Mr. Saxe will give his popular talk on the history of Dorchester architecture for the third time. Refreshed and revised, with new research, new photos and a more historical photos, Mr. Saxe’s lecture examines the history of Dorchester’s first three hundred years through the changing styles of its houses. As one of the oldest towns in the United States, and one affected by sweeping social and economic changes, Dorchester presents an unusually textured picture of American history. From Puritans, to Tories, to Patriots, Industrialists, Victorian professionals, and immigrant Irish, Dorchester’s residents built their homes in ways that reflected political, religious and aesthetic beliefs of their era. Few towns have experienced such an evolution or posses such a rich variety of historical styles. While sadly many of Dorchester’s grand estates have been demolished, happily hundreds of homes have survived and are being restored by the town’s latest generation.
Mr. Saxe uses a mix of the collections of historic photographs from the Society’s own archives, from Historic New England and Boston Public Library. The bulk of his lecture, though, presents extant houses in their current condition from his own archive of over 10,000 vivid photos taken since his move to Melville Park in 2008 from the South End. Following his last talk to the DHS in 2013, Mr. Saxe was asked to write on this topic for Design New England and to address the Boston Society of Architects.