Irving Road Area was documented by the Weston Historical Commission in 2007 and includes the following properties: 706 Boston Post Road; 7 and 11 Highland St; and 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, and 14 Irving Rd.
Irving Road Area is a neighborhood of modest Colonial Revival houses built between 1930 and 1942 by Weston developer John Irving Connolly. Houses are typical of the type of small Colonial Revivals built in Weston during the Depression years of the 1930s. Similarities in scale, massing, style, and setbacks gives Irving Road a pleasant unity.
The area includes 10 houses dating between 1930 and 1942. The two most common styles are the traditional two-story, three-or-five-bay, center-entrance Colonial and the one-and-one-half-story Cape. One house is brick and the others shingle or clapboard. Most have center chimneys and many have one-story wings and/or sun porches extending from the gable ends. Lot sizes are all less than one acre, with the average about a half acre. Houses are generally in good to excellent condition, although one has been vacant for several years. Several have been enlarged and/or “modernized.” Those that remain unchanged are well-proportioned and include simple Colonial details such as fluted pilasters, pedimented door entablatures, fanlights, transoms, dentil cornices, and 8/8, 8/12 or 12/12 sash.
The neighborhood includes several intact examples of the 2 ½- story, side-gable house type. The Erlon and Effie Merrill House, 5 Irving Road (1939, Map # 5, MHC 1147, Photo #1) is a 2 ½-story Colonial Revival house with a center entrance ornamented with fluted pilasters and a frieze with trigyphs. The house has five bays at level one and three at level two. Window sash is 6/6. The Harry and Alice Cloyes House, 10 Irving Road (1931, Map #9, MHC 1151, Photo #2), another well-preserved 2 ½-story Colonial Revival example, is three bays wide with one-story sunroom extending south. The well-detailed center entrance is enhanced by a fanlight motif within the triangular pediment, and sash is 8/8 with shutters. The Frank and Mary Duffy House, 6 Irving Road (1930, Map #6, MHC 1148) is a 2 ½ story Colonial Revival house with a typical five-bay, center entrance fenestration. Window sash is 12/12. The center entrance is marked by a pedimented entablature. The house has a center chimney and a one-car detached garage probably built at the same time as the house.
Good examples of the 1 ½- story Cape include the house at Alan and Ellen Winsor House, 4 Irving Road (1938, Map #4, MHC 1146, Photo #3), which has a five-bay fenestration and center entrance. Sash is 6/6. The shingled house has a dentil cornice, center chimney, two pedimented dormers. and a one-car garage probably contemporaneous with the house. Other Capes in the neighborhood include the Carl and Emily Eaby House, 11 Highland Street (1931, Map #3, MHC 1145, Photo #4) and Carl and Rose Schule House, 14 Irving Road (1932, Map #10, MHC 1152), both of which have been substantially enlarged in style and proportion suitable to the original structure.
No. 7 Irving Road (1939, remodeled 1983, Map #6, MHC 1149) remains similar in scale and setback. The original appearance of Elmer and Mary McManus House, 8 Irving Road (1935, remodeled 1993, Map #8, MHC 1150) can been seen in a photograph in the assessor’s office. It shows the original pedimented entrance porch with square posts, replaced by the present half-round entrance porch supported by columns. The original 12/12 sash was replaced by 1/1. Originally, the first floor was brick and the second floor shingled. Presently, the second floor is clapboard and the whole façade is painted a single color.
Irving Road was developed by Irving Connolly and his company, Country Homes, Weston, Inc., (later Weston Country Homes, Inc.) as part of a small subdivision on a newly created street extending from Boston Post Road to Highland Street. The street exemplifies the type of small Colonial Revival houses built in Weston during the Depression and World War II years, a time of slow residential growth, economic insecurity, and generally modest expectations.
The developer purchased the 4.5 acre parcel from George H.D. Lamson, member of an old Weston family. A plan for the layout of the road was prepared in December, 1929 and filed in February, 1930. No lots or houses are shown on this plan (Book 5434/end). A subdivision plan showing 12 lots (numbered 1-13 with no lot #6 and no houses shown) was filed in June, 1930, for “Irvington Court,” referred to as a “restricted subdivision.” Only ten houses in total were built, all within the next decade.
The following restrictions are listed in a deed from Connolly to Mary McManus (Book 5525/16) of December 1930, “That for a period of twenty years from October 30, 1929 no building other than a single two-story dwelling house, costing not less than $8500 and garage to accommodate not more than two cars, shall be erected upon the above described premises. If the foundation of the dwelling house is built of cement blocks the same must be plastered on the outside. No building to be erected upon the above described premises within twenty-five feet of the line of the above premises.” The minimum price was presumably intended to insure a quality level of construction. Other provisions were somewhat more restrictive than would required under the new zoning by-laws of 1928, for example, in requiring cement block foundations to be plastered over and in requiring 25 feet rather than just 15-feet of setback from the lot lines.
Original owners were as follows:
706 Boston Post Rd (1941, MHC 1143) Donald Simpson (occupants, Peter and Delia Simpson)
7 Highland St (1930, MHC 1144), John O’Donnell
11 Highland St (1931, MHC 1145, Photo #4), Carl and Emily Eaby
4 Irving Rd (1938, MHC 1146, Photo #3), Alan and Ellen Winsor (1938,
5 Irving Rd (1939, MHC 1147, Photo #1), Erlon and Effie Merrill
6 Irving Rd (1930, MHC 1148), Frank T and Mary Duffy
8 Irving Rd (1935/1993, MHC 1150), Elmer and Mary McManus
10 Irving Rd (1931, MHC 1151, Photo #2), Harry G. and Alice Cloyes
14 Irving Rd (1932, MHC 1152), Carl and Rose Schule
Professions of the original owners, as listed in street lists from the 1930s and 1940s, include insurance agent (Carl Eaby), manager (Elmer McManus), artist (Frank T. Duffy), statistician/lawyer (Alan M. Winsor), fireman (Erlon Merrill), clergyman (Joseph McManus), antique dealer (Harry G. Cloyes) and foreman (Peter Simpson).
J. Irving Connolly (1877-1949), the son of an Irish immigrant, was a Weston resident who built a number of other subdivisions in the 1930s, 40s and 50s. The largest, Pinecroft, included 93 lots (some purchased as double lots) on Pinecroft, Montvale, Fairview and Conant Roads and Viles Street. (See Pinecroft Subdivision Area)
1. Middlesex Registry of Deeds, So. District, Plan Number 674 of 1930, recorded in Book 5473 at the end, “Plan of Irvington Court” June 1930.
2. Town of Weston street lists, 1930-1950.
3. Town of Weston assessor’s file for 8 Irving Road (includes photo taken prior to remodeling)