I gave a presentation earlier today at the Dorchester Historical Society on the life and work of Dorchester architect Edwin J. Lewis, Jr. I'd like to thank everyone for coming out on such a beautiful day (including some of my blog readers!) and listening. The photo I've posted is of a group of houses Lewis designed on Roslin Street between 1888 and 1892. Part of the challenge an architect faces when designing several houses in the same neighborhood is varying the design enough so that the houses don't look the same Lewis solved this problem in this group of houses in a variety of ways, starting from the ground up. The houses have different foundation treatments: exposed granite block, granite covered by shingles, and rubble stone can be seen in these three houses. Lewis also varied the front entrance position: 28 Roslin Street (first picture below) has the entrance on the left side of the house, recessed from the front while 32 Roslin (second picture below) has a front entrance to the right and 38 Roslin Street's entrance (below) is in the center. Lewis also changes the shapes over the porches, from a triangle pediment at 38 Roslin to a slope towards the street at 32 Roslin. Lewis also alters the roof line at 38 Roslin by breaking the eaves with a window that has an overhang slightly above the eaves. Lewis worked in a very distinctive style but with enough imagination and grace to give each of his houses its own personality.
I will present more photos from the presentation at a later point, but should mention that the Codman Square House Tour will be held on 11 June 2006 and is an excellent opportunity to walk by some of these houses and also see some interiors of Ashmont Hill and Melville Avenue area homes. I don't believe any Lewis houses are on the tour this year but you won't be disappointed by what you do see!