Should Mary Baker Eddy’s Former Home Become a Landmark?
During the construction of her new church in Boston, Christian Science founder Mary Baker Eddy resided in Roslindale for a short time.
She moved to Roslindale from Barre, Vermont, to be closer to the action she was overseeing, and to be closer to her students in the city. It turned out that while Barre was too far-removed from it all, Roslindale was a bit too close. She experienced frequent interruptions during the day from her students and other visitors, making a quiet day of work impossible.
Eddy, who also owned a mansion on Commonwealth Avenue, left the house atop a hill on Poplar Street, retiring to a property in Concord, New Hampshire. Her former Roslindale home still stands today—but it was only recently that it almost saw a wrecking ball.
Universal Hub reports nearby residents, including City Council President Michelle Wu, are seeking landmark status for the property. It became the group’s concern when they learned the developer who owned the building (which has been converted into four condos) planned to tear down the structure and fill the lot with five two-family houses.
The website reports the developer withdrew the request for a demolition permit last week, but that hasn’t stopped the house’s neighbors for requesting a review from the Boston Landmarks Commission. In order for a building to be designated as a landmark in Boston, the property must display “historic, social, cultural, architectural or aesthetic significance to the City and to the Commonwealth, the New England region, or the nation,” according to the BLC. Once officially designated, a landmark requires design review and approval for changes to the exterior of the building.
The house at 175 Poplar Street was built in the 1870s. A resident of the building argues it deserves landmark status because of Eddy, and also because of its designer. Architect Louis Weissbein built the house, as well as many homes along Malborough Street in Back Bay and the Columbus Avenue AME Zion Church.
You can read the full Universal Hub report here.