Peter Miller

Peter Miller joined the Medford Historical Commission in winter 2019, just in time to help with our annual spring rush of demolition applications. He has jumped right in and he has this to share with us: the following personal introduction and a view of old Corey St,

My wife and I feel lucky to have settled in the Hillside neighborhood in 1997. We have three children, all of which have attended the Medford public schools. As an architect, I have an appreciation for the timeless craftsmanship and detail that can be found in our historic structures and I look forward to helping contribute to the preservation of Medford’s historic fabric. In summer, I can be seen performing with my band at the Medford Farmer’s Market and I very much enjoy walking my dog, Edward, past the Paul Curtis House and along the Mystic river paths.

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Photo courtesy of the Commissioner.

Historically Significant: 23 Bowers St

At the Historical Commission’s April public meeting, the carriage house at 23 Bowers St was found to be historically significant. At our May public meeting we will determine whether or not this building is also 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. Meeting will be Monday, May 13 at 7 PM in Room 201 of City Hall.

At the April meeting, the application for demolition of the house and garage at 45-47 Mystic Ave was approved, as these were NOT found to be historically significant.

Preferably Preserved

Buildings at 421 High Street16 Foster Court104 Winchester Street and 7 Lauriat Place were all determined to be preferably preserved at our April public meeting. Thanks to the Medford residents who shared their thoughts and concerns at the public meeting, and in writing.

For details on each decision, please see our forthcoming meeting minutes.

When a building is found to be “preferably preserved” an 18 month delay of demolition is imposed, to give the applicant time to consider renovation, reuse, relocation and other alternatives to demolition.

Each of the applicants is invited to return to the Commission’s upcoming public meetings to present plans and alternatives, and to discuss the preservation concerns that their neighbors and the commission have. If, in any case, a plan is developed that addresses the concerns of the public and the commission, the demolition delay may be lifted before the 18 month period.

April Agenda

It’s a big meeting – with Cincotti Funeral Home in West Medford, a shipbuilding family’s early Cape Cod in East Medford, a 19th century gold leaf workshop, and a Ball Square beauty all on the agenda. Each of these buildings was deemed “historically significant” at the March public meeting. At this month’s public meeting the Historical Commission will decide whether or not each of these properties is also “preferably preserved.”

April 2019 Agenda

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. Meeting will be Monday, April 8 at 7 PM in Room 201 of City Hall.

Demo Application: 23 Bowers St

The Medford Historical Commission has received an application to demolish the carriage house at 23 Bowers St, built c. 1880, next door to the Shiloh Baptist Church. A recent Massachusetts Historical Commission Form B was prepared to detail the history of the property, including the carriage house building.

The Commission will post additional information to this page as review of this demolition proceeds.

23 Bowers St MassHC Form B
West Medford Commercial District Area Form
Click here  for the community overview for West Medford from the Survey Plan

Demo Application: 45-47 Mystic Ave

[At the April 2019 meeting of the Medford HC, this property was found to be NOT historically significant, and the demo permit was granted.]

The Medford Historical Commission has received an application to demolish the *house and* carriage house at 45-47 Mystic Ave. A Massachusetts Historical Commission Form B was recently prepared to detail the history of the property, including the carriage house building.

For a peek at the life of “Honest” James Golden, a famous horse trainer at the Mystic Trotting Park and beyond, check out the Form B.

Trotting

Image of the 1872 race of Lucy and Goldsmith Maid,  from the Library of Congress

The Commission will post additional information to this page as review of this demolition proceeds.

MysticAve_45-47 MassHC Form B

[Updated April 11 – At our April meeting, the application for demolition of the house and garage at 45-47 Mystic Ave was approved, as these were NOT found to be historically significant.]

March Applications

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 older than 75 years old –  the house and carriage house at 45-47 Mystic Ave and the carriage house at 23 Bowers St  – 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.

March Determinations

At our March meeting, the Commission made the following determinations:

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. 

Cincotti 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.