January 9, 2010

Neighbors in "Dwellings"

Artist Christopher Frost created Neighbors, which are cast concrete replicas of the temporal homes of some of Forest Hills Cemetery’s permanent residents. These small houses, perched atop a sloping hillside of Roxbury puddingstone, are from the left the home of Boston’s “Lead King” Joseph Chadwick on Cushing Avenue in Dorchester, the home of temperance educator Mary L. Hunt on Trull Street in Dorchester, and in the foreground the summerhouse of gourmet grocery purveyor S. S. Pierce on Marsh Street (now Gallivan Boulevard) in Dorchester. The artist said “I chose structures from the thousands of possible residences in order to include a variety of architectural styles. Just as the houses’ architecture reflected the diversity of their occupants’ background, social status, ethnicity, and other traits during their lifetimes, so the architecture of their monuments and grave sites reflects those traits after their deaths.”

The houses represent the residences of Charles V. Whitten, merchant (1829-1897); Mary L. Hunt, temperance leader (1830-1906), John A. Fox, architect (1836-1902); Joseph H. Chadwick, industrialist, whose Gothic Revival mausoleum is on Fountain Avenue (1827-1902); Ralph Martin, wagon-driver, who perished in the Great Molasses Flood; Samuel S. Pierce, grocer (1807-1881); and Anne Sexton, poet (1928-1967).

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