Historic Architecture

Photo by Allen Jones

Photo courtesy of Allen Jones

The following is excerpted from our Wikipedia entry:

“[St. Mary’s was] built in 1813-14 and restyled in 1838, is the oldest church in Newton, and is a fine example of Gothic Revival/Federal style architecture. The cemetery, which dates from 1812, is the oldest non-government-owned cemetery in Newton. The property was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980…

“…It is a single-story wood frame building, with a gable roof, clapboard siding, and a brick foundation. Its square tower rises above a gabled entry pavilion that projects from the center of the west-facing facade. The pavilion has two entrances, each flanked by pilasters and topped by a Gothic-arched transom. A central window placed high has a trefoil pattern. Most of the building’s remaining windows are sash windows topped by half-round transoms. The tower rising above the pavilion begins with a square section with oculus windows on each side, topped by a smaller belfry with Gothic-arched louvers and a railing with pinnacled corner posts. These details are repeated at a smaller scale above the belfry. Notable features of the church interior are its original high box pews, choir loft and plain glass windows. The plain chancel was added in 1922.

“The church was built in 1813-14, as a Federal style structure, and was extensively altered in 1838, lengthening it to the rear by 16 feet (4.9 m), and restyling the tower with Gothic features. In 1954 the tower was again rebuilt, removing Gothic features in a bid to return the church to a more Federal appearance. The land for the church was purchased by Samuel Brown, a wealthy Boston merchant who had established one of the paper mills in Newton Lower Falls, and he also donated funds toward the building’s construction.”