Baptist Church, H. H. Richardson, Newton, sprouting trees, Marash Girl

Henry Hobson Richardson in Newton

Historical Architecture Buildings in Newton by H. H. Richardson

Henry Hobson Richardson (September 29, 1838 – April 27, 1886) was a prominent American architect who designed buildings in AlbanyBostonBuffaloChicagoPittsburgh, and other cities. The style he popularized is named for him: Richardsonian Romanesque. Along with Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright, Richardson is one of “the recognized trinity of American architecture”.

He’s the Frank Lloyd Wright of Newton!

Interested in learning more about H. H. Richardson? Click on image of any of these books.

H. H. Richardson also did a fair number of buildings in Newton and many still remain intact! One element that defines Richardson’s style is the use of two colored rough hewn stone. He uses this architectural “vocabulary” in all his buildings yet despite the heaviness and solidity of the stonework, his buildings have grace and lightness from his abundant use of arches. It’s Ancient Egypt Pyramids Meets Roman Arches!

Trinity Church, H. H. Richardson, Trinity Church, Copley Square, Boston. This is NOT in Boston but is considered his finest work. You can see how he developed his architectural “vocabulary” from earlier projects. The two different tones of stone, repeated arches supported by pillars, and surprisingly gracefulness and lightless for a structure built of stone.

H. H. Richardson, Newton, churchBaptist Church, Newton Corner, Built 1884

Richardson Romanesque 

Immanuel Baptist Church
Newton, MA

Marash Girl is concerned that it’s now sprouting trees.

Baptist Church, H. H. Richardson, Newton, sprouting trees, Marash Girl

H. H. Richardson designed all the Newton Green Line T stations but only two have survived. The Newton Centre station has recently been converted to a very successful diner.

The Newton Railroad Stations Historic District in Newton, Massachusetts is composed of three geographically separate historic railroad stations on the old Boston and Albany Railroad‘s Riverside or Highland Branch, which is today’s MBTA Green Line “D” Branch. It also includes the baggage and express building next to one of the stations. These four buildings are the only survivors of a dozen or more Newton railroad stations and ancillary buildings built in the 1880s which were designed by noted architect Henry Hobson Richardson in collaboration with famous landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. None of the Olmsted landscaping has survived. Wikipedia

H H Richardson, Newton Centre Train StationH. H. Richardson, architect, Newton, Newton Highlands T Stop

The Newton Highlands station is now commercial building space.

First Baptist Church in Newton Centre is not designed by H. H. Richardson, but his style is emulated by John Lyman Faxon.

Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the building was designed by the young Boston architect John Lyman Faxon (1815-1918) and it was completed in 1888. It was completed in the Late Victorian era, one of the most significant periods of American architecture now recognized as unique and indigenous to the United States. The church has since resisted temptations of succeeding generations to alter the building to more current styles, so it remains a fine, intact, handsome example of uniquely American building.

The building exhibits fine examples of late 19th Century American stained glass, unique in that they were all in place at the completion of the building. Presumably mostly the work of Donald McDonald, a leading Boston studio, they are significant in utilizing then-new opalescent glass and are largely influenced by the work of LaFarge and Tiffany.

Faxon uses the same vernacular as H. H. Richarson — the use of two colored stone, arches, and graceful pillars under the arches. H. H. Richardson would never have juxtaposed the bell tower so awkwardly off the side of the main building though. And the patterns on the front entrance are more Arts and Crafts than Richardsonian Romanesque. Perhaps imitation is a sincere form of flattery but copying never stands the test of time. John Lyman Faxon’s work is only knows as an inferior version of H. H. Richardson. He would have been better off to come up with his own signature style.

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  1. […] were wonderful H. H. Richardson buildings near the last U.Fund Dreams Tour that I went to at the Children’s Museum of […]

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