The Medford Historical Commission has revised our Demolition Review Package to – hopefully – make the process more transparent. The 2019 revision is now available here, and on our website’s Demolition Review Process page. Ask for it in the Building Department at City Hall as well!!
In addition to the determinations discussed in the post below, the Medford Historical Commission also received applications for demolition permits from two properties. Both are outbuildings older than 75 years old – 23 Bower Ave and 45-47 Mystic Ave – and we have ordered research on both of them.
We will determine whether or not they are historically significant at the April 8 meeting.
The March meeting was also the first meeting for our newest commissioner, Peter Miller.
At our March meeting, the Commission made the following determinations:
- 421 High Street – Found Historically Significant
- 16 Foster Court – Found Historically Significant
- 104 Winchester Street – Found Historically Significant
- 7 Lauriat Place – Found Historically Significant
Finding so many properties on our agenda historically significant is quite unusual for our commission, but each of these properties represents an interesting aspect of Medford’s history. Together, they make a fascinating timeline of past life and work in Medford.
The small Cape Cod on Foster Court was built between 1804 and 1814, making it one of Medford’s earliest surviving examples of the architectural form for which New England is famous. The Cutter House was owned and occupied by Rebecca Cutter, the widow of a soldier in the Revolutionary War, who supported herself after his death by taking in boarders in the small cottage. Her descendents, who later inherited the house, were part of the Medford shipbuilding families of Sprague and Foster.
The stately Italianate Seaver House on Winchester St is one of the earliest remaining buildings in Ball Square, a commercial and residential neighborhood which developed around the old “Willow Bridge” station of the Boston & Lowell Railroad line. The house (ca. 1865) still has much of its beautiful exterior detail and decoration.
7 Lauriat Place (ca. 1890), in Washington Square, was one of several gold-beating workshops owned and operated by the Lauriat family – a family of scientific innovators and experimenters who settled in Medford in the 19th century. They employed highly-skilled men and women in gold-beating – creating paper-thin gold leaf. The building itself is “an exceptionally rare survival of a small workshop for producing machine- and hand-worked artisanal goods.” Similar workshops “were once a common feature of the built environment of New England” but “have largely disappeared” and with them the history of this skilled labor as well. Quotes taken from the Lauriat Pl_7 Form B prepared by our architectural historians.
Cinotti’s Funeral Home on High St has been a community landmark where West Medford families have honored their loved ones throughout the 20th century.
Each of these buildings will have a public hearing at our April 8 meeting, to determine if it is preferably preserved.
If a building is found preferably preserved, an 18 month delay of demolition will take place, to give the owner time to consider renovation, reuse, relocation and other alternatives to demolition.
Our next meeting will be Monday, 3/11 at 7 PM in City Hall. Full Agenda is here. Properties under discussion include:
- 421 High Street – Determination of Significance
- 16 Foster Court – Determination of Significance
- 104 Winchester Street – Determination of Significance
- 7 Lauriat Place – Determination of Significance
All are welcome to attend, see you there!
The Medford Historical Commission has received a demolition application for the building at 104 Winchester Street. The building is a good example of mid nineteenth century residential dwelling. The Commission hired a preservation consultant to prepare an Massachusetts Historical Commission Form B to document the history.
The Commission will post additional information on this post as the building progresses through the review process.
Click here for information on the South Medford neighborhood from the Survey Plan.
The Medford Historical Commission has received an application to demolish the Cincotti Funeral Home located at 421 High Street. The building is an important part of the West Medford commercial district and was included in the area form. A recent Massachusetts Historical Commission Form B was prepared to detail the history of the building.
The Commission will post additional information to this page as review of this demolition proceeds.
This month the Historical Commission received an application for the demolition of a small cape located at 16 Foster Court. Foster Court is a small residential side street located off Riverside Avenue. It was originally a lane to a landing place along the Mystic River. It later became the entrance to one of many important shipyards. The lane is named for Joshua T. Foster who owned the last shipyard to operate in the area.
The house itself is a great example of an early Cape Cod style dwelling. Its early construction date places it among the few early buildings remaining in the community. The development coincides with the rise of shipbuilding in Medford.
The Historical Commission will update this page as the building moves through the review process.
The Medford Historical Commission has received an application for the demolition of the building at 7 Lauriat Place located within the Washington Square neighborhood of East Medford.
The building at 7 Lauriat Place was a large “gold-beating” or gold leaf workshop run by the Lauriat family. Louis Anselm Lauriat was an innovator of the gold leaf craft in Boston in the early 1800s; he also pursued chemical experimentation, and hydrogen aerial ballooning in cities and towns throughout New England, and as far away as Milwaukee, WI and Memphis, TN! His family moved to Medford and established a number of successful gold-beating workshops here – on Ashland St and Riverside Ave (both c. 1880) where they employed more than 40 men and women in the highly skilled technical labor. The last of the Lauriat gold leaf workshops was built on 4 Lauriat Place, in the late 1890s, with a Lauriat family residence next door at 5 Lauriat Place. Medford’s Lauriat Gold Leaf Workshop continued the craft for another 30 years until the workshop became a printing business.
Image from the pamphlet “The History of Gold Leaf and its Uses” published by the Boston Gold Leaf manufacturer F.W. Rauskalb, in 1915.
Medford’s Lauriat Gold Leaf Workshop has already been recommended for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Buildings by our architectural historians. The Commission will post updates below during the review process.