Brighton Architectural & Community History Workshop

Over the course of the nineteenth century, Brighton’s landscape changed drastically, due in large part to the decline of the cattle market as a result of to new technologies, such as the invention of refrigerated cars, and increased awareness of public health. As the cattle slaughter began to wane, many wealthy members of the community began to look towards the potential profits in the real estate market as Brighton emerged as a commuter suburb of Boston. Many of those individuals owned large tracts of land and began selling them off for profit.

Concurrent with Brighton’s changing economy and way of life were the construction of many civic and religious buildings in the town. In the years between 1800 and 1925, Brighton evolved from a quiet hamlet of Cambridge to a bustling suburb of Boston, boasting many churches, schools, and monuments. In the years immediately preceding Brighton’s annexation to Boston, the town took an important step toward becoming a genteel suburb, implementing a massive public works program to make Brighton more attractive to potential residents. These improvements included spending some $500,000 on better roads, curbing, sidewalks, sewers and street lighting. Additionally, large sums were spent on public facilities including a new public library, a handsome new grammar school, and several new firehouses. Additional public buildings followed, providing the residents of Brighton with modern facilities that fulfilled civic and moral needs, and had important roles in the town’s identity. Below you will find a representative sample of students’ work.

Landscape of Commerce and Industry

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Brighton’s Local Banking Industry

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General Gallery