White Court/Blythswood Public Path
The White Court/Blythswood Public Path and interpretive signage are a collaborative effort of the Swampscott Conservation Commission and the Swampscott Historical Commission.
An area extending from Littles Point Road to the beautiful rocky coastline has been designated as one of Swampscott’s Heritage Landscapes by the Essex National Heritage Commission and by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation. This beautiful landscape and others are described in the Swampscott Reconnaissance Report (2005), which you may read by clicking here. The developers of the new White Court Condominiums widened the Blythswood Public Path by extending it onto White Court property and added a lovely circular viewing area at its coastal terminus.
In addition to issuing permits under the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act for projects in or near natural resources, Swampscott’s Conservation Commission also plays an important role in town open space planning, acquisition, and management. In this role, it manages Swampscott’s conservation land, including the White Court/Blythswood Public Path.
The Swampscott Historical Commission’s (“SHC”) primary responsibilities are to protect and preserve Swampscott’s historical heritage and resources, and, in particular, to preserve the town’s historically significant buildings. The SHC also maintains the archives for the Town of Swampscott and has provided interpretive signage of points of interest throughout the town. We believe that by sharing items from the town’s archives we will provide our citizens with a better understanding of the importance of historic preservation.
This 2 ½ story home designed by Arthur Little had a U-shaped plan facing a circular courtyard and long driveway to Littles Point Road. The original Colonial Revival interior was modified in the 1920s in the Italian Renaissance Revival style. In 1928, the home was purchased by Timothy J. Falvey of Boston. At that time, the original clapboard was covered in stucco, reflecting the aesthetic trend of the time. (Neighboring Blythswood was also covered in stucco around the same time.) In 1954, the Falvey heirs sold the property to the Sisters of Mercy, who initially founded Marian Court Secretarial School in 1964, which became Marian Court Junior College of Business in 1980 and in 1994, Marian Court College, a four-year liberal arts college. During this time, various buildings were added on either side of the original property to serve as additional classroom space. All of the buildings were clad in vinyl, replacement windows were installed in the mansion and much of the exterior detail was covered or removed in order to address maintenance issues. A number of beautiful interior architectural details were preserved and may be seen by clicking on the slideshow link, below. The college closed on June 30, 2015 following declining enrollment. The property was subsequently bought by a developer and demolished in 2018. The replica that was built to replace the central building depicts much of the original Arthur Little design from the front exterior elevation.
For more historic photos of White Court and Blythswood, both the exterior grounds and the interior of the house, you may view a slideshow here.
The Town of Swampscott recognizes that the Indigenous Peoples of the lands (later known as the Americas) have lived on these lands since time immemorial. We honor the fact that Swampscott has been built upon the traditional and ancestral homelands of Native Americans, referred to as Naumkeags, who called Swampscott the “land of the red rock.”