Area W – Allen Street

In the 17th and 18th centuries this quiet back street was part of the main route from Lexington to Boston (as was “Ricci’s Lane” – see Area V and Old Shade Street – see Area Z).  Although the Allen Street part of this route was not officially laid out until 1703, there are references as early as 1648 to the “path” to Watertown.

In the late 18th and early 19th century bridges were built across the Charles River allowing for more direct access to the Boston peninsula, thus the earlier roadway became a less direct and thus, less important, route to Boston.  It did however continue to be one of the main roads between Lexington and Waltham until Waltham Street was laid out sometime between 1830 and 1852. 

Allen Street - Lexington, MA

Today, Allen Street remains a narrow, winding road bordered by stone walls.  Of the two dozen houses on the street, all but four were constructed after World War II and most were built in the late 1960s and early 1970s.  A c.1750 house which formerly stood at 29 Allen Street was moved to 50 Kendall Road in the 1980s to make way for a new house.  Next door, the Tuttle-Carroll House at 31 Allen Street was built in 1806 by David Tuttle and was originally a tiny, two-bay wide, one bay-deep Federal farmhouse with a large central chimney but has seen several additions over the years. 

Photo 2 - Allen Street

The Munroe-Roberts-Frost House at 56 Allen Street is one of five Federal, brick-ended houses in South Lexington. 

Photo 3 - Allen Sreet
56 Allen Street

The third historic house remaining on the street is 36 Allen Street, an interesting Colonial Revival-style dwelling with an elaborate Federal-style frontispiece with fanlight. 

Photo 4 - Allen Street
36 Allen Street

Allen Street appears to have been named for Galen Allen (1802-1864) who served as a selectman and operated a farm here for many years including the land that is now 29 Allen Street.