On the Trail of Architect Charles M. Baker (1873-1942)

First take a look at Charles Baker’s own colonial revival-style residence in Framingham Center. His house was featured in House Beautiful (August, 1917)

My research on Charles Baker began at the Boston Public Library, where they keep a card file on Boston architects. This prolific architect began his career in Framingham and opened an office in Boston in 1908. He lived most of his life in Framingham.

Next I paid a visit  to the Massachusetts Archives on Morrissey Boulevard which keeps an old wooden card file of building plans from towns all over Massachusetts. The small Southborough collection includes a roll of the original building plans (blueprints) for a “Grade Schoolhouse for Southborough”.   The eleven plans were in perfect condition, and displayed the crisp simplicity of the colonial revival-style schoolhouse. At the bottom of each plan was written — Charles M. Baker Architect, 25 Arch Street, Boston. The blueprints were dated 6-25-29.  In 2008,  Southborough Historical Commission ordered digital and hard copies for their archives.  See thumbnails below:

Click to enlarge

North & South Elevations

Rear Elevation

First Floor  Plan

Second Floor Plan


The Mass. Archives building also houses the offices and files of the Massachusetts Historical Commission (MHC), who have an online database of all historic buildings surveyed for the Commission. 

The table below lists buildings designed by  Charles M. Baker from MHC’s MACRIS files.  Baker built many schools and community centers, houses, churches and a commercial building.  He was active locally in Framingham and Southborough, but the table also shows the diversity of his architectural practice. 

Owner/ Name Date Building Type Location Style Material
Peters High School Annex 1929 School,
Police Station (1971)
Southborough Colonial Revival Brick
Southborough Fire Station 1927 Fire Station, Restaurant Southborough Colonial Revival Brick
Leo L. Bagley Post of American Legion,  1921-22 East Wing, Community Center Southborough Shingle Style Wood
Fayville Baptist Church 1919 Church, Business Office Southborough Colonial Revival Wood
Framingham Community Building, E.W. Dennison Memorial Building c.1928 Community Center Framingham Colonial Revival Brick
Danforth Museum c.1909 Museum, Farley Middle School, Community Center, Meeting Hall Framingham Classical Revival Brick
Jonathan Maynard School   ** 1916 School Framingham Center, Local Historic District, 1995 Colonial Revival Brick
West Boston Gas Co. 1927-8 Commercial block Framingham Colonial Revival Brick
Roosevelt School 1924 School South Framingham Colonial Revival, Spanish Eclectic Brick
L. Allen Kingsbury Elementary School *** 1924 School, Vacant Wellesley Colonial Revival Brick
Theodore Roosevelt Grammar School 1924 School Melrose Classical Revival Brick
North Easton Grammar School 1916 Public School, Vacant, Rehab. housing North Easton, National Register District, 1972 Georgian Revival Brick, cast stone
Natick High School 1912 School,  Town Hall 13 East Central St, Natick Classical Revival Brick
Marlborough High School 1897 School 255 Main St.
Marlborough, National Register District, 1998
Classical Revival  
First Parish Church 1926 Church Framingham Center Classical Revival Brick
Herbert Taylor House 1937 Summer Residence Oyster Harbors, Osterville Colonial Revival Wood shingle
Barbara Pierce Pearmain 1926 Summer House Oyster Harbors, Osterville Colonial Revival Wood


** Architects: Charles M. Baker;  Brodie; Kilham, Hopkins & Greeley

*** Architect, Benjamin Proctor, Jr., associate architect Charles M. Baker



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2 responses to “On the Trail of Architect Charles M. Baker (1873-1942)

  1. jackie

    I have a 1927 house beautiful magazine in great shape that has a story and pictues of the house he lives in in south yarmouth in cape cod.. he refurbished it beautifully!

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