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Swift, Van R. House

462 Summer St


Architectural Style




Use Type

Single Family Dwelling House


Massachusetts Historical Commission Report

Architectural Significance

This is a well-preserved example of an early 19th century center hall plan Cape. Composed of a 5-bay x 2 bay main block and a side ell this cottage's main entrance is particularly memorable—its front door is flanked by multi-pane sidelights and Doric pilasters which exhibit a modified Greek key motif. Above the main and secondary entrances are bracketed Italianate hoods. Windows exhibit wedge shaped lintels and contain 6/6 wood sash. Rising 1 1/2 stories from a hammered, granite block foundation, this house is enclosed by a gable roof.

Historical Significance

For many years this was the home of Van Rensselaer Swift. Born in Bridgewater March 31, 1813, Mr. Swift helped construct the Weymouth to New Bedford Turnpike, farmed "his ancestral estate" and held various important local offices including chairman of the Board of Selectmen and town treasurer and collector. J.E. Crane noted that Mr. Swift "may have seemed over tenacious in his convictions." 462 Summer St. was built c. 1825--apparently for a Z. Caswell (see 1830 map). This property is labeled V.R. Swift in 1852, 1857 and 1879. By the early 1900s a Waiter M. Smith lived here. This house ranks among the best examples of its type in Bridgewater, exhibiting stylish detailing and quality craftsmanship.

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