Thomas Brooks Park: Update 2.0!

Have you seen all the amazing work happening at Thomas Brooks Park on Grove Street? If you have not been down this historic street in a while, drive by as you’re in for a treat! Progress is moving right along with the restoration of Pomp’s Wall and the Fieldstone Wall. Here is a quick summary of what has happened in the last two weeks.

Pomp’s Wall:

The lower portion of Pomp’s wall has been restored. The wall is laid in Flemish Bond, a decorative brick pattern that can now be seen clearly. Much of the wall is original 18th century brick and the mason is doing everything he can to preserve the hand made features. The far end, which was ready to topple over, is on its way to being reconstructed. The bricks were stored to document their exact location so the wall will be rebuilt exactly as it was.

Fieldstone Wall Restoration:

The contractors are moving right along with the rebuilding of the granite wall that borders the remainder of the park. We are pleased with the progress to date. They have laid more than one hundred feet of stonework in the past week and that is impressive.

We have received several calls and emails pertaining to access openings in the park. Rest assured that there will be plenty of access points along the length of Grove Street. These have been strategically mapped out with assistance from our landscape architect, the Department of Public Works, City Engineering/Traffic Department and the on-site contractor. Some entrance points are being moved to ensure the safest crossing area and site lines for pedestrians when crossing the street. If your favorite access point has been closed off, it is very likely that there will be a new opening created close by!

Do look for the openings, such as this one opposite Laird Road. We will mark them with signage and crosswalks in the next phase of work. We look forward to your ongoing support for the restoration efforts in Thomas Brooks Park! If you are interested in being on our email list, please do not hesitate to send us an email to sign up at

April Meeting Recap

Here’s a quick recap of the decisions we made at the April meeting –

The Historical Commission found 222 Boston Avenue not preferably preserved, but we expect that the redevelopment of this historically significant site will continue to have public discussion and feedback as plans continue through the Community Development Board and other city offices.

Both 12 George Street and 28 Winter Street were voted NOT historically significant.  

The house at 17 Green Road was voted historically significant; the Commission agrees that it is an excellent and well-preserved late 19th century shingle-style home. Shingle-style, though now widespread throughout the country, began as a New England style of architecture influenced by domestic and commercial coastal buildings, and their use of shingle. The influence of New England shingle-style can be seen in many turn-of-the-century homes throughout Medford, but 17 Green Road is an especially good example of the style. Although the actual shingle is covered by a recent application of vinyl siding, the proportions, massing and roofline of a classic shingle-style are still evident. The house was built for a prominant Boston doctor as a summer home. Its large porches and placement on a rocky outcropping at the top of what was then called “Highland Avenue,” preserve a sense of the dramatic natural landscape, and the beginnings of that landscape’s development into residential use. More info is available in the Form B our architectural historians prepared.

We also received an application to begin the demo review process at 142 Mystic Avenue.  

Finally, we approved our annual report for 2022.

April Meeting Materials

The April meeting is going to be busy with a hearing and three determinations of significance. The Commission will then conclude with ongoing business. Be sure to check out our agenda that comes out on the Wednesday before the meeting.

222 Boston Avenue Public Hearing

222 Boston Avenue, formerly 55 North Street. The building is being proposed for demolition.

Last month, the Historical Commission determined the building at 222 Boston Avenue historically significant. The multi-story factory building was constructed for the G.L. Erving Company. This business specifically catered to the larger American Woolen Company complex next door at 200 Boston Avenue. The entire American Woolen Company complex is an important reminder of our industrial history. There were only a handful of large mills, the type you might see in Lawrence or Lowell, and they were constructed along the adjacent rail corridor.

You can read all about the complex in the Massachusetts Historical Commission Area Form from Medford and there’s a bit more context about the site in the form for Somerville.

Determination of Significance:

The Commission has received three applications this month for the demolition, in whole or in part, at the following locations:

12 George Street

The Benjamin and Effie L. Richmond House on George Street is among the first development carried out around the Royall House. The property is slated to be altered beyond recognition and the Commission is reviewing the building for significance. An MHC inventory form was prepared for the property and is included for review.

17 Green Road

Prominently located on a lot along Green Road, the Dr. Charles M. and Helen L. Green House is being proposed for substantial renovation that will alter the building. It is an excellent example of shingle style architecture and relates to the early development of Medford Square. The first commuter class homes were constructed just behind the line of houses fronting the main arteries. In this case, the Green House is located just up the street from High Street. It is not difficult to imagine why its owners placed it here. The quiet neighborhood is a world away from the bustle of the busy commercial and municipal heart of Medford. You can read more about the building in the MHC inventory form below.

28 Winter Street

Last but not least is the Randall – Bailey House. This building is slated to be renovated beyond recognition. It is a nineteenth century end house that is typical of the time period. You can read more about it’s owners and the architecture below.

The Commission will determine significance at the next meeting. We do not take public comments at the meeting as there is a public hearing process if the building is significant. If you would like to submit comments in writing, we are happy to enter those into the record as part of our deliberations. Please do not hesitate to send us an email.

At the end of these demolition delay items, the Commission will carry on with it’s normal business. Be sure to check out our blog posts for more information about the happenings around Medford. We have work happening on Thomas Brooks Park, and the survey of historic properties is ongoing.