305-307 Pleasant Street is an abandoned two-family 1897 Victorian Revival in the South-End. A few blocks from downtown, this Receiver property is on a block where WHALE is restoring two other properties, Howland House and 318 Pleasant Street. The historic nature of the street is intact and restoration of this neighborhood is very important. This project is partially funded by the City of New Bedford’s Community Preservation Act program.
Between 1895 and 1897, local pastel and glass artist William H. C. Taylor commissioned the construction of 305-307 Pleasant Street, a Victorian two-flat with Eastlake and Colonial Revival detailing. Taylor purchased the lot as a subdivision of a previously larger estate, a common practice during the last quarter of the nineteenth century as New Bedford’s industrial economy boomed and its population surged, leading to an increase in dense residential construction.
Taylor worked as an artist for the Smith Brothers studio, a well-known New Bedford glass decorating company that produced fine, hand-painted art glass. 305-307 Pleasant Street was appropriately embellished, both for late-nineteenth-century Victorian aesthetics and for Taylor as an artist, with what were likely stained or leaded glass windows in the original dining rooms and intricately detailed brass door hardware throughout the house.
Today, the house is sadly missing some of its original details due to intermittent remodeling and vandalism. All of the original windows in the house have been replaced with vinyl windows, the stained or leaded glass dining room windows and their surrounding molding have been completely removed, and a number of doors are missing their original brass hardware.
Many original details remain, however, including beautiful, unpainted woodwork and five-panel doors throughout the interior. In addition to the exterior work, which will include restoring the original wooden clapboards that were covered under modern vinyl siding and installing new, historically-sensitive windows, the 305-307 Pleasant Street project will fully restore and rehabilitate the interior to transform it back into a charming two-family home. R. P. Valois will be the General Contractor for exterior restoration of this property.