As it happens, Medford’s Historic District Commission is currently operating two members short. If you’re interested in working to preserve Medford’s historic neighborhoods – including the recently discussed Forest St – please be in touch and we can answer any questions about their role, and ours. To apply send a resume and letter of interest to email@example.com.
The home at 109 Forest St was determined to be preferably preserved at our August public meeting.
When a building is found to be “preferably preserved” an 18 month delay of demolition is imposed, to give the applicant time to consider sale, renovation, reuse, relocation and other alternatives to demolition. The 18 month delay, in this case, also allows time for the neighbors, and the Historic District Commission, to develop plans for a potential Forest St Historic District, which could protect the house, and its neighbors, from demolition.
The applicant 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, a demolition delay may be lifted before the 18 month period.
Thanks to the Medford residents who filled Alden Council Chambers to share their thoughts and concerns. Thanks too to residents who contacted us in writing. Everyone we heard from strongly supported preserving the house.
For a review of public comments, and details on the decision, please see our forthcoming meeting minutes.
Here is the August Agenda, for the Historical Commission’s meeting on Mon, Aug 12. Please note the change of venue! We will still be meeting in City Hall at 7 PM, but in the spacious Alden Council Chambers since there is considerable interest in 109 Forest St. Our meeting will follow directly after the Historic DISTRICT Commission, where discussion of Forest St will also be on the agenda.
Because of considerable public interest in Medford’s Forest Street, our Monday, Aug 12th meeting will now be in City Council Chambers at City Hall, 7 PM. This meeting will determine whether or not the house at 109 Forest Street is preferably preserved and subject to a delay in demolition.
The full Public Hearing Notice is as follows:
Notice of Public Hearing
Monday, August 12, 2019
On Intent to Demolish a Significant Building
As Determined by the Medford Historical Commission
Notice is hereby given to the Public that a Notice of Intent to Demolish a Building has been submitted to the Medford Historical Commission for the dwelling house located at 109 Forest Street. The Commission has determined that the building meets the criteria of a significant building as defined in Section 48-77 of the Medford City Ordinances. In accordance with Section 48-78, the Commission is holding a public hearing on Monday, August 12, 2019 at 7:00pm in the Howard F. Alden Memorial Auditorium at Medford City Hall to determine if the demolition of the building at 109 Forest Street would be detrimental to the historical, cultural, or architectural heritage or resources of the City of Medford. For information regarding this hearing, please visit http://www.medfordhistoricalcommission.org. Comments may be submitted prior to the meeting in writing to HistoricalCommission@Medford-MA.gov.
At the Historical Commission’s July public meeting, the house at 109 Forest St was found to be historically significant. At our August public meeting we will determine whether or not this building is also preferably preserved. That meeting will be Monday, August 12. Because there is considerable public interest in Forest St and its historic homes and buildings we would like to consider locations larger than the usual Room 201 at City Hall, so the time and location are yet to be decided.
If a building is found preferably preserved, an 18 month delay of demolition will take place, to give the demo applicant time to consider renovation, reuse, relocation and other alternatives to demolition.
July Agenda is now available. Our monthly public meeting is 7 PM tonight, right after the 6 PM Historic District Commission meeting, both in Room 201 at City Hall. Medford’s Forest St is on the agenda at both meetings…
At our June public meeting, the Medford Historical Commission received an application to demolish the house at 109 Forest St, a brick home built between 1900-1910 on one of Medford’s main streets.
Image via Kristy Avino, and the many lively Facebook discussion about the house.
The Form B for 109 Forest St PDF File is already on file with the Historical Commission and gives a detailed architectural description of the “exceptionally well-preserved” Colonial Revival home; the Historical Commission generally relies on information from the Form B to decide whether or not a building is “historically significant.” Information on neighboring Forest St houses is available through MACRIS, the Massachusetts Cultural Resource Information System.
At the same meeting, the Commission found the house at 17 Florence Ave, in the Heights, to be “not historically significant” and so a permit for demolition will be granted for that property. Minutes of the meeting will be posted when they are available.
June Agenda is available, meeting is Monday, June 10, 7 PM, City Hall.
For those interested in the fate of 109 Forest St, the upcoming meeting is for accepting the demolition application ONLY.
According to our Demolition Review Process, (1) a demo application is accepted at a regular public meeting. (2) At the next month’s public mtg, a determination is made regarding the building’s “historical significance” and then, (3) in the month following that, the MedHC takes public comment and decides whether or not it is in the interests of the city to preserve the building. If a building is found to be “preferably preserved” a delay of 18 months is enacted.
These are *all* public meetings, and we encourage everyone interested in learning more about the process to attend. But public comment is – generally – most useful at the meetings at which MedHC determines whether or not buildings are “preferably preserved.” All of our meeting dates for 2019 are listed here, but we usually meet the second Monday of the month, at City Hall, 7 PM.
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!