1874

1874

Earliest found map of the Four Corners neighborhood, in Dorchester, MA. An asterisk shown on the grounds of the James Tucker estate marks the future location of 405 Washington Street.

Image source: Atlas of the County of Suffolk, Massachusetts. Vol.3; G.M. Hopkins & Company, 1874

1894

1894

By 1894, larger farmlands like the Tucker estate were subdivided into individual parcels. The earliest known private owner of 405 Washington Street, shown outlined here, is Amelia R. Damon, who served as the superintendent for a trade school in Roxbury called the South End Industrial School.

Image source: Atlas of the City of Boston: Dorchester, Mass. Vol.5; G.W. Bromley & Company, 1894

1904

1904

A map from 1904, showing that the property has passed to an Annie Worcester. The house footprint expanded at some point within the prior twenty years.

Image source: Atlas of the City of Boston: Dorchester, Mass. Vol.5; G.W. Bromley & Company, 1904

1918

1918

In 1918, the house is owned by a C.J. Hammond “et al trs,” or, “and other trustees.” A small accessory building is shown. Across Washington Street, what will eventually become Mother’s Rest Park is now owned by the City of Boston.

Image source: Atlas of the City of Boston: Dorchester, Mass. Vol.5; G.W. Bromley & Company, 1894

1933

1933

In 1933, Florence A. Weber owns the property. The house footprint has again expanded within the last fifteen years.

Image source: Atlas of the City of Boston: Dorchester, Mass. Vol.5; G.W. Bromley & Company, 1933

1969

1969

The latest found aerial photograph showing a house at 405 Washington Street. Neighbors believe the house was demolished in the early 70s.

Image source: USGS Metro Boston Aerial, 1969

1978

1978

Earliest found aerial photograph, showing the lot after the house has been demolished.

Image source: USGS Metro Boston Aerial, 1978

2018

2018

Today the lot sits empty and unused, surrounded by a vibrant residential neighborhood. Inspired by the past, Lost House asks visitors to imagine how vacant lots like these might become places for the community in the future.

Amelia R. Damon

Amelia R. Damon

Although not much can be found about most of the house owners, the artists discovered that Amelia R. Damon, the original owner, served as superintendent for the South End Industrial School in Roxbury, a school meant to “educate the poor” in trades such as millinery, basket weaving, and cane seating, among others. This small detail exemplifies the larger story behind Lost House: how much of the personal is lost to time. How might we re-see our own neighborhoods, when we learn of these forgotten but specific lives?

Lost House

Lost House

Lost House nods to the past in its materiality and form, but at the same time asks visitors to look forward. While the global shape seen from Washington Street suggests the iconography of a house, the branching forms challenge this legibility, perhaps evoking the crafts taught at the South End Industrial School, perhaps estranging the structure from the domestic altogether.

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