The History of St Marks Neighborhood


 The focal point of this relatively small area is St. Mark's Roman Catholic Church. The boundaries of this area have been drawn to include architecturally significant residential structures on the north and south sides of the church complex. This area is bounded by Dorchester Avenue to the east, Roseland Street as far west as Santuit Street on the south, the back lot lines of St. Marks (Samoset Street) and on the north by Mather Street. The focal point of the area, as well as the most highly visible landmark is the Gothic St. Mark's Roman Catholic Church (1915). Also situated on the St. Mark's property is a Georgian Revival rectory (#20 Roseland Street), as well as a Georgian Revival convent and Gothic Revival St. Mark?s Roman Catholic School. These buildings are surrounded by play areas and parking lots as well as landscaped grounds along Dorchester Avenue. To the south of the church complex, bordering the south side of Roseland Street are well-crafted Queen Anne / Colonial Revival 3-deckers at 15 to 31 Roseland Street. Ranged along Cheverus Road on the north side of St. Mark's is a group of eight 2-family houses (#'s 5 to 37 Cheverus Road) which constitute a streetscape made memorable by the rhythmic repetition of boxy wood shingle clad, gable fronted forms. This area also encompasses Centre Avenue (not to be confused with Centre Street) which curves north eastward at le western end of Centre Avenue. Centre Avenue offers a very diverse collection of housing, ranging from Italianate / Mansard residences in various states of preservation. (The T-shaped Italianate Mansard at 17 Centre Avenue retains its clapboards and bell cast mansard roof). #'s 3 and 15 Centre Avenue blend Stick work elements with Queen Anne form. Particularly noteworthy is the well crafted Queen Anne with Stick Style barge board treatments at #15 Centre Avenue. The three bay main facade exhibits a small, open front porch with curvilinear bracing and square posts and a two story polygonal bay with scalloped shingles projects from the left bay. This building is enclosed by a broad gable roof with walls covered by scalloped shingles. Additionally, small cut brackets appear beneath the eaves. Centre Street, forming the northern edge of the district, is noteworthy for the large, brick Italianate/Mansard institutional building at 252 Centre Street. Formerly the Industrial School for Girls, this brick structure is composed of a main block and west ell. Projecting from the center of its three bay main facade is a small, enclosed entry with mansardic roof. This distinctive straight sided mansard roof profile is echoed by the roofs of the main block and side ell. Miraculously, given the New England climate, most of the slate shingles are intact. The main block's massive mansard is surmounted by a mansard roofed cupola. Narrow, fully enframed double windows with angled and bracketed wooden lintels pierce the walls of the three bay main facade. Otherwise, single narrower than standard sized windows are the rule. This house is situated at the center of a relatively ample ,000 square foot lot. Also noteworthy along Centre Street are Queen Anne 3-deckers with robust, well crafted arches at #'s 227, 229 and 233 Centre A venue. 


The St. Marks Area Civic Association was established over a three month period in the summer of 1992. 
Several community activists and neighbors within the St. Mark's area met several times in the Lower Church Hall at St. Mark Chuch to discuss boundaries, bylaws and logistical matters with the intent of setting up a new civic association.  State Representative James T. Brett's Office, especially Sean Morrissey and Steven Cidlevich, was instrumental in assisting the constituents in the formation of the Association.
One of the more challenging aspects of creating the St. Mark's Area Civic Association was coming up with a name for the association.  Many neighborhoods in the Dorchester area have always identified themselves by their local Roman Catholic Church.  Unlike other neighborhoods in Dorchester the Saint Mark's area founding members struggled to find a landmark or nickname that described and identified the neighborhood which we lived.  St. Brendan's Parish had Cedar Grove, St. Margaret's Parish had Savin Hill and St. Ann's Parish had Pope's Hill as an identifier for their neighborhood.  Even though the founders of our Association struggled with having a secular name, they agreed that OUR neighborhood was best described as the "St. Mark's Area".  Therefore, the St. Mark's Area Civic Association was established as the name of our Association.



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St. Marks Area Civic Association
The St. Marks Area Civic Association is a group of community conscious residents who want to improve the quality of life in our section of Dorchester. We meet in the lower hall of St, Marks Church, at 1725 Dorchester Ave on the last Tuesday of each month