October Agenda

Our October monthly meeting will be Monday, October 19, via Zoom. The agenda is below, and includes all Zoom info.

We will be reviewing 3 applications for demolition, and determining historical significance for a large Queen Anne home in the Wellington area, at 202 Middlesex Avenue.

If you follow us on Facebook, you’ll have seen my recent post about Elinor, a young woman who lived in Medford in the 1930s and kept a diary. That diary has been found by a young woman living in the Boston area NOW and she publishes Elinor’s entries on Instagram – along with photos and a little background research about the names and places mentioned in the diary.

WELL!!

It looks like Elinor may well have spent the summer of 1933 at 202 Middlesex Avenue! In that summer, Elinor lived with a family she calls “Uncle Roy” and “Aunt Shirley,” or “The Robbinses” and she describes many of their local outings and adventures, including an evening “running walk” around the Fellsway and Wellington Road. Furthermore, according to our surveyors’ Form B on 202 Middlesex Ave,

“Henry Lyman Cornell (1852-1935) was a music teacher and vocal musician of opera. Little could be ascertained about his career through readily available records, but several brief newspaper accounts suggest he was actively performing in Boston as a basso during the 1880s. In 1900 the household, identified as 202 Middlesex Avenue, included his wife, Harriet Sophia (Withington, 1849-1940), whom he married in 1874, three sons, and three daughters born between 1879 and 1899. In 1930[…] the household included his daughter, Shirley (b. 1880) and her husband Leroy H. Robbins (b. 1880), a real estate broker.”

Spoiler Alert!

Medford’s current Demo Review process is not likely to be a surprise or an exceptional burden for homeowners or developers. 

Most Massachusetts communities, from Boston to Woburn and beyond have a demo review process similar to that in the City of Medford. A property owner would be hard pressed to “leave Medford” and buy a property nearby that does not need to follow this, or a similar process, before being demolished. Similarly, a developer – someone whose business it is to redevelop properties – would not likely buy in Medford, Arlington, Woburn, etc and not know that older buildings will be subject to a demo review process by the town or city. 

On our website, we describe the demolition review process in our city, and at the bottom of that page you can review the demolition policies of our neighboring towns and cities.

Demolition Site on Winthrop Street

For information on the homes demolished on Winthrop Street site above, and the famous folks who had lived there, read more here!!

This is the fourth post in a series of Clarifications & Corrections. See also:

“Pro-Active Preservation,” about our ongoing survey and inventory research.

“Kissing Cousins”, which explains the different roles of the Historical Commission, the Historical Society and the Historic District Commission.

And “Are We Anti-Development?” about the big picture directive of the Medford Historical Commission.