Conant, William N. House

39 Union St

1890

Architectural Style

Shingle Style

Significance

Architecture

Use Type

Single Family Dwelling House

Neighborhood

Bridgewater Town Center

Massachusetts Historical Commission Report

Architectural Significance

The William N. Conant House is a rare Bridgewater example of a shingle style residence. "Open plan" houses, as shingle and Queen Anne style houses have been termed, with an emphasis on functionalism and room size related to use was relatively rare in southeastern Massachusetts during the late 19th c. As late as 1890 late examples of the side hall Italianate house were being built in Bridgewater (see Form # ). The William N. Conant House is characterized by form and elements (e.g. wide gables and lean-to profiles, 12/12 wood sash) reminiscent of Colonial Period houses but without the rigidity of symmetrical center hall plans. The Conant house is also noteworthy for rich textural contrasts, e.g. the smooth rubble stone piers of the first floor porch and the rough wood shingles of the upper floor and a half.

Historical Significance

This house was built in 1889-1890 for Bridgewater physician William N. Conant. This house's lot was apparently developed late because it encompassed "the swampy woods" mentioned in Clara W. Crane's "Bridgewater in 1835."