Inside the Architecture: Lechmere Point Corporation Houses

×

Error message

Deprecated function: The each() function is deprecated. This message will be suppressed on further calls in _menu_load_objects() (line 579 of /home/neighbormedia/public_html/includes/menu.inc).
becky's picture

Only one house remains in East Cambridge to mark the legacy the Lechmere Point Corporation made in developing the area during the early 19th century.

Although the row of houses located on 25 Third Street and 45-51 Gore Street have gone through many changes since they were built around 1821, Lechmere Point Corporation’s architectural influences can be found in the construction of many houses in East Cambridge today.

Lechmere Point Corporation was founded in 1799 by Andrew Craigie who bought most of its land from the Lechmere family.  The Lechmeres were a prominent family during the Revolutionary War.  The corporation began to improve Lechmere’s farming land.  This corporation intended to improve farming realized it had the potential to develop streets, divide land, build walls to protect the land from water, and built homes.  Lechmere Point Corporation was responsible for the Craigie Bridge, which was built in order to connnection East Cambridge with Boston and get more visitors to that part of Cambridge.

The four houses located on the corner of Third and Gore streets were built on less than an acre of land and were always intended for residential use.  The houses were all 2.5 floors and connected together under one gable roof.  Out of the four houses, only the one facing Gore Street remains its original architecture.  

The gable is now flush board, but before that the gable had been replaced with asphalt siding.  Unit number 51 has a mansard roof, and unit 49 has an additional third floor.

All four houses have their original brick exterior walls.  Lechmere Point Corporation held a high standard for architecture in the development of East Cambridge.  They built all their houses with brick, and although none of the other Lechmere houses are still standing, their influence on architecture can be seen in other houses built by other corporations in East Cambridge.

Christopher Gore was the first owner of the four houses on Third and Gore streets.  Gore was a Harvard graduate who, after serving as a clerk for the artillery regiment in the Continental Army, became a lawyer.  His highly successful law office was located on State Street.  Gore’s law career eventually directed him to a career in politics.

Gore acted as a delegate in 1780 for the ratification of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  In 1789, he was appointed by George Washington to be the first United States Attorney in Massachusetts.  By 1796, Gore was negotiating mercantile claims for shipmen though the Jay Committee who had lost their ships during the war with Britain.  He later served a one-year term in 1809 as Governor for Massachusetts.  In 1813, he was elected as a U.S. Senator.  

Both Christopher and his wife Rebecca Gore were interested in architecture.  Rebecca Gore designed their mansion in Waltham, MA.  The couple bought a townhouse in Boston for the winter months during Christopher Gore’s retirement because he felt isolated in Waltham.  As a hobby, he became active in the real estate scene of East Cambridge, which resulted in his purchase of the only existing Lechmere Point Corporation Houses.  

Today, Lechmere Point Corporation Houses are still used for residential use.  Each house is divided into apartments.