31 Mount Morris Park West
A substantial essay in Roman brick, 31 Mount Morris Park West, also known as the James Dwight Mansion, was constructed for one of the founders of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda. Designed by Frank H. Smith, a Boston artist and theatrical designer, in a sophisticated mix of Romanesque and Renaissance detailing. Featuring a beautiful portico entry on West 123rd Street, the house was later converted into one of the oldest African American synagogues in the country. It is currently privately owned, and undergoing a sensitive restoration. (Scars visible on the masonry facing West 123rd Street are from the recent removal of fire escapes.)
Smith was one of the celebrated participants in the so-called American Renaissance movement and was an associate of artists such as John La Farge and Augustus Saint-Gaudens. His own residence, called “The Sunflower House”, still stands in Beacon Hill, Boston, as a unique example of the High Aesthetic style.
The Dwights themselves are also commemorated at Mount Holyoke College by the Dwight Memorial Fine Arts Building, a gift from the couple to the school.