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Boyden Hall

131 Summer St


Architectural Style

Classical Revival


Architecture, Education

Use Type

College or University


Bridgewater Town Center, Bridgewater State University

Massachusetts Historical Commission Report

Architectural Significance

Boyden Hall is the centerpiece of the Bridgewater State College campus. This stately, well designed Neo Georgian building is constructed of red brick and possesses an E-shaped plan. It rises 3 stories to a hip roof. Constructed as an administration building, its main quadrangle facing facade is dominated by a central pavilion with a monumental, pedimented ionic portico and brick and wood tower. The portico rises from a high granite block foundation which incorporates a broad staircase. In general windows contain multipane sash in the Colonial manner and exhibit granite sills and lintels. 3rd floor lintels exhibit a Greek Key motif. The clock tower consists of a massive brick platform and two elongated cylindrical segments. The uppermost segment is crowned by a domical copper roof and weather vane.

Historical Significance

Boyden Hall, along with the Grove Street Training School, was built in 1925-26 to replace Bridgewater Normal School buildings destroyed in a disastrous fire of December 10, 1924. It was named in honor of Albert Gardner Boyden and
his son Arthur Clarke Boyden, principals of the school from 1860-1906 and 1906-1933, respectively. It was built to house administration offices, lecture rooms, laboratories, an auditorium and a library. Along with the new training school it was planned for a quota of between 500 and 600 students. Boyden Hall was designed by the prominent Boston architect Guy Lowell (4/6/1870 - 2/4/1927). Mr. Lowell was a graduate of Harvard (1892) and received professional training at M.I.T. (1892-1894) and the Ecole de Beaux Arts in Paris, France (1894-1899). Mr. Lowell's work was broad in scope, including large public and institutional buildings, distinctive residences, country estates and formal gardens. His achievements include a score of Georgian Revival buildings erected on the Phillips Academy campus, Andover, MA (between 1903-1923), the Classical Revival Boston Museum of Fine Arts, State Historical Building, Concord, NH and New York County Court House. He was one of the first architects to write a book on American gardens. Plans for Boyden Hall and the Grove Street Training School are located in the Bridgewater State College archives.

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