Name: Owen Nawn Factory

Location: 2080 Washington Street, Roxbury, MA 02119

Built/Founded: 1880

By Ada McKenzie, PhD.


This two-story brick factory was erected in 1880 by Mr. Owen Nawn, a building contractor and developer, in the Italianate style, featuring simple cornice lines, a flat roof, a simple segmented, arched windows and doors.

History:The cobblestone court linking the building to the Cunningham and Deggett buildings was once a bustling area. (The Cunningham building was built in 1784 by Josiah Cunningham. The Doggett building was built in 1787 by Jesse Doggett. The south half of the Cunningham house was acquired by Luther Morse, a soap-boiler, and was sold to John Hunt, a Morocco leather dresser. The Doggett House was sold to Owen Nawn in 1866.) Nawn constructed his factory, which also manufactured soap, on the former Cunningham and Doggett grounds.

The Owen Nawn Building extended through to Harrison Avenue, and was known as Nawn Street due to the many buildings on the street also owned by Mr. Owen Nawn.

The site at 2080 Washington Street was used for manufacturing prior to the construct of the Owen Nawn Factory. Since 1815, it was the site of a soap factory, and subsequently a tannery. The Nawn Factory was one of the contractors that built Dudley Station and the elevated transit line in 1901.

Current Use:Not currently in use.


(excerpted from Landmark Commission files)