Area AC - Lexington Green Historic District

The Lexington Green Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. It consists of thirteen properties surrounding the Lexington Battle Green (the Green itself is not included in this National Register District but is a National Historic Landmark - see Area AG). The properties are located on Massachusetts Avenue, Bedford Street and Harrington Road. The area is also part of a local historic district (see Area B).

First Parish Church
First Parish Church and 5 Harrington Road

Three of the buildings in the district were witnesses to the encounter between the patriot Minute Men and the British troops that took place on the Green on April 19, 1775. All three have been altered by restoration in the 20th century. The present appearance of the Jonathan Harrington House at 1 Harrington Road results largely from owner Leroy Brown's alterations in 1910. At that time the center chimney was removed and a more elaborate door surround was introduced. The renovations of this Colonial relic were a precipitating factor in early preservationist William Sumner Appleton's founding of the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities in 1910. A few years later, in 1915, Leroy Brown also altered the Marrett and Nathan Munroe House at 1906 Massachusetts Avenue.

Doorwy at 1 Harrington Road
Doorway, 1 Harrington Road

The Buckman Tavern at 1 Bedford Street was begun about 1710 and was later enlarged and remodeled. It was here that several dozen Minute Men awaited the arrival of the British the night of April 18, 1775. Scholarly restoration of the building has occurred at several points in the 20th century. In light of its historic significance, the Buckman Tavern is also a National Historic Landmark and has been documented by the Historic American Buildings Survey.

Buckman Tavern at 1 Bedford Road
Buckman Tavern, 1 Bedford Road

Constructed in 1847 according to designs by Isaac Melvin, the First Parish Church is an impressive Classical Revival building located at the northwest corner of the Green. The building replaces an earlier structure destroyed by fire in 1846. All three previous meetinghouses were constructed on the Green. Behind the First Parish Church is the Old Burying Ground which dates back to 1690.

First Parish Church, 7 Harrington Road
First Parish Church, 7 Harrington Road

Hancock Church, 1912 Mass. Ave.
Hancock Church, 1912 Massachusetts Avenue

The Hancock Congregational Church was built opposite the Green in 1893, according to designs by Boston architects Lewis and Paine. The asymmetrical fieldstone building incorporates a square tower with porte cochere and various gables and projections. The addition at the west end of the building dates to 1959.

Masonic Temple at 1 Hancock Street
Masonic Temple, 1 Hancock Street

The building at 1 Hancock Street 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 has served as a Masonic Temple since 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.

 

Garrity House, 9 Hancock Street

Garrity House, 9 Hancock Street

The remaining buildings in the District consist of residential structures constructed between c.1790 and c.1850. The Nathaniel Harrington House at 1888 Massachusetts Avenue is believed to have been the first all-brick house constructed in Lexington. Its exact date of construction is not known and estimates range from about 1790 to the more likely c.1820. The six-over-six windows and doorway are capped by granite lintels. In 1874 the original hip roof was replaced by a mansard although the roof was later restored to its original appearance in 1926 by William Roger Greeley.

1888 Massachusetts Avenue

1888 Massachusetts Avenue

Other dwellings in the district are representative of the Greek Revival (1932 Massachusetts Avenue and 1900 Massachusetts Avenue) and the Italianate (1894 Massachusetts Avenue) styles.

1900 Massachusetts Avenue
1900 Massachusetts Avenue

Small map of Lexington Green his