The Medford Theatre was built in 1915 as a theater for stage performances and the then new-fangled cinema. Also called the Dyer Building, it was designed and constructed by local architect Michael A. Dyer – his firm later built our City Hall. The building’s rear and interior have undergone numerous alterations and currently, Medford residents practice yoga in the original “Lodge Hall,” the spacious meeting hall on the second floor, where the large, arched windows overlook Salem St. The Dyer Building changed hands in 2018, and there are now plans to renovate it into a larger residential development, while preserving the Georgian Revival facade. These plans are currently on view in the City Hall Office of Community Development – check out the plans there and submit your comments to them. Postcard image via Inside Medford.
The barn at 23 Bower St, in West Medford, was determined to be preferably preserved at our May public meeting. For details on the decision, please see our forthcoming meeting minutes.
When a building is found to be preferably preserved an 18 month delay of demolition is imposed. In this case, the Historical Commission requires that the building be fully documented before demolition. The building – located behind a large and recently renovated Queen Anne home, on historically central Bower St – was built c. 1880. Since then, it appears to have been used as a barn, a carriage house and, finally, a working garage. As such, the building retains traces of West Medford’s historical transformation from a rural town center, to a turn of the century suburb, to a 20th century “two-car” community.
In other West Medford development news, our May meeting also included a lengthy discussion – between neighbors, the commission and developers – of plans for 421 High St, the site of Cincotti’s Funeral Home. Thanks to the Medford residents who shared their thoughts at the public meeting.
As a locally owned and operated funeral home, Cincotti’s is importantly associated with the 20th century cultural social history of Medford and its residents, and so the building was deemed preferably preserved at our April meeting. In this case, the applicants were invited to return to the commission’s public meetings to present plans and alternatives to demolition, and to discuss the concerns that their neighbors and the commission have. If a plan can be developed that addresses these issues, the demolition delay on 421 High St may be lifted before the 18 month period. Again, for more on what the plans and concerns are, please see our forthcoming minutes.
Or attend the next public meeting, Monday, June 10, 7 PM City Hall, where conversations will continue!
At our May public meeting, the Medford Historical Commission received an application to demolish the house at 17 Florence Ave, in the Fulton Heights neighborhood.
The Commission will post additional information to this page as review of this demolition proceeds.
[At our June meeting, this house was found to be NOT historically significant and a demo permit was granted.]
This month’s Historical Commission agenda is available here – the public meeting will be Monday, May 13 at 7 PM in City Hall. As ever, please join us!
And when you’re honoring the matriarchs in your life this weekend, think of Julia Ward Howe – a Boston mama and an abolitionist colleague of Medford’s Lydia Maria Child. Click here to read her visionary Mother’s Day Proclamation, written in 1870.