Boston during the first 50 years of its existence remained architecturally a community of mostly wooden buildings in an English-derived post-medieval tradition. About 1680, however, there began to be a significant influx of new building artisans, many of them with London backgrounds. These men became the "carriers" of stylistic ideas then fashionable in English urban centers among the mercantile middle class, ideas which can best be defined as a blending of English Renaissance forms, derived ultimately from Inigo Jones and his successors, with contemporary material and stylistic borrowings from the Lowlands. Patronized by Boston's own growing mercantile elite, the immigrant builders were responsible for the transplantation in provincial terms of a new "high" style, while at the same time introducing into Boston for a more modest clientele of artisans and small shopkeepers current urban vernacular forms, representative of the simplest two- and three-story brick houses of post-Fire London.

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