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INVENTORY FORM B CONTINUATION SHEET LEXINGTON 735 Mass. Ave. <br /> MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL COMMISSION Area(s) Form No. <br /> 220 MORRISSEY BOULEVARD,BOSTON,MASSACHUSETTS 02125 <br /> 216 <br /> ARCHITECTURAL DESCRIPTION: <br /> Describe architectural features. Evaluate the characteristics of this building in terms of other buildings within the community. <br /> Front fagade gable end to street. Fluted Doric columns, elaborately carved door surround. First floor windows with framed <br /> "skirt"to give appearance of greater length,quarter round windows in gable,recessed panels in wide cornerboards,one tall <br /> chimney right, one later at rear,front line, granite foundation,brick floor to entrance portico with cement foundation. <br /> Architect and master builder Isaac Melvin was clearly inspired by the pattern books of Asher Benjamin, specifically The <br /> Practice of Architecture which was published in 1833. On the Stone Building four Doric columns support a broad pediment <br /> inset with quarter circle windows which flank a smaller lunette in the peak of the gable. Contrary to Benjamin's design,the <br /> soffit is adorned with mutules. The center entrance is based on Plate XXVIII of The Practice of Architecture. The paneled door <br /> is flanked by two-thirds length sidelights,defined by narrow,fluted moldings. A shallow fanlight extends above the sidelights <br /> and door. The fluted pilasters flanking the door are decorated at the top with a variation on the Greek fret. The pilasters support <br /> a cap ornamented on a central panel with an anthemion. As shown in Benjamin's design, stylized honeysuckle vines fill the <br /> spandrels on either side of the fanlight. <br /> The design of the Stone Building and its introduction of Asher Benjamin's patternbooks had a major influence on architecture of <br /> the period in Lexington. Other Asher Benjamin-inspired doorways which survive in East Lexington include 627, 715, 782, 870, <br /> 884, and 1106 Massachusetts Avenue. <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 /> Originally built by Eli Robbins to give East villagers a place to speak freely. Apparently many felt inhibited in the First Parish <br /> Meetinghouse in Lexington Green. When the Town refused to build a new meeting house in the East Village,parish split. The <br /> Christian Association,as the new society called itself,met in the Stone Building from 1834 to 1840. During these years,R.W. <br /> Emerson,Bronson Alcott,John S. Dwight and Theodore Parker among others,addressed the society. Dr. Charles Follen was <br /> alled by the congregation in 1835 to preach, so it was under his auspices that the Transcendentalist ministers came to speak. He <br /> had resigned his place with the Second Church of Boston in 1832. The congregation moved to its own building,the Follen <br /> Church, designed by Charles Follen in 1840 (see Follen Church,MHC#633). <br /> [Note: Nov. 11, 1833 the General Court of Massachusetts established equality of religious sects and ended the authority over <br /> churches,a fact clearly related to the 1833 split with the First Parish Congregation.] <br /> Architect Isaac Melvin of Concord designed the building with a public meeting hall on the second floor and a public meeting <br /> hall on the second floor. John Colby was the contractor and Curtis Capell was the carpenter. <br /> In 1851 the building was conveyed to Abner Stone who lived there with his family. In 1891 Eli Robbins' granddaughter, Ellen <br /> Stone,offered the town the building for$2,000 with the stipulation that the building was to remain a meeting hall, library or <br /> similar educational use. In 1946 the building was renovated and the ell at the rear was removed. The building served as the East <br /> Lexington Branch Library until August 2007 when a water pipe burst, causing the building to be closed to the public. In 2009 <br /> plans are currently underway to utilize the building as a Lexington Heritage Center. <br /> Continuation sheet 1 <br />