Audubon Circle was designed in 1887 by Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr. According to the Boston Landmarks Commission, Audubon Circle is defined as "a major crossroads distinguished by a central circle, 250 feet in diameter, at the intersection of Park Drive and Beacon Street.” The Audubon Circle District is considered eligible for National Register and Architectural Conservation District designation “for its collection of well-designed residential buildings and the very fine Ralph Adams Cram-designed Second Church in Boston" (now known as the Ruggles Church). The Second Church of Boston/Ruggles Baptist Church was added to the National Register of Historic Places by the National Park Service in June 2010; a full history is available on the church's website. Cram was also architect for the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York City and supervising architect of Princeton University.
The Circle's buildings were built from 1888 to c. 1915 and represent an extension of the fashionable Back Bay Residential District. Beacon Street and the curved edge of Audubon Circle are lined with substantial single-family row houses, three-family houses and larger apartment complexes. Architecturally and/or historically significant buildings in the district include several Samuel Dudley Kelley groups of Queen Anne/Romanesque row houses documenting the earliest stage of the area’s development, e.g. 918-924 Beacon Street (1889). Highly individual row house designs appear in the Renaissance Revival building at 875 Beacon Street and the Georgian/Classical Revival building at 877 Beacon Street. Both houses were built in 1895 and were also designed by Kelley. Jacobethan residences include the groups at 899-909 Beacon and 6-16 Keswick Street, designed by W.L. Morrison in 1901, and the baronial three family house designed by Kilham and Hopkins for Judge Henry S. Dewey c. 1905. The six-storied Beaux Arts-Jacobethan Inverness at 857 Beacon Street was one of the first large multi-unit buildings in the area and dates to the late 1890s.