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Architecture of Whittier Mill

Old Whittier Mill StoreThe architecture of Whittier Mill Village reflects the consistency of building type and materials generally found in mill villages. The materials used in the construction of the cottages included wood siding, brick foundation piers and brick chimneys. Porches and moderately steep pitched roofs are elements common to structures built in both the first phase (1895) of construction and in the second phase (1926).

HouseThe most prevalent building type in the first phase was a cottage with a moderately steep hipped roof, a porch that extended across the front facade and a symmetrical arrangement of a central door flanked by two windows. Another building type constructed during this phase featured a steep pyramidal roof with two gables and a shed roofed porch.

A third type of building was built in the first construction stage that differs substantially from the cottages previously discussed. Several triplex structures with single "saltbox" gables extending their entire width were constructed. Although the rectangular shape of the footprint and the lower roof pitch are unique in the district, the broad front porch and wood siding were consistent with other mill houses. Several of these triplexes have been moved from their original location to other sites within the district, and are now used as single family homes.House

Although the second major phase of development by the mill did not occur until 1926 there were a number of new houses built in 1910. For the most part the structures were hipped roof cottages with projecting front gables, however, several bungalows with large front gables were also constructed.House

Parsons and Wait Architects of Boston, MA designed the houses of the (1926) second phase of development. The hipped roof which has a long ridge line perpendicular to the street is slightly less steep than that of the 1895 cottages, however, the design of these structures is generally consistent with the 1895 cottages.

Two original residential structures in the district are not consistent with the mill houses. The houses at #1 Spring Circle (2985 Parrott Avenue) and #3 Spring Circle (2992 Layton Avenue) are two surviving of four original houses built for the Whittier family. The structure at #1 Spring Circle was constructed in 1900. Although somewhat larger than mill cottages, the house resembles these structures in materials and roof form. The four pane, hinged casement windows and elaborate brickwork on the chimney are elements unique to the house. The structure at #3 Spring Circle (1897) is a large, two story home with a projecting bay window on the second level. The house is more complex in design than any of the other structures in the district.

Whittier Mill Store Today"The Ark"Two original commercial structures remain in the district. The structure at 1952 Whittier Avenue (1897) is a long, one story, wood structure that was used for commercial purposes by the mill. It has been converted into three rental units. The original Whittier Mill dry goods and grocery store, which was built in 1896, is a brick and wood clapboard structure located at 2932 Parrott Avenue.





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