Swift, Melvin House

455 Summer St

1845

Architectural Style

Greek Revival

Significance

Architecture

Use Type

Single Family Dwelling House

Neighborhood

Massachusetts Historical Commission Report

Architectural Significance

This is a crisply detailed, sidehall, rectangular plan Greek Revival cottage. Clothed with clapboards, this house is enclosed by a steep gable—a steep gable also appears on the south elevation. Particularly noteworthy is the recessed main entrance with narrow multi pane and wood panel side lights. The entrance enframements consist of heavy Doric pilasters and a heavy entablature Windows are fully enframed and pedimented resulting in a cottage which is considerably more stylish than many mid-19th c. Bridgewater cottages of this scale. Below the eaves of the side walk are wide fascia boards. This house rests on a heavy granite block foundation.

Historical Significance

Although this house has the appearance of a c. 1845 Greek Revival cottage, a house may have stood on or near this site as early as 1830. Apparently a J. Carver owned this land in 1830. By the early 1850s Melvin Swift, farmer, lived here. In 1879 a William F. Case, carpenter, lived here. By the early 1900s this house was again owned by the Swift family--Van R. Swift, an engineer at Henry Perkins foundry, lived here. He was the son of Van R. Swift. Van R. Swift Sr. helped build the turnpike from Weymouth to New Bedford and held a number of important town offices.