Milton Centre Historic District
The Milton Centre Historic District is the historical center of town as well as being literally the center of the town of Milton. The 23-acre historic district includes Canton Avenue between Reedsdale Road and Thacher and Highland Streets. Following Milton’s incorporation as an independent town in 1662, the meetinghouse was relocated from Milton Hill to Academy Hill in 1728 on a knoll facing Canton Avenue. The Milton Meetinghouse, now known as First Parish in Milton, Unitarian, is an interesting New England meetinghouse that was built between 1787 and 1788 that was turned in 1835 to face Canton Avenue. As part of the First Parish Church complex, the Parish House (built in 1879) and the Children’s Church (a former town school c.1850) are included. The First Congregational Church is located on the opposite side of the common and the present Town Hall was built in 1967 to replace the Victorian Town Hall designed by Rotch and Tilden. In front of the town hall is the Lira Bandstand, the site of numerous concerts during the summer months.
Opposite the bandstand is the Tuell House at 488 Canton Avenue, an 1877 Stick-style house with Colonial Revival additions, and an eight-foot square brick powder house, built in 1811, where “the selectmen met every year to make cartridges for the annual muster, up to the time of the disbanding of the State militia.” The powerhouse was built on “church land” and was moved in 1978 from the Rotch-Lamb Estate to its present site as part of the Bicentennial Observances.
The Milton Public Library, designed in the Beaux-Arts style by Shepley, Rutan & Coolidge and built in 1902, stands at the corner of Canton Avenue and Reedsdale Road. An substantial brick and limestone building, the library is an impressive addition to the Milton Centre Historic District.
Also included in the district are the Central FireHouse (1888) and the Chemical Engine House (1881) directly behind the Milton Congregational Church. J.H. Burt Company, a well-known building concern in Mattapan, Massachusetts, built both buildings.
The bronze sculpture In Flanders Field was sculpted by Daniel Chester French and dedicated in 1925 to those who served in World War I; the Civil War Memorial was cast in bronze by the Thomas F. Mc Gann Company and was dedicated in 1934 to those who served in the Civil War (1861-1865.)
Notable Buildings, and Art:
- First Parish in Milton, Unitarian Parish House, Children’s Church
- First Congregational Church
- Milton Town Hall
- Chemical Engine House
- Central Fire House
- Milton Public Library
- Tuell House
- Powder House
- World War I Memorial, In Flanders Field, Daniel Chester French
- Civil War Memorial, Soaring Eagle, cast by Thomas F. Mc Gann Company