The Beauty is in the Details
Newton’s downtown is a district of visual contrasts. Buildings with classical architectural lines and details stand in close proximity to box-like structures with clean lines and modern details. We see façades of brick, stone, modern siding, terra cotta, and even artificial stucco.
The appearance of downtown has changed drastically over the years. Wooden buildings gave way to two- and three-story brick and stone buildings in the latter part of the 19th century. A number of buildings currently in downtown were constructed in the Commercial Italianate architectural style prior to 1885. Historic photographs show tall, decorative cornices projecting above the roofline of many structures and elongated upper-story windows sheltered under draped “hoods”.
Most of our buildings that retain a classical architectural style were constructed during the first third of the 20th century as the town’s population nearly doubled in size, and the washing machine industry that made Newton famous was born and prospered. New construction replaced old at the northeast corner of the square (now the First Newton National Bank) and the east side of the square. The building boom also extended into the blocks radiating off of the square.
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