Waban, one of Newton’s thirteen villages, was named for the chief of the Nonantum tribe and given its name in the 1880’s with the advent of a railroad line which connected areas of Newton to Boston. Prominent residents of Waban have included Ralph Waldo Emerson, Jack Lemmon, and Harry Bentley, the founder of Bentley College.
The Pine Ridge Road-Plainfield Street Historic District encompasses a residential subdivision in Waban. It encompasses 44 properties on Pine Ridge Road and Plainfield Street between Chestnut Street and Upland Road, and includes a few properties on the latter two streets. The area was laid out for development in the 1880s after the arrival of suburban rail service, and was built out by the 1930s. The district was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.
This area was farmland until 1886, when it was purchased by developers Charles Page and Frederick Henshaw. Early development in their subdivision took place west of Chestnut Street, and it was not until the 1890s that the area in this district, east of Chestnut Street, began. The area is architecturally diverse, with a modest number of 19th century Queen Anne and Shingle style houses, and a larger number of 20th century Colonial Revival, Tudor, and Craftsman houses. Some were architect-designed, and all are well-proportioned.
The oldest houses in the district date to 1897, and are Queen Anne in style. One of the finer examples is the Stetson House and also built in 1897 is the Shingle style Davidson House. The George Heald House is an example of English Tudor Revival architecture, with Tudor arch motifs, half-timbered gables and extensive use of diamond leadlight windows with heraldry symbols.