Area P — Curve Street

Located to the east of Massachusetts Avenue in East Lexington, Curve Street is an intimately-scaled, U-shaped street lined by about a dozen houses constructed primarily in the late 19th century. Originally called Flint Street, it is notable as the second subdivision laid out in Lexington (after the first subdivision at Muzzey Street, laid out in 1850).

3 Curve Street
3 Curve Street

The land was originally part of the Bowman Tavern property (837 Massachusetts Avenue, below) and was first divided into house lots in 1855 by Nathaniel Flint.

837 Massachusetts Avenue
837 Massachusetts Avenue

The earliest houses built on the street are located at 15, 19, 25 and 27 and were all located adjacent to the railroad. Historically the houses on Curve Street were home to working class residents.

15 Curve Street
15 Curve Street

19 Curve Street
19 Curve Street

A number of houses in the neighborhood, including four gablefront Queen Anne cottages on the west side of the street (below), were constructed by the East Lexington Finance Club.

10-12-14-16 Curve Street
10, 12, 14, 16 Curve Street

The club was formed in 1892 and its twenty-five members shared an interest in improving the town as well as sharing investment knowledge for personal gain. Most of the club’s members were businessmen residing in the affluent Meriam and Munroe Hill neighborhoods. In 1895 Messrs. Phillips & Peterson were building several houses for the Finance Club on Curve Street. Irving Locke did the mason work.

10, 12, 14, 16 Curve Street
10, 12, 14, 16 Curve Street

The houses were described as “small but convenient, having furnace and bathroom”. Another house was built by a Mr. Johnson. In 1909 the Club bought a house from I. Palmer. This may have been the grain building Palmer moved to the street in 1903 and converted to two tenements. At its height in 1920, the East Lexington Finance Club owned seven houses on the street.

5-7 Curve Street
5-7 Curve Street

The oldest house on the street is that at 5-7 Curve Street (above) which was constructed prior to 1800. It was moved to its present location in the 1920s from around the corner (present site of 789 Massachusetts Avenue). Other houses on the street include modest examples of the Greek Revival, Italianate and French Second Empire styles.

11 Curve Street
11 Curve Street