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Dow Block
U.S. Historic district
Contributing property
Dow Block - Stoneham, MA - DSC04294.JPG
Dow Block
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Location Central Square, Stoneham, Massachusetts
Built 1864
Architectural style Second Empire
Part of Central Square Historic District (ID89002277)
MPS Stoneham MRA
NRHP reference No. 84002570
Quick facts for kids
Significant dates
Added to NRHP April 13, 1984
Designated CP January 17, 1990

The Dow Block is a historic commercial building on Central Square in Stoneham, Massachusetts. Built in 1864, it is the first of three mid-19th century buildings that define Central Square, and is a fine example of Second Empire architecture. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984, and was included in the Central Square Historic District in 1990.

Description and history

Central Square in the heart of Stoneham is a triangular square defined by Main Street (Massachusetts Route 28), which runs north-south, and Central Street, which extends northeast from a junction that also includes Franklin Street. The Dow Block stands just north of a small plaza at the corner. It is a 3+12-story brick building with a mansard roof, and presenting a symmetrical facade south to the square. The roof is made of patterned slate tiles, and has a central projecting and raised section. Three dormers with hip roofs and small central gables are arranged across, the central one with a three-part window and the outer ones with paired sash windows. The facade is divided into three portions demarcated by sandstone quoins at the corners and similar piers between. Windows on the second and third floors are separated by Stick style panels.

The Dow Block was built in 1864 by Moses Dow, a real estate investor from Charlestown. Early uses of the building included housing the town post office and library. Along with the Oddfellows Building (c. 1870) and Chase Block (1874), the building is one of the defining elements of Stoneham's Central Square.

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