Architectural Description

The Warren Avenue Area is located in the center of Weston just off Boston Post Road, the main east-west route through the town. The area developed at the turn of the 20th century as a neighborhood of modest working class houses along Warren Avenue, Warren Lane and Warren Place, three dead-end streets just south of the train tracks of the now-abandoned Central Massachuetts (later Boston & Maine) Railroad. Cherry Brook, a tributary of the Charles River, flows through the low-lying area, which is partly located in the Flood Plain Protection Zone. The small pond known as Foote’s Pond was created by damming the stream to raise the water level. The Warren Avenue Area is largely residential. The 30 houses were built between 1898 and 1986, with 25 of these dating before 1945. Also within the area is the 1896 brick pumping/generating station built by the fledgling Weston Water Company and Weston Electric Light Company, as well as commercial buildings of varying types and ages owned by B. L. Ogilvie & Sons, a large local hardware and building supply company headquartered on Warren Avenue.

Houses are of frame construction, with shingle or clapboard exteriors, in simple versions of the late Queen Anne and Colonial Revival styles along with an occasional Tudor or Bungalow. A few houses are two-family residences. Houses are generally in good condition but many have lost original architectural features. Several have asbestos shingle or aluminum/vinyl siding. There is little uniformity in the size of lots or in the size, massing and siting of houses. Lot sizes range from one-fifth of an acre to more than four acres, with most under one acre. Many mature trees are scattered throughout the area but in general the lots are cleared rather than wooded, with minimal landscape treatment. In recent years, the quiet, convenient location and availability of relatively inexpensive houses has attracted new residents who have remodeled and occasionally restored the area’s early 20th century housing stock.

The 1875 and 1889 atlases of Middlesex County show nothing in the Warren Avenue Area– no roads, no houses, no outbuildings, no commercial structures. The first building appears to have been the Weston Water Company/ Weston Electric Company at 71 Warren Avenue (1896, MHC 218, Map #15), a simple, utilitarian 1 1/2 story brick and frame structure. The building is still owned by the town and used by the water department. The exterior has been largely preserved and the interior features beaded boarding, heavy wooden columns, and an early lathe.

Residential building commenced in earnest about 1900, as local farmer William Whittemore and water company superintendent Percy Warren began selling lots and encouraging house construction. A 1905 article in the local newspaper reported that, with several houses about to be finished, there would be a total of 11 houses in the neighborhood. The Marie Subelia House at 16 Warren Place (1903, MHC 1140, Map #31) is a simple 1 1/2 story late Queen Anne house with a cross gable roof and wrap-around porch with square porch posts, a simple railing, and latticework at the base. The 2 ½-story William Foote House at 31 Warren Avenue (by 1905, MHC 1116, Map #6, Photo #3-left) is another late Queen Anne example oriented with the gable end to the street. The exterior, now in process of being resided, originally had clapboards on the first story and shingles above. The house at 13 Warren Lane (by 1905, MHC 1129, Map #20) is of similar style and vintage and includes simple Queen Anne details such as the decorative square stairhall window.

The Percy Warren House at 74 Warren Avenue (1905, MHC 1124, Map #14, Photo #1), a substantial shingled Four Square, has a fieldstone foundation, one-story hip-roofed porch, and central hipped dormer. Also among the first 11 houses was the William J. Bartlett House at 61 Warren Avenue (by 1905, MHC 1122, Map #12), which includes a 1 1/2 story barn with a central wall gable. The side-gable house has turned porch posts on the one-story porch across the front and also includes Colonial Revival details that may be later in date, such as wooden shutters with decorative cut-outs.

The 2 1/2 story Beriah Ogilvie House at 39 Warren Avenue (1910, MHC 1119, Map #8, Photo #2) is sited with the gable end to the street but utilizes Colonial Revival features such as the two-story bay window at offset-right and the one-bay, one-story hipped porch at offset left, sheltering the entrance door. Notable 1920s houses include the 1 1/2 story bungalow at 11 Warren Place (c. 1920, MHC 1137, Map #28, Photo #4), with its characteristic tapered porch posts. This house is currently being remodeled in a way that is sensitive to the original design. A simple 1920’s Tudor example at 43 Warren Avenue (c. 1925, MHC 1121, Map #11) has remained largely intact, including its steep-roofed entrance vestibule and wood-board shutters.

The corner of Warren Avenue and Warren Place is anchored by two simple 1930s Colonial Revival houses similar in scale, massing and setback, at 1 and 5 Warren Avenue, (c. 1935, MHC 1135 and 1136, Map #26 and 27).