Present and Original Physical Appearance

The Boston Post Road District in Weston runs east to west for 3 1/2 miles from the Waltham line to the Wayland line, dividing the town into two nearly equal parts. The district encompasses the historic town center of Weston, as well as the best preserved section of the state’s major 18th century east-west connector. Exhibiting residential, commercial, and public buildings that date from the 18th through 20th centuries, the district retains a rural atmosphere. Totaling approximately 760 acres in size, the Boston Post Road District contains 170 major buildings and many barns and outbuildings.

Upon entering Weston from the east on the Post Road, the landscape is dominated by the interchang ramps for Route 128 (not included). Past this, the gently curving Post Road becomes a tree-shaded highway with fine homes well spaced and set back from the street. On either side of the road the land is gently roling, with a slight drop-off on the north to the valley of Three Mile Brook. Approximately 1/2 mile westward into the district, the roadway splits to include Crescent Street (the old Post Road) and an 1855 by-pass which is currently termed the Post Road. In the middle third of the district, a 1931 by-pass circumvents the center of town in a southerly direction. Upon leaving Weston on the west, the character of the road changes dramatically to commercial strip development.

At either end, the Boston Post Road District is residential in character. Its rural atmosphere is perhaps more pronounced in the western section. In the middle (north of the 1931 by-pass) is Weston’s town center, which is dominated by the Weston Town House and extensive Town Green. The center consists of two other public buildings, an 18th century tavern, three churches, a few one- and two-story commercial buildings, and several residences converted to business use.

The significance of the Boston Post Road arose in prehistoric times, when the main native trail from the Boston basin to the Connecticut River Valley followed this axis. As a colonial period highway, the Post Road continued as a primary east-west connector and was the focus of settlement; high-style Georgian features distinguish this era of building. During the early 19th century, limited new construction and remodelling occurred on the Post Road. The late 19th and early 20th centuries were generally even less active, although almost all of the area’s public buildings — executed in the late Victorian and Colonial Revival styles– date from this period.

The district thus contains examples of architecture extending over a period of 250 years. Within the district are public buildings, residences, commercial buildings, barns, stables, outbuildings, two schools, two 1850s school buildings converted into residences, five churches, a former church that is now a residence, four parks, two old cemeteries, and two 18th century taverns.Most structures are 2 to 2 1/2 stories in height and of wood frame construction. In general, buildings and grounds are well preserved and well maintained. The district has no out-of-scale intrusions. Recent buildings are, for the most part, one- or two-story residences of Colonial or Georgian Revival styles which harmonize with the historic structures. 

The Georgian style in the Post Road District is typically represented in the two-story, five-bay structure with gable, hip, or gambreled roof, interior chimneys, and a rear ell. The Golden Ball Tavern, 1768, [662 Boston Post Rd] is probably the district’s best example of this style; listed in the Register in 1972, the building has a double hip roof, a classically framed doorway with fluted pilasters and transom, and 12/12 sash windows. More typical designs in this style include the . . .  Josiah Smith Tavern, 1757 [358 Boston Post Rd] and the Artemus Ward House, 1785   [543 Boston Post Rd].

Federal period buildings along the Post Road are usually two stories high and five bays long, with a gable roof, interior chimneys, and a rear ell. Decorative details are generally confined to the entrances, featuring attenuated classical enframements and occasional fanlights. The district’s high-style standard for the period is the [Lemuel Jones-Jeptha Stearns House, 177 Boston Post Rd. The original 18th century structure was remodelled into this three-story, hip-roof house, which displays a pedimented two-story portico and corner pilasters.] The district is also notable for its non-residential structures of the period: the Alpheus Bigelow Jr. Law Office [c. 1827, 3 Applecrest Rd] and the Isaac Fiske Law Office, c. 1805 [626 Boston Post Rd], both one-story structures with hip roofs. Typical buildings of the period include the Abraham Hews House, 1766/1824 [510 Boston Post Rd], the Alpheus Bigelow Jr. House, 1827  [863 Boston Post Rd], and the [Luther Harrington House, 1812, 21 Crescent St].

The Post Road’s Greek Revival style is characterized by two-story buildings with gable roofs, about evenly divided between traditional five-bay, center entrance facades and the more up-to-date three-bay, front gable designs. Columned porches, pilasters, and rear ells are also popular. Representative examples include the [Samuel H. F. Bingham House, c. 1839, 39 Crescent St],  John Paradee House, [c. 1852-1856, 27 School St] , Horatio N. Fiske House, c. 1839, 11 Rolling Lane],  and Alfred Hobbs House, [c. 1848, 820 Boston Post Rd].

The Italianate style is sparsely represented and traditional in design, closely related to the area’s Greek Revival format. The few early examples here are generally 2 1/2 stories high with an end-gable roof, center entrance, paired eaves brackets, and corner pilasters. The best surviving designs are the Nathaniel Sibley House, 1854  [104 Boston Post Rd], Dr. Otis Hunt House, [c. 1851, 338 Boston Post Rd], and George Smith House, 1853, [27 School St].Later Victorian styles are increasingly restrained. Several large, but plain Queen Anne and Stick style houses and a modest Mansard cottage reveal a generally inactive building period.

On the other hand, historical revival styles are prevalent in the Post Road district. These multifarious buildings are generally 2 and 2 1/2 stories in height, with hip or ridge roofs, often an academic entrance, and a plethora of wings, porches, pavilions, and dormers. Wood shingles are frequently used for wall sheathing. Eight public buildings demonstrate a variety of academic designs from medieval to Colonial Revival. All of these are constructed of masonry.   Domestic structures, largely following Colonial Revival influences, range from the compact dignity of the Albert Horatio Hews House, 1880 [Stick style with Colonial Revival porch, 699 Boston Post Rd] to the exuberant Mrs. Francis Sparhawk Sears House, 1919  [293 Boston Post Rd].