Bancroft Park as seen from Draper plant, 1902

Back yards at Bancroft Park - 1905

                                                             Bancroft Park

    Our house in Bancroft Park would now be considered rather primitive. It had been built to be heated
    with stoves, and in both dining-room and living room (parlor in those days) there were places in the
    wall to insert stove-pipes. The house had been supplied with a hot-air furnace before we arrived.
    There were no laundry facilities, and the week's washing had to be done in the kitchen with tubs,
    buckets, scrub-board, hand wringer and copper boiler on the stove. There was no gas or electricity,
    and our light came from kerosene lamps. The week's ironing was done with half a dozen irons that
    were heated on top of the stove, and tested for heat with a wet finger. A few years later, gas was
    brought across the pond and we became quite modern. The simplest gas light was the open flame,
    but for brighter illumination the Welsbach mantle burners were superior, and gave off a sizzling sound
    as they burned. Charles Merrill, Hopedale As I Found It. (Hopedale in 1910.)

                                                                       ***************

    Bancroft Park (ca. 1896 - 1903) is a subdivision of thirty double houses (sixty units total) with a site
    plan executed by landscape architect Warren Henry Manning. Set on a knoll, the subdivision is
    approached from Freedom Street and has an elliptical plan defined by a curving street, and smaller
    service roads located at the outer edges of the subdivision. The earliest dwellings, fourteen double
    houses at the center (odd street numbers), are contained within the curve of the road and face
    outward. The later (even-numbered) double houses in the subdivision were built at the periphery (ca.
    1900 – 1903) and face inward. Each unit encompasses approximately 1,500 to 1,700 square feet, and
    includes a parlor, dining room, and kitchen on the first floor and three bedrooms and a bathroom
    above. The units featured central heating, running water, and sewer hookup.

    Bancroft Park double houses are 2 ½ stories on a rubble stone foundation, with two chimneys,
    synthetic siding (usually asbestos shingle covering original cypress shingle), and windows
    containing 6/1, 6/6, casement, or fixed sash. Dormers are hipped or gabled. Eleven forms of double
    houses at Bancroft Park have been identified, and are described in general terms here. It should be
    noted that some of the forms are seen in both the original group and the later group. Two forms have
    T-shaped footprints, three have U-shaped footprints, and six have rectangular footprints. All have
    symmetrical facades, though considerable variety in the elevations is achieved through a mix of gable,
    cross-gable, gambrel, or cross-gambrel roofed elements. The paired cross-gable roofline of 72-74
    Bancroft Park is unique in this subdivision. As a group, the houses have entries paired at the center of
    the façade, spaced more widely apart, or placed on the side elevation and shielded with porches. All
    houses have entry porches, either integral or projecting from the façade. Most porches have been
    enclosed. Traces of Queen Anne-inspired design are evident, such as the cut-away bays in houses of
    the same type as 11-13 Bancroft Park, the overhanging gable ends such as those of 20-22 Bancroft
    Park and the decorative half-timbering and bargeboards evident in the examples such as 59-61
    Bancroft Park. As a whole. However, the subdivision is largely Colonial Revival in style, and
    encompasses the best collection of turn-of-the-century Colonial Revivals in Hopedale.

    With the construction of Bancroft Park, the Draper Company began to amass a collection of stock
    plans that were reused in subsequent developments of employee double houses. The Bancroft Park
    double houses were designed by several architects under contract to the Draper firm: Edwin J. Lewis,
    Jr., J. William Beal, Walker & Kimball, and Peabody & Stearns, all of Boston; and Robert Allen Cook of
    Milford. Cook also supervised the construction of the inner-loop houses, which were completed and
    occupied by 1897, and tailored the plans of the outer-loop houses to meet site plan requirements. As
    demonstrated in the Hopedale inventory, twenty-seven double houses built on Dutcher Street,
    Progress Street, Lake Street, Hope Street, Peace Street, Prospect Street, and Union Street are similar
    in form to double house designs introduced at Bancroft Park. Kathy Kelley Broomer, National
    Register Nomination for the Hopedale Historic District.

    For Aerosmith fans - The Hopedale street listing books record the Perry family at 61 Bancroft Park up
    to 1962. Starting in 1963, their address is given as 84 Mill Street.

              
Bancroft Park, c. 1900               Draper Duplexes          Dot Stanas's Bancroft Park Memories       

                                                              
National Register Nomination Menu      

                   
Charles Merrell's Bancroft Park Memories               Now and Then Menu             HOME   

    In  the map below, you can get a hint of what some Draper Corporation executives were planning just
    as World War II was coming to an end. It was called Bancroft Park Extension. Much of it would have
    been built in the area that later became the Pinecrest development. The only part of this that they
    carried out was their last housing development, Hammond Road. If you'd like to see a larger version
    of the plan, click on the drawing.

    Below the Extension map is a blueprint from 1955. It was donated to the Bancroft Library in 2013.
    Considering the date, I assume it was drawn when Draper Corporation was about to sell its houses.
    You can click on it to see a larger version on the same page as the 1945-46 plan.


The pictures below were taken on March 4, 2010.
2010

From the Hopedale Village Historic District National Register Nomination