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Washington Square Historic District
Washington Square subdivision plan (1832)
John Nesmith House (1843), 229 Andover Street
John Holt House (late 1850s), 28 Nesmith Street
Daniel Holt House (ca. 1870), 4 Park Street
Prescott Gates House (ca. 1880), 442 East Merrimack Street
Intersection of Nesmith and Andover Streets in 1928
Intersection of East Merrimack and Nesmith Streets in 1930
In 1831, prominent residents John and Thomas Nesmith purchased the 150 acre estate of Judge Edward Livermore in Tewksbury and hired Boston's Alexander Wadsworth to layout streets, house lots, and a small park known as Washington Square. Wadsworth's plan for Washington Square was very formal with a double row of trees surrounding the park and residents were required to plant shade trees at 20 foot intervals along the streets. The main street through the neighborhood was named Nesmith Street after the brothers and with its 60 foot width and ten foot wide sidewalks became Lowell's first boulevard.
By 1834 the area had been annexed to Lowell from Tewksbury with most of the district's residences erected in the 1840s and 1850s. By 1865, the area was largely developed with the location high above the city and its picturesque views being a highly desirable address. Remaining empty lots continued to be developed well into the 1870s and 1880s. While the neighborhood includes several early Greek Revival residences, the majority of homes were built in the Italianate style, marking the first appearance of the style in Lowell. In addition, homes in the Second Empire, Stick, and Queen Anne styles can also be found.
Early residents of Washington Square were among Lowell's most prominent citizens and included prosperous merchants, industrialists, and businessmen. Many of its residents were also actively involved as directors or trustees of the city's financial and business institutions, were superintendents or agents of local mills, and also served in city government.
Washington Square Historic District Map
Washington Square Historic District Brochure