Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Crystal Ballroom

While walking to Dudly Square I noticed this beautiful arch in front of a house in Roxbury. You know those little colorful houses, all lined up next to each other? I crossed the street and spoke with the kids sitting on the front steps. They got really quiet as I approached them. I asked if I could take pictures of the structure and they said okay and didn't make fun of me, which was cool. I got a kick out of this, so cool! None of the other houses have anything like this in front of them....I pretty much expressed that sentiment out loud and the kids just smiled at me.

This is what the plaque says:
The Limesttone Arch, supported on Ionic columns, framed a large round-arched window between the third and fourth stories of the former Intercolonial Club Building that was located at this site and was razed in 1999.

The Intercolonial Club was built in 1906 as a middle-class social club. For over fifty years, members of the Irish community from Boston and nearby suburbs danced in the building's two-story ballroom – Intercolonial Hall (later known as they Crystal Ballroom). At the height of its popularity during the second quarter of the century, Intercolonial Hall was one of five such dance halls located near Dudley Square. Executed in red brick and ornamented with limestone trim, the Intercolonial Club was designed on the Classical revival style by Harris M. Stephen (1845-1909), a prolific Boston architect.

Although only two blocks from Dudley Station, the Intercolonial Hall was originally surrounded by a residential neighborhood which consisted of wood frame, single-family detached houses, wood and brick apartment buildings, triple deckers and occasional brick blocks with storefronts. The construction of Orchard Park Off-Site Housing in 1999 has attempted to recreate the scale of the former neighborhood that was lost to vacancy and demolition during the 1970s and 1980s.

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