North Avenue Area

The North Avenue Area was documented by the Weston Historical Commission in 1994 and includes the following properties:
  • 75, 77, 81, 81A, 83, 85, and 87 Brook Road
  • 248 [demolished], 256, 260, 263, 266, 269-71 [demolished], 270, 272, 273, 276, 277, 284, 290, 293, 297, and 306 North Avenue
  • 108, 126-128 and 130-134 Viles Street
The properties on Brook Road and Viles Street were later included in the National Register of Historic Places as part the Kendal Green Historic District.

For the complete 1994 area form including data sheets and photographs, please view the North Avenue Area Form.
A photograph of the North Avenue Area from the mid-1890s
About the Area
The North Avenue Area is one of several places along this early main road where historic resources are concentrated (see also Kendal Green Area). The area retains much of the character of a small 19th century settlement despite traffic from the well-travelled road and the intrusion of a modern convenience store and gas station. Included within the area are 24 houses, 14 on North Avenue, 3 on Viles Street, and 7 on Brook Road. Several are double houses, a housing type not common in Weston.

The streetscape includes numerous outbuildings including barns, early 20th century 1-car garages, and several 19th century shops now converted to storage uses. Lots are generally small, and setbacks range between 20 and 40 feet. The small lots and staggered setbacks give the area its “village” appearance. Mature trees, stone walls and rail fences also contribute to the streetscape.

Architectural Styles
The houses, which range in date from 1821 to 1947, are all of 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 story frame construction and exemplify a range of styles including Federal, Greek Revival, Italianate, Queen Anne and Colonial Revival. They are generally simple versions of these styles, although the area does include several well-detailed Queen Anne houses.

The most typical form of house is oriented with gable end to the street and has a front porch. Houses are well-maintained but vary in the degree to which original architectural features have been preserved. Several now have asbestos shingles or aluminum siding. In general, the area has a cohesive quality because most of the houses were built within a relatively short time span, from 1821 to about 1895, as housing for small farmers, factory workers or small businessmen; and few of the original houses have been demolished.

Weston Dog Ranch
The largest property in the area is the 8.6 acre “Weston Dog Ranch” at the corner of North Avenue and Viles Street. [demolished] Located here, set apart from other houses, is a late 19th century house and barn surrounded by evergreens. The house is set back about 250 feet from the street, and much of the rest of the property is flat, low-lying fields partly screened from the street by a deciduous border. This property has been approved for subdivision into 10 house lots, with a requirement that a “perimeter buffer” of evergreens and other trees be planted along Viles and North Avenue.

The other major open space is a 2.6-acre town recreation area including a baseball field and basketball court, located along Viles Street south of the railroad tracks and brook. Facing onto the baseball field is a row of 7 late 19th century workers’ houses on Brook Road. Behind these houses, the grade rises as the topography changes to a series of low hills.

Natural & Man-Made Area Features

Important natural and man-made features have shaped the appearance of the area. This part of North Avenue passes between Cat Rock Hill and Stony Brook, and the land slopes downward from a high on the north side of the street to a low point along the brook.

Along the north side of North Avenue, some of the houses have flat back yards extending a few hundred feet back, while behind other houses nearer to the intersection of Viles, the grade rises precipitously. Houses on the south side of the road are sandwiched between North Avenue and Stony Brook.

Behind #248 North Avenue, Stony Brook crosses under the tracks of the Boston and Maine Railroad (Fitchburg Division) and is joined almost immediately by Cherry Brook. The combined waterway, which retains the name Stony Brook, runs through low-lying marshlands screened by a natural border of deciduous trees which grows at the edge of the wetlands. The brook crosses under Viles Street just south of the railroad tracks.
Garfield Homestead
The oldest house in the North Avenue area is the Garfield Homestead (277 North Avenue, ca.1821, Map #4, MHC 237), a 2 1/2 story Federal house with a side gable and symmetrical 5-bay front measuring 33 feet across. The house is one of less than 30 Federal period houses in Weston and is critical to the streetscape. The center entrance is framed by engaged pilasters and a simple entablature. Windows have simple lintels and 6/6 sash with shutters. The clapboard house has a box cornice, raking molding and returns on the gable end, and 2 brick chimneys at the ridge at each side. A modern 2-car garage of compatible design projects east from the main block and a modern 1-story glassed sun porch extends to the west.
The Garfield House at 277 North Avenue is the oldest in the North Avenue Area
The present owner, Mrs. C. V. Cooke, has written the following history of alterations: “The original foundation is intact and measures approximately 18 feet 9 inches by 28 feet... The house was originally a saltbox, a duplicate of the Whitney Tavern (171 North Ave). It is understood that Mrs. Daniel Garfield did extensive remodeling (Daniel Garfield occupied the house between 1859 and 1904), raising the roof, removing the large central chimney…and adding 6 feet to the north side and 10 feet to the back…” An early 20th century photograph shows an Italianate hood over an Italianate-style front door; these were replaced by the present Federal style elements. The foundation of an early shop also dating from 1821 can still be seen on the northeast side of the house.

Ebenezer Tucker House
In the late 1830’s, the 2 1/2 story Ebenezer Tucker House (306 North Avenue, 1838, Map #7, MHC 304) was constructed in the Greek Revival style, with a 3-bay gable front and offset right entrance with sidelights typical of the period. The house has wide overhanging eaves which were enhanced with decorative paired brackets sometime before 1876, giving the house its present Italianate appearance. Corner pilasters and projecting lintels shown in an 1876 photo have been removed or obscured when the house was aluminum/vinyl sided. The house has 6/6 windows and a 1-story rear ell which dates to the 19th century but has been modernized.

George Garfield House
A few years later, about 1843, the George Garfield House (272 North Avenue, ca.1843, Map #11) was constructed. This may be the only house in Weston that would be considered Gothic Revival in style. The clapboard house is 1 1/2 stories with the 1-bay gable end facing the street and a symmetrical 5-bay facade facing east.

The original Greek Revival main block was altered with the addition of 2 peaked wall gables on the east facade, giving it a Gothic spirit. The center entrance is flanked by sidelights and has a cornice over the door supported on small brackets. The house has 2/2 windows with shutters and a bay window with paired bracketed cornice located on the gable end. To the rear is a 1-story ell and attached 1-car garage.
Hiram Garfield Homestead
The next house to be built in this “village” cluster along North Avenue was the Hiram Garfield Homestead (269 - 271 North Avenue, ca.1859 - 1861 with 1887 addition, Map #2) [demolished], constructed with gable front to the street. This is a well-proportioned example of a simple Italianate house that harmonizes with the streetscape. The 2 1/2 story house is L-shaped, with a 3 by 3 bay main block and a 4 by 2 bay east wing. The front door is located offset left on the gable front and is flanked by sidelights. The house has 2/2 windows and is aluminum or vinyl sided. The principal architectural element of the simple house is a 3-bay porch on the gable front, with decorative squared porch posts. The addition was built in 1887 and reflects later Queen Anne influences in the patterned glass window at the top half of the secondary entrance door, which is located in the 2nd bay of the ell and is sheltered by a simple entrance porch. This property includes a detached 2-car garage.
269-271 North Avenue was destroyed by fire in 2007
Small Homestead
In the 1860s, the house now known as the “Weston Dog Ranch” was built as the Small Homestead (248 North Avenue, ca.1864, Map #16) [demolished]. This house is set apart from the others and is set back about 250 feet compared to an average of under 50 feet. The 2 1/2 story house, oriented with its 2-bay gable end to the street, is aluminum sided and has additions and alterations, including an enclosed porch across the front and a 2-bay, 2-story east wing with flat roof. A large 1 1/2 story barn with cupola is located to the northwest of the main house (Map #17). Also on the property are attached dog kennels and a detached 2-car garage.

The most distinctive feature of the Weston Dog Ranch property is the metal archway located at the top of the driveway on North Avenue.(Map #29, MHC 913, see inventory form) The Tudor arch is formed from a flat metal sheet cut out with shapes of dogs at the sides and birds along the top of the arch, with a central cartouche. Acting as a finial is a metal panel with the words “Weston Dog Ranch.” The archway is painted green and set into concrete pedestal bases. The arch was created by Alfred A. Lederhos, probably in the mid- 1920’s. Lederhos also made a metal gazebo on the property.

Samuel Patch Jr. House
The 1 1/2 story, wood-shingled Samuel Patch Jr. House (263 North Avenue, ca. 1875, possibly altered ca.1890 and ca.1910, Map #1) is Colonial Revival in style, with a front-facing gambrel roof with cross gambrel. The 3-bay gambrel end which faces the street features a bay window. The house has a 2-bay east wing with gambrel roof set back from the main block, and an ell extending back from the east wing.Windows are 6/6.
Map and deed evidence and an 1895 photograph suggests that the house began in the mid-1870s with a gable-ended portion and rear ell located where the east wing and rear ell are today. What is now the main block of the house was probably added in the late 19th century, as the gambrel roof is more typical of the later Shingle and Colonial Revival styles. The gambrel-roofed main block appears in an 1895 photograph, along with what was probably the original section. Still later, perhaps in the early 20th century, the earliest gabled portion of the house was removed or rebuilt with a larger cross gambrel roof.

 Also on the property, set back on the east side, is a small 1-story, 3-bay gable-roofed outbuilding with cupola that was originally built as a shop (Map #1A) The cupola does not appear in the 1895 photo. A gambrel-roofed barn once located on the rise behind the house burned in the 1930s.
The Samuel Patch Jr. House at 263 North Avenue
Hastings Organ Factory Houses
In the late 1880s and 1890s, construction activity increased in the area with the building of the Hastings Organ Factory, located just outside the area on the east side of Viles Street at the railroad crossing. Even before the factory operation moved to Weston in 1889, owner Francis H. Hastings built the 2 double cottages at 130-134 and 126-128 Viles Street (1887, Map #18 and 19, MHC #184 and 185).

Factory worker housing is unusual in Weston, and this is one of 4 groups of organ factory houses. (see MHC forms for 75-87 Brook Road, 225-231 North Avenue, 17-23 Lexington Street). The Viles Street houses are 2 1/2 story, 6 X 3 bays and are constructed on high fieldstone foundations which compensate for the changes in grade. The houses are oriented with the gable to the side, and the roofline on the front facade is broken by a 2-bay front wall gable. The 2 entrances, located offset left and right, are sheltered with hoods supported on heavy brackets with incised decoration suggestive of Queen Anne influence. The houses have 6/1 windows and original front doors at #130-134. Both houses are aluminum sided. #130 Viles has a detached 1-car garage.

256 North Avenue

In 1889, local resident Alfred Garfield built the house at 256 North Avenue (Map #15) for rental purposes. This simple 2-story Colonial Revival house has a 2 by 2 bay main block and a 2 by 2 bay east wing. The hipped-roof structure is set on a high fieldstone foundation which accommodates the downward slope of the lot. The exterior is covered with wood clapboards, and the entrance is located offset left on the main block, with a bay window at right.

Gilson House
That same year, the Gilson House (260 North Avenue., 1890, Map #14) was built as organ factory worker housing. The 2 1/2 story house, a simple version of the Queen Anne, is 3 by 3 bays with gable front to the street. Now covered with asbestos shingles, the house retains its 3-bay hip-roofed porch with chamfered porch posts and a simple railing and spindle screen. Windows are 6/2. On the property are 2 outbuildings, a 1-car garage and a small 1 1/2 story, gable-front clapboard structure, 1 by 2 bays on a high fieldstone foundation, which may have been built as a shop (Map #14A, MHC 399).

Guthrie House

The 2 1/2 story Guthrie House (293 North Avenue., 1891, Map #5) was also built by an organ factory employee in a slightly more detailed version of the Queen Anne style. The rectangular 3 by 2 bay clapboard house sits on a high fieldstone foundation with its gable front to the street. The house has an offset-left entrance and 3-bay hip-roofed porch with turned posts. A patterned railing which appears in 1970s photographs has been removed. A 2-story bay window with cap is located on the 1st bay of the east facade. The house has 1/1 windows. A small outbuilding is located at the rear of the property.
Gowell House
Shortly thereafter, the Gowell House (266 North Avenue, ca.1893, Map #13) was built by a factory employee. The 2 1/2 story, shingled structure is 4 by 3 bays with a 4 by 3 bay porch which wraps around most of the east side. The porch, said to have been added later, has patterned railing and Doric columns which give the house its Colonial Revival appearance. Windows are 6/6. The house has a modern 1-story east addition and 2-car garage.

The Gowell House at 266 North Avenue
297 North Avenue is a handsome example of the Queen Anne style
Stevens House
The most elaborate Queen Anne house built in the North Avenue area during this period, and one of the best examples in Weston of its type, is the Stevens House (297 North Avenue., ca.1892-6, Map #6) This house is one of the best detailed of Queen Anne houses of this type in Weston. The 2 1/2 story, 2 by 3 bay gable front house features a 2 by 4 bay porch which wraps around the west side and has decorative squared porch posts, a geometrical-patterned railing, a spindle screen, and latticework under the porch. A 2-story bay located offset right on the front facade terminates in a secondary gable at the roofline, echoing the main gable. Corners under the secondary gable are highlighted with cut-out brackets.
A combination of clapboards and patterned shingles creates additional visual interest. Fishscale shingles are used between the 2 stories of the bay, and 2 other patterns are used in the main and secondary gables. A similar 2-story bay and secondary gable with cut-out brackets is located on the east facade. The bargeboards of all the gables are ornamented with a repeating parallel line pattern. The house sits on a high fieldstone foundation.

Windows are generally 2/1 with shutters. Large windows in the bay at the 1st and 2nd stories have a stained glass border around the upper sash. Also on the property is a matching 1-story, 1-vehicle garage.
Factory Worker Housing
The 7 houses on Brook Road (75, 77, 81, 81A, 83, 85, 87 Brook Road, ca.1893-95, Map #21-28, MHC # 189-195) were the next to be built in the North Avenue area and were also constructed as factory worker housing with the exception of #81, which was purchased in 1895 for that use. Except for #81A, these houses are all sited with the gable facing the street, with a uniform setback of about 40 feet.

87 Brook Road (Map #21), the 1st in the row beginning at the corner of Viles Street, is 2 stories, 2 by 2 bays with a wrap around porch. This house has no architectural elements to define its style but all the houses are basically Queen Anne in form.

85 Brook Road (Map #22) is also 2 stories and 2 by 2 bays and has a front porch which is half enclosed and half open with a simple spindle screen. A 1-car garage is located on the property.

83 Brook Road (Map #23) is a 2-story, 2 by 2 bay house with a gambrel roof suggesting Colonial Revival influences. Like #85, the house has a front porch which is half enclosed and half open with a spindle screen.

81A Brook Road (Map #25) is set back behind #81 and is a 1 1/2 story, 3-bay gable front structure with no style and no ornamentation.
81 Brook Road
81 Brook Road (Map #24), the most elaborate of the Brook Road houses and one of the best of its type in Weston, is 2 1/2 stories, 3 by 2 bays, with a decorative front porch with geometrical patterned railing and scalloped molding along the top edge between the turned porch posts. The house has wide eaves with exposed rafters. In the gable peaks at the front and intersecting gable peak on the west side are decorative trusses.

77 Brook Road
77 Brook Road (Map #26) is a 2 1/2 story Queen Anne with 1-story porch with turned posts. This property has a narrow 1 1/2 story barn (Map #27) 1 by 2 bays with the door in the gable end. The clapboard barn has a cupola.
A house with blue shutters at 81 Brook Road
75 Brook Road
75 Brook Road (Map #28) is a 2-story, 2 bay clapboard house and is the only Brook Road house to have a side wing, which extends 4 bays to the west and has a separate front entrance, suggesting that the house may have been built as a double house. The house has a front porch with is half enclosed and half open, similar to the arrangement on #85 and #83.

The rest of Brook Road was developed in the 20th century with Colonial Revival and ranch houses not included in this area form.

Colonial Revival Style Houses
In 1903, North Avenue was widened, putting the residences closer to the road. Prior to this, most houses were enclosed with a fence. The early 20th century Colonial Revival style is represented in the North Avenue area by 2 houses, at 276 North Avenue and 273 North Avenue.

276 North Avenue
276 North Avenue (1927 with 1960’s addition, Map #10) is a 2-story, 4-bay clapboard house with a 3-bay wing to the west, an attached 1-story garage, and a rear 1-story screened porch. The roofline combines a hipped portion with a secondary wall gable. The house has a typical Colonial Revival entrance porch with triangular pediment supported on Doric columns. Windows are 6/1.

273 North Avenue

273 North Avenue (1930, Map #3) is a 1 1/2 stories, 3 bay Colonial Revival house with a main block, set gable front to the street, and a rear ell. Pent eaves divide the 1st story from the gable above. A triangular pediment above the door in the center bay breaks the pent eave to provide added visual interest. This pediment is supported on console brackets. The shingled house has 6/6 windows with shutters and dormers on either side of the roof. On the property is a small storage shed and a 2-car garage.

270 North Avenue

270 North Avenue (1947, Map #12) is a small 3-bay house, only 924 square feet, with a side gable and a center entrance.

Most Recent Structures

The most recent structures in the North Avenue area are the ranch house at #108 Viles, the Kendal Green Market at 284 North Avenue (ca.1980, Map #9) and the Kendal Green Service Center gas station at 290 North Avenue ( Map #8). The former is a small one-story brick convenience store with parking lot in front.  The market and gas station are the only modern structures in the area.  In drawing the boundaries of the area, ranch houses from the 1950s and1970s at 241-257 and 307-319 North Avenue have been omitted.

North Avenue Area Map
North Avenue Area map