The North Village Area was documented by the Weston Historical Commission in 1994 and includes the following properties: 360, 373, 377, 378, 390, 389, 392, 395, 399, 402, 405, 406, 413, 412, 415, 418, 419, 420, 425, 428, 431, and 432 North Ave.
For the complete 1994 area form including data sheets and photographs, see North Village Area Form. Some changes in the original form have been made below, reflecting later research.
The North Village Area covers a third of a mile stretch of North Avenue between Conant and Merriam Street in the northwest corner of Weston. The area is important, not so much for the high architectural quality of the houses but because they retain a degree of consistency of age, massing and setback. Because of the historical importance of North Avenue and the quality of houses in the nearby North Avenue Area and Kendal Green Area (see area forms), it is important to also protect the remaining character of this stretch of the roadway. Houses within the North Village area range in age from ca.1730 to 1989. The predominant style is Colonial Revival in its various incarnations from 1903 to 1950–a fact which contributes to the cohesiveness of the area. Lot sizes range from about 15,000 square feet to 4.66 acres, with most lots between 1/2 and 1 acre. Many of the houses in this area have been altered with the installation of aluminum or vinyl siding and/or removal of original trim, window sash, doors, and porch posts. Still, the area retains many pre-World War I houses and barns which could be much enhanced if properly restored.
The Bradyll Smith House at 360 North Avenue (ca.1730, MHC 619, Map #1) is a much-altered early Colonial house. The symmetrical 2 ½-story, five-bay house has a central chimney. The front door in the center of the front facade has sidelights and fluted pilasters characteristic of the later Greek Revival style. A three-story central pavilion, which rises to the height of the ridgeline, was probably added in the mid-19th century or later. The house is presently sheathed with vinyl siding.
415 North Avenue (ca.1835, MHC 235, Map #15), 419 North Avenue (ca. 1834, MHC 234, Map #14) and 431 North Avenue (1834-remodelled 20th c., Map #12) are all thought to have been built in the mid-1830s. #415, which includes a handsome gable-front barn, is a 2 ½-story, five-bay, side-gable Federal house which has been remodeled since the MHC form was completed in 1994. New clapboards were installed, window sash was changed to 1/1 and a contemporary style door was installed. No. 431 was remodeled earlier in the century, at which time the unique Gothic style windows were removed and the building was changed to its present Colonial Revival appearance.
413 North Avenue (c.1850, MHC 623, Map #17) appears to be Greek Revival in style, although much of the trim, if it remains, is now covered with aluminum or vinyl siding. The house has an entrance at offset left, with sidelights, as well as 1/1 window sash, and a wing extending east, with porch across the front. This property also includes a notable 1 ½-story barn with cupola and weathervane.
[the following paragraph comes from the 2000 inventory form and replaces an earlier paragraph] 406 North Avenue (MHC 620, Map #6) (c.1870) is a post-Civil war farmhouse with Second Empire/Italianate features. The house is charming and well-maintained and contributes greatly to the North Avenue streetscape. The 1 1/2 story house has a front section that is 3 X 4 bays and is oriented with the gambrel end to the street. This section has a one-story porch across the front with square porch posts(not chamfered or decorated) set on a concrete slab. The front entrance gives evidence of the mid-19th century age of the house and the fact that alterations have taken place. The door originally had full sidelights, which have been blocked up. In the peak of the gambrel is a round headed window characteristic of the Italianate style. Extending northwest from the main block is a wing, and off the wing a rear ell. Most windows are 6/6 with shutters. The house has dormers which provide light into the second floor on the north and south (side) facades. Dormer windows are 2/2. The house has two chimneys, both on the north side of the ridgeline. Inside, the mid-19th century detailing includes corner blocks at all windows, with smaller square blocks within each corner block, and heavy fluting of the window frames. Similar framing is used around the front door on the inside. The newal post is typical of the Italianate style. The house plan has a front and back parlor on one side of the hall way and a kitchen in the wing at the other side.
About the turn of the century, North Avenue was widened, which put many houses closer to the road. The following houses had been built by 1910, according to records in the tax assessor’s office: 392 North Avenue (ca.1903, Map #4), 428 North Avenue (ca.1903, Map #10), 405 North Avenue (ca.1903, MHC 621, Map #18). The latter house is a 2 ½-story, gable front house, a typical form for Weston farmhouses at the turn-of-the-century. A distinctive feature is the use of fieldstone to enclose the front porch. This property also includes a notable turn-of-the-century barn with later attached garage at the rear, as well as a well-built stone wall in front with handsome entrance posts. 392 North Avenue is a two-story, two-bay, hip-roofed house with a screened porch across the front. Like #405, this porch uses a fieldstone wall to enclose the lower portion of the porch. The house is now sheathed with aluminum/vinyl siding.
399 North Avenue (c.1927, MHC 622, Map #19) is a well-detailed two-story Colonial Revival house with a hip roof and central entrance featuring a narrow elliptical fanlight, sidelights, and a semi-circular pediment supported on columns.
North Avenue has been known over the years by many names, including Concord Road, Lancaster Road/ Turnpike and the “Great Road.” North Avenue has been a major transportation route throughout the history of Weston, widely used for transportation of livestock from Vermont and New Hampshire to Boston. Several taverns were located along the Weston part of the route, although none has survived. In 1844, the importance of the area was increased with the building of the Fitchburg Railroad (later the Boston and Maine), with stations at Kendal Green, Hastings and Silver Hill. Also important in the development of North Avenue was Stony Brook, which flows in roughly the same southeast direction as the road and was the location of a number of early mills.
The oldest house in the North Village Area, as defined by this area form, may be the Bradyll Smith House at 360 North Avenue (ca.1730, MHC 619, Map #1) at the corner of Conant Road, although additional research is needed on this house. At the time of the 1794 Kingsbury map, this is shown as belonging to Joseph Hickson.
The present Methodist Church building at 377 North Avenue (1971, Map #22) is of recent vintage but the church itself is the oldest and most important institution in the area. The present church is the third building on the site and the fourth in the history of the Methodist Church in Weston. The church was formed in 1789 and built its first building in 1798 in “Mrs. Fiske’s Pasture,” now 427 Conant Road on the hill. In 1827, this was deemed too small for the congregation and a new church was erected in 1828 at Conant Road and North Avenue. This lovely small Gothic church burned to the ground on New Years Eve in 1899 and was replaced by a Colonial Revival pedimented church dating to 1900. This church was, in turn, demolished to make way for the present structure.
The term “North Village” is found on the 1852 “Craigie Map” of Boston and Vicinity, where the label is placed at the corner of North Avenue and Conant Road. At that time, the term “North Village” seemed to apply to the northwest corner of Weston all the way to the Lincoln line. By 1852, houses lined both North Avenue and Boston Post Road, the two major transportation routes and two most settled areas in an otherwise thinly populated farm town.
The Craigie Map shows four houses along the north side of the street between Conant and the present Old North Avenue. These houses remain at 413, 415, 419 and 431 North Avenue.
419 North Avenue (ca.1834) was built for Samuel Patch sometime after he purchased two parcels from the land of Sewall Fiske in 1834. The Fiske family, whose homestead was just east from the area herein described, was one of the original Weston farm families, owners of a farm reputed to be a mile square. The neighboring house at 415 North Avenue (ca.1835, MHC 235, Map #15) was built about the same time, as was 431 North Avenue (1834-remodelled 20th c.,Map #12)which has been extensively remodeled in recent years. Elsie Cooke, in her unpublished history of the area, writes the following about this house: “431 North Avenue is known as the Park Boyce house, built in 1834. Mr. Boyce was a blacksmith and built the house, stable and shop. He died in 1881 and his son Allen sold to George W. Faber of Lincoln in 1884. Around that time Thomas and George Faber built the ropewalk. They made ‘Hand made Linen Window, Garland, Dumbwaiter Cord. The ropewalk was built starting 10 or 15 feet from the road (just north of the house) extending beyond the spring where they bleached and finished off the cord. That spring was under the rope walk.’ This is from a letter to Mrs. Lettie O’Toole from Daisy S. Faber (Mrs. George). Before the house was recently extensively remodeled, it had Gothic windows and was unique in this section of Weston.”
413 North Avenue (19th century, MHC 623, Map #17)was formerly the Methodist Parsonage and was built, according to Elsie Cooke’s unpublished history, in 1850, and the barn in 1869. The building was used as a parsonage until the new one was built on Conant behind the church.
By 1852 one additional house was located on the south side of the street, probably the present 406 North Avenue (MCH 620, Map #6), shown as belonging to W. Dudley on the 1852 and also the 1875 and 1889 maps. About the turn of the century, North Avenue was widened, which put many houses closer to the road. The following houses had been built by 1910, according to records in the tax assessor’s office: 392 North Avenue (ca.1903, Map #4), 428 North Avenue (ca.1903, Map #10), 405 North Avenue (ca.1903, MHC 621, Map #18).