Area B – Battle Green

The Battle Green is Lexington’s historic town common and is nationally significant as the site of the first armed encounter between Colonials and British troops on April 19, 1775.  This area form covers the western half of the Battle Green Local Historic District which was established in 1956 (the Central Business District, Area A, is the eastern half of the District).  Area B includes properties on Massachusetts Avenue from Hastings Road to Clarke Street/Meriam Street; Harrington Road and Bedford Street from its beginning at the Green to the fire station at Camellia Place.  Many resources in the vicinity of the Battle Green have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places individually and in district. The Buckman Tavern and Lexington Green have both been named National Historic Landmarks.

Battle Green Marker
Flags along the Battle Green
Church bordering the Battle Green
View of First Parish Church from across green.

The Green itself dates to 1711 when the town purchased the land, near the meetinghouse, from Benjamin Muzzey for a public common.  With the exception of several churches, the area is primarily residential and contains several structures which stood at the time of the battle including the Buckman Tavern and the Jonathan Harrington House.  Other properties of particular interest include the First Parish Church and the Old Burying Ground.  On March 1, 1917 owners of private property around the Common voluntarily restricted their properties to their “existing use” for 99 years. 

Jonathan Harington House, 1 Harrington Road
This area includes a number of monuments commemorating Lexington’s contribution to American Liberty.  These include the 1799 Revolutionary Monument on the Common or Battle Green, the nation’s oldest Revolutionary War memorial and the gravesite of those colonists slain in the Battle of Lexington, the Old Belfry Reproduction on Clarke Street, Henry Hudson Kitson’s 1898 Minuteman Statue of Captain Parker and Bashka Paeff’s 1949 relief depicting the Minute Men at the Battle of Lexington. The Minuteman Mionument
 
Minute Man Statue
Masonic building around the Battle Green
1 Hancock Street

The building at 1 Hancock Street (above) was originally constructed in 1822 as the Lexington Academy and in 1839 was the birthplace of the first normal (teacher training) school in the nation.  It was renovated for use as a Masonic Temple, a use it still serves, in 1917.  The Garrity House at 9 Hancock Street is a vernacular structure that was once part of a prosperous twelve-building farm complex known as the Meriam Farm.  It housed the local chapter of the American Red Cross from 1958 to 1978.

Historic house  - Lexington, MA
9 Hancock Street

This section of Massachusetts Avenue includes a number of impressive homes in the Federal, Greek Revival, Italianate, French Second Empire, Queen Anne, Shingle and Colonial Revival styles. 

An historic section of Massachusetts Avenue in Lexington
1985, 1963 Massachusetts Avenue

The Hancock Congregational Church was built opposite the Green in 1893, according to designs by architects Lewis and Paine.  The asymmetrical fieldstone building incorporates a square tower with porte cochere and various gables and projections.  A new St. Brigid’s Roman Catholic Church was constructed in 1956 at 1985 Massachusetts Avenue according to designs by architect Chester F. Wright.  The design was reportedly based on Harvard’s Memorial Chapel.

Hancock Congregational Church - adjacent to Battle Green
Hancock Church, 1912 Massachusetts Avenue

Bedford Street was constructed in 1806 from the Green to North Hancock Street.  Houses along this portion of the road range in construction date from the early 19th to the early 20th century and include examples of worker housing and single family dwellings.  The Isaac Mulliken House at 26 Bedford Street was moved from 2001 Massachusetts Avenue in the 1890s.  In addition to side-gabled and gablefront houses, there are a number of hip-roofed Colonial Revival/Four Square dwellings dating to the early 20th century.  The brick Colonial Revival Fire Department building at 45 Bedford Street was constructed in 1947 and was designed by architects Leland & Larsen.

Door pediment on house
Gable front house
26 Bedford Street
12 Bedford Street
   
Fire station on Massachusetts Avenue, Lexington
Fire Station, 45 Bedford Street