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Here’s the deal with that Belvedere Abbott Road sign

Belvedere Abbott Road sign, may 2013The slow news days of summer are good for little Wellesley history lessons. Ever wondered about that nice wooden Belvedere Abbott Road sign at the corner of Abbott Road and Washington St. in Wellesley Hills?

Wellesley’s Tory DeFazio explains:

The Belvedere-Abbott Road sign was originally designed and placed at the entrance of Abbott Road in Wellesley Hills in the 1920’s.  It designates the entrance to Wellesley’s first large-house residential development.  Known as the “Belvedere” (Italian for “beautiful to see”) after Judge Josiah Abbott’s home, the area is now considered part of the Wellesley Country Club neighborhood.

The original sign was done in wood with carved wood lettering.   Wrought iron brackets forged by the Frederick Krasser Company in Roxbury attach the sign to a vertical post.  It is considered an excellent example of colonial revival craftsmanship of the period.  The Krasser Company was an important part of the Society of Arts and Crafts movement in Boston and was influential in the revival of the blacksmith’s art during the turn of the 19th century.  Krasser died in 1913 but his shop was kept going under Frank Koralewsky.   Another of his works hangs in the entryway of the Sprague School in Wellesley, an interesting lantern depicting symbolic representations of the five members of the school’s building committee in 1924.

The sign has been repaired many times over the years but in July 2009 it collapsed because of rot.   Through funds raised by neighbors and matched by the Community Preservation Committee, a new restored sign in gold leaf was erected in December 2010.  Cost was about $6,000.

RELATED: Wellesley Historical Society

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  1. Posted July 14, 2014 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Great info from Tory.

    Belvedere came from ‘Belvidere’ — the section of Lowell from which the Abbott family had lived prior to establishing their summer estate in Wellesley in the late 1860s. (That house, which sat on the site of Kirkland Circle, was known as ‘The Hundreds.’)

    I’m not sure who changed the ‘i’ to an ‘e’ in Belvedere. But I think it definitely works better. Looks more elegant, which is exactly what the Abbotts were going for.

    • bbrown
      Posted July 14, 2014 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      Thanks for the additional info Josh.

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