The original 1998 Orchard Area Form (PDF), compiled by the Mass. Historical Commission, includes data sheets and photographs.
About the Area
Orchard Avenue is a narrow, curvilinear former estate road, now a private road, which runs through a quiet, secluded neighborhood in the southeast corner of Weston. This neighborhood is the core of a former estate known as Ridgehurst and includes many of the estate buildings set within a naturalistic landscape enhanced by protected open space maintained as meadow.
The area delineated by this area form encompasses over 50 acres with only 16 houses, among them the highly significant Shingle Style mansion of the estate owner, Charles Townsend Hubbard, along with a group of surviving frame outbuildings now converted to residential use and houses built over the years by Hubbard family members.
The area has no common architectural theme. All the houses are completely different, tied together, not by any common design thread but by their history and association with the Hubbard family that established the estate. The diverse group of 1- to 2-1/2 story buildings, clad in clapboard, shingle, brick and stucco, have designs ranging from Colonial to Shingle Style to English Tudor and Colonial Revival and are often sited with special attention to topographical and landscape features.
Many of these buildings are early examples of “adaptive reuse,” as they are former outbuildings that have been moved and/or converted to residences. The family willingness to move buildings reached a high point in the 1920s, when one family member moved an 18th century house from its original location in Newmarket, New Hampshire (100 Orchard Avenue).
Orchard Avenue Area Historical Narrative
The Orchard Avenue area is historically significant as the center of the Hubbard Estate, a country retreat and “gentleman’s farm” developed and maintained by three generations of the Hubbard family from the late 1860s until World War II.