Massachusetts Historical Commission - 2008 Preservation Award Winners
Edmund Fowle House • Watertown
Edmund Fowle House  Watertown

Rehabilitation & Restoration

The 1772 Edmund Fowle House is best known for its use in 1775 for the meeting of the 2nd and 3rd Provincial Congresses during the British occupation of Boston. In 1775 the unfinished second floor was finished for use by the Governor’s Council. A number of political actions were accomplished by the Massachusetts provincial government while sitting in the Fowle House, including the signing of what is likely the first treaty between an American government and a foreign entity—namely, the St. John and Mi’kmaq tribes of what are now the Canadian Maritime Provinces. At the end of the British occupation, the house returned to residential use by the Fowle family, who divided the second-floor meeting room into three rooms. In 1872, the house was moved 100 yards down the street and converted into a two-family residence. The house has been owned by the Historical Society of Watertown since 1922.

The Historical Society of Watertown has restored the interior of the house to its 1775–1776 configuration while returning the exterior of the house to its 1872 appearance. This effort required the selective removal of non-original partitions and finishes to identify the general configuration of the meeting room and other interior features. Additional restoration included the reconstruction of five historic fireplaces, the removal of a late 19th-century dormer, and considerable finish work. Most of the work was completed by students from the North Bennet Street School’s Preservation Carpentry program. The Historical Society of Watertown operates the home as a museum of Watertown history.

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