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Fabrication of Dorchester three-decker house sculpture in Laura Baring-Gould’s Somerville Studio.

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To honor the legacy of Dorchester families, Laura developed an artwork, which featured a Dorchester three-decker house, an architectural style that was developed in the late 1880’s in Boston to create democratic and affordable housing for expanding populations. Three-deckers often housed multiple generations: new families on the top floor, owners on the middle and retired grandparents downstairs. Today, thousands of three-deckers stand throughout Dorchester.

Arthur Krim describes Dorchester’s three-deckers in the following way: “The triple decker is democratic architecture. It was built to give the average family the benefits of suburban life while living close to city jobs. It was neither tenement nor mansion but rather good solid housing. It was large enough to raise a host of children around the dining room table, but small enough to keep a pot of flowers on the back porch.” 1977

The Three-Deckers of Dorchester (PDF)

To create the model, Baring-Gould replicated a three-decker house that stands near Edward Everett Square. Her model was made of balsa wood and included differently sized windows, a flat roof, and front and rear porches similar to the original house. Watch a video produced by the Boston Arts Commission to see this process in action.

Images courtesy of Laura Baring-Gould Studios