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Riverbank Court: 1913

Riverbank Court: 1913

Cambridge, Massachusetts, circa 1913. "Riverbank Court from Harvard Bridge." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

        This brick Tudor-style manor, originally known as Riverbank Court, was designed to be a luxurious apartment house facing the new Cambridge esplanade, today's Memorial Drive. When that real estate scheme failed, the building became a student dormitory (Ashdown House) under the auspices of MIT.     --


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Ashton to Maseeh

This building was renovated in 2011 and renamed Maseeh Hall (a new Ashton Hall was built elsewhere). It's still a dorm for MIT students. You can see in the 2007 street view that the metal fire escapes were still there until the most recent renovation. The masonry barriers on the roof had been replaced by metal by then, though, probably so they didn't brain someone when they fell.

H. B. Ball has been lost to time

Since the Fall of 2011 this building has been Fariborz Maseeh Hall, the largest undergraduate dorm at MIT and named after an alum who made lots and lots of money. Curiously, I had to do quite a bit of searching to identify that H. B. Ball was the architect. The only other reference I can find for him is in an August 1897 edition of "The Brickbuilder," which stated he was the architect of a $130,000 brick apartment hotel to be constructed in Back Bay. I'm guessing this Cambridge apartment building is his masterpiece.

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