The proposed Mt. Independence Historic District area is made up of seven residential properties and two wooded lots with distinctive architecture and history. At the heart of the proposed district is the architectural and historically significant Dudley Murphy House at 12 Summit Road, built for noted American artists Herman Dudley Murphy and his wife Nellie Littlehale Murphy along with the artist studio /guest house for artist Aiden Lassell Ripley, now 52 Follen. The 12 Summit Road landscape was designed by the Olmsted Brothers, prominent landscape architects. The district also includes the historic bridle path/footpath between the two properties and other features dating back to the observation tower Eli Robbins built on Mount Independence in the 1830s. The Massachusetts Historical Commission (MHC) determined that 12 Summit and 52 Follen as well as the landscape designed by the Olmsted Brothers, are eligible to be included in a National Register Historic District and voted unanimously in support of the establishment of the new proposed Mt. Independence Historic District in Lexington.
Our goal is to preserve the history of Mt. Independence (now known as Follen Hill) through the establishment of Mt. Independence Historic District. The establishment of a local historic district will provide needed historic review and approval of changes and new construction to the properties in the district in order to maintain the architectural and historic integrity of the neighborhood.
We urge the Lexington Town Meeting Members and all Lexington elected officials to support the establishment of Mt. Independence Historic District and protect our town’s historic resources.
We want smart growth for Lexington while still preserving the rich heritage that we all value.