Through conversations with neighborhood stakeholders, tours of the district, and a lot of research into the history of Roslindale’s built environment, Historic Boston identified the following properties to list in our Commercial Casebook, along with some information about the buildings’ significance.
Parkway Building: The Parkway Building is a two story building located on the corner of Washington and Poplar Streets, with the primary façade facing on Washington Street. The distinctive parapet features decorative panels separated by bold piers topped by ziggurats. Building permits show that the Parkway Building replaced a 1 ½ story wood stable building that was razed after two horses fell through the floor in the middle of the night. The building was developed by John Basile of Basile Realty Company, a local contractor that developed several commercial and residential parcels in Roslindale (including the commercial building at 4196 Washington Street, on the corner of Basile Street). He hired Maurice Levy, a relatively unknown Boston architect who also designed residential homes in Jamaica Plain’s Woodbourne neighborhood. Levy designed an underground extension in the rear to accommodate plans to build bowling alleys in the basement of the building. The first floor has always contained commercial retail uses, such as pizza shops, bakeries and hair salons, while the second floor was used for office space. The attractive Art Deco commercial block is a significant character defining feature for the commercial district.