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BUILDING FORM (536 Mass Ave.) <br /> ARCHITECTURAL DESCRIPTION <br /> Describe architectural features. Evaluate the characteristics of the building in terms of other buildings within the <br /> community. <br /> Located at the upper corner of Mass. Ave. and Oak Street, 531 Mass. Ave. (MHC#1091) is a 2 1/2-story, 5 x 2-bay <br /> residence which dates to the early 19th century but was moved to its present location in the early 20th. Sheathed in wood <br /> clapboards,the house is set on a rusticated concrete block foundation. The house is capped by an asphalt-shingled gable roof <br /> with eaves which project slightly and end in returns on the broad side gables. The house displays a simple watertable and <br /> comerboards. Centered on the facade is an enclosed, gabled entrance porch. The outer door consists of a six-panel door <br /> flanked by partial sidelights. It is capped by a semi-elliptical divided fanlight. The window openings consist of new 6/6 <br /> replacement windows with abbreviated entablature lintels. <br /> Extending behind the main house block is a two-story ell resting on a poured concrete foundation with an asymmetrical gable <br /> roof There is a wooden deck and a rear porch on the west side. Fenestration consist of 6/6 windows and sliders. <br /> To the west of the main house is a detached, 1 1/2-story, clapboarded outbuilding(MHC #1092)which currently houses an <br /> automobile repair facility but may have functioned as a blacksmith shop in the late 19th century. The large door opening on <br /> the gablefront is flanked by 6/6 windows with an additional 6/6 window lighting the attic. Other fenestration includes a metal <br /> replacement door. A vertical board shed is located in the back yard. <br /> HISTORICAL NARRATIVE <br /> Describe the history of the building. Explain its associations with local(or state) history. Include uses of the building and <br /> the role(s) the owners/occupants played within the community. <br /> According to Edwin Worthen's notes, this building was known long ago as the Penney House. The house was reportedly <br /> built for the Penney family sometime about 1800 with subscriptions from neighbors. Penney was a potter and his shop was <br /> located opposite the post office at the lower corner of Curve Street. The family was apparently quite poor and had a daughter <br /> who had lost a leg in an accident. In the late 19th and early 20th century the property was owned and occupied by members <br /> of the Russell family. The 1894 directory indicates that the house was then occupied by John A. Russell, a horseshoer with a <br /> nearby shop. After John's death in 1899,the house was occupied by his son, Byron Russell who worked as a blacksmith. In <br /> the 1920s, Byron was joined by his son, John C. Russell, a policeman, and his wife Annie. In 1926 the house and adjacent <br /> shop was occupied by George Lexner, a blacksmith and wheelwright. In the early 1930s the shop was converted to an auto <br /> repair facility by Frank Perkins. The property was occupied from about 1940 into the 1960s by Leo and Mary Hickey and <br /> Jesse and Lillian Meadows. It was owed by Earnshaw prior to 1968, by Field from 1968 to 1980 and by Shimansky since <br /> 1980. <br /> This property was known for many years as 120 Mass. Ave. Sanborn insurance maps indicate that the house was moved <br /> closer to the road between 1918 and 1927. <br /> BIBLIOGRAPHY and/or REFERENCES <br /> Lexington Assessors Records. <br /> Lexington Directories, various dates. <br /> Lexington Valuation Lists, various dates. <br /> Sanr"orn Maps, 1908-1935. <br /> Worthen, Edwin B. Tracing the Past in Lexington,Massachusetts. NY: Vantage Press, 1998, p. 63. <br /> Recommended for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. If checked,you must attached a completed <br /> National Register Criteria Statement form. <br />