Charles Street. The building <br /> consists of a 1 '/2 story main block with side and rear appendages. <br /> The nearly square main block rises from a fieldstone foundation with deeply recessed mortar joints to a low hip roof with <br /> exposed rafter ends and a center chimney. Low, hip-roofed dormers are centered on each slope. Walls are clad with wood <br /> shingles. Windows typically have 1/1 double hung sash with band molding. The symmetrical front facade (west elevation) <br /> presents a center entry porch with a low hip roof, flanked on either side by a single 1/1 window. The entry porch is composed of <br /> shingled half-walls and piers, arched openings, wood steps, and a single-leaf, wood door. The dormer on this elevation has two <br /> narrow awning windows. A half story dormer has a hip roof and two awning windows with band molding. <br /> The asymmetrical north (left side) elevation of the main block contains three large 1/1 windows and a shallow rectangular bay <br /> window, slightly off-center, with a tripartite unit of 1/1 windows. The dormer on this elevation has two 1/1 windows. The south <br /> (right side) elevation of the main block contains a single 1/1 window and a half story dormer with a hip roof and a single 1/1 <br /> window. A large 2-story ell projecting from the back of the right side elevation rises from a concrete foundation to a hip roof with <br /> exposed rafter ends; a roof skirt at the base of the second story continues the main roof and also displays exposed rafter ends. <br /> The street-facing (west)wall of the ell has tri-partite windows on each floor, while its right side (south) elevation has offset, <br /> paired windows. <br /> Well preserved and well maintained, 18 Bowker Street is a typical example of modest, early 20th century suburban housing in <br /> Lexington. The house is notable for its characteristic Bungalow massing, rustic masonry foundation, lively roofline with multiple <br /> hip roofs and exposed rafter ends, and, most unusually, its carefully detailed porch. <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 small grid of streets bordered by Massachusetts Avenue, Hibbert Street, Taft Avenue, and Bowker Street represents an <br /> early area of suburban infill in East Lexington, near the Arlington town line, in an area known as Dexter Hillside. Immediately <br /> south of Taft Avenue is Liberty Heights (LEX.Q), a hilltop subdivision laid out by Brookline developer Jacob W. Wilbur in 1909 <br /> and developed in the teens and twenties. The growth of both these neighborhoods followed the arrival of the electric street <br /> railway on Massachusetts Avenue in 1899 and was directed at working class residents. <br /> In the area adjacent to Massachusetts Avenue known as Dexter Hillside, Hibbert and Sylvia streets, which straddle the <br /> Lexington/Arlington line, were laid out, platted, and partially developed by 1898. The only other evidence of development here at <br /> that time is the L-shaped beginning of Charles and Cherry streets, where ten house lots were laid out but vacant. By 1927, both <br /> Charles and Bowker streets extended from Massachusetts Avenue to Taft Avenue, and the western ends of Cherry Street, <br /> Stevens (then Cary) Road, and Camden (then Smythe) Street pushed a few lots eastward from Charles. Development was <br /> gradual through the 1920s and 30s, and was virtually complete, with the present network of streets, by 1950. <br /> Continuation sheet 2 <br />