Wakefield Park stone entrance gate

  • Wakefield Park stone entrance gate
  • Heath, Douglas
  • "Attached is my entry for the "Then and Now" contest. I chose "Park Gates -- Wakefield, Massachusetts" for my subject. The gates on Chestnut Street form the entrance to Wakefield Park, on the west side of town. I have been interested in the Park's history since moving here in the mid-1990's. The land was originally owned by Dr. Charles Jordan and consisted largely of pastureland and orchards. In the early 1890's, Boston lawyer Charles Stedman Hanks and J. S. Merrill developed the 100-acre property to attract upper middle-class residents. Wakefield Park may have been the first planned suburban development in the United States, and is still a very attractive place to live. I took my photograph using a late 19-century technique, probably similar to the one used to take the original picture. I made the contact print from a 10" X 12" glass negative that I exposed with a 100-year old camera and brass lens. To make the negative, I poured a silver-gelatine emulsion gently on a glass plate to form a smooth coating, and allowed it to dry. I exposed the plate for 8 seconds about 10 a.m. on March 24th, 2010 from the same position and approximate time of day as the original. Comparing the two photographs, changes over the past 120 years are apparent. The original Park Avenue was unpaved and much narrower than it is now. The building slightly visible on the right was moved across Park Avenue sometime before the Emmanuel Temple was built. The house that appears between the gates had a second floor added in the 1970's according to its current owner. In addition, all electric lines have since been put underground." - caption provided by Doug Heath, contest winner.
  • Winner of photo contest, Special Award for Creativity (Duplicating 19th Century Photo Techniques), Adult category
  • First photo is a reproduction of a undated picture postcard, looking west toward the Wakefield Park gates located at the intersection of Chestnut Street and Park Avenue. Second photo taken by Doug Heath, March 2010.
  • 2010
  • Wakefield, MA : The authors


Heath, Douglas, “Wakefield Park stone entrance gate,” NOBLE Digital Heritage, accessed January 26, 2021, https://digitalheritage.noblenet.org/noble/items/show/3804.


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