November Decisions

By unanimous vote, we voted the building at 29 Summer Street preferably preserved.

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. However, the demolition delay may be lifted before the 18-month period, if a plan is developed that addresses the concerns of the public and the commission. The applicant is always 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.

We also voted the house at nearby 17 Manning Street historically significant.

And accepted an application – submitted by the 106 School Street LLC of Woburn, MA – for demolition review for the home at 160 Forest Street.

October Decisions

75 Clewley Road

The home at 75 Clewley Road was voted preferably preserved in a 3-2 vote, with supporters of preservation citing the Craftsman detail, scale and size of the home as elements that contributed to the character of the West Medford neighborhood.

Thanks to the Medford residents who attended to voice their opinions, in this case, in favor of preservation.

Residents who spoke in favor of preserving the home at 75 Clewley Road felt strongly and saw the redevelopment of the property as part of a larger trend in Medford, where redevelopment is taking place without consideration of residents’ needs or wants, and without a master plan, and with the financial interests of developers, not residents, first and foremost.

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. However, the demolition delay may be lifted before the 18-month period, if a plan is developed that addresses the concerns of the public and the commission. The applicant is always 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.

29 Summer Street

The building at 29 Summer Street – now a two-family home – was unanimously voted historically significant, based on the age of the building and its association with the Hall family of Medford. These two factors, among others, led our architectural historians to recommend it’s inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. There is the possibility that this building was once the Union Street School, an early public building built a few blocks east of the present location, on Union Street, in what our architectural historians call Medford Square South, the mixed commercial and residential neighborhood that developed south of the river in the mid 1800s.

At our November Meeting we will decide whether this building is also preferably preserved.

290 Salem Street and 209 Park Street

Finally, the commercial building at 290 Salem Street and the carriage house at 209 Park Street were both found to be not historically significant – the vote on the commercial building was unanimous, the vote on the carriage house was 3-2.

29 Summer Street, Medford

October 2021 Agenda

We will be making a number of demolition decisions this month: first on the agenda, the Historical Commission will be determining whether the home at 75 Clewley Road is preferably preserved. We will also be voting on whether properties at 29 Summer Street, 209 Park Street and 290 Salem Street are historically significant. And we will be reviewing applications for demolition for properties at Third Street and Manning Street.

Historically Significant – 75 Clewley Road, West Medford

75 Clewley Road, West Medford

At last night’s monthly, public historical commission meeting the commission unanimously decided that the home at 75 Clewley Road was historically significant – based on its scale, age and Craftsman architectural detail, and its contribution to the character of its West Medford neighborhood.

Next month’s public meeting will include a vote on whether or not 75 Clewley Road is preferably preserved. An official announcement of this will be publicized later this month.

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. However, the demolition delay may be lifted before the 18-month period, if a plan is developed that addresses the concerns of the public and the commission. The applicant is always 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.

84 Cotting Street, Hillside

A similar house at 84 Cotting Street, in Hillside, split the vote and was found to be NOT historically significant.

90 Alexander Avenue, South Medford

Finally, a house of similar age that had suffered a fire and been substantially rebuilt, at 90 Alexander Avenue in South Medford, was found by unanimous vote to be NOT historically significant.

Representatives for the owners, architects and/or developers of these properties were present – and identified – at our Zoom meeting. More information on all of these properties can be found in the Forms B here.

29 Summer Street, Medford Square South*

209 Park Street & 290 Salem Street, Haines Square

The commission also received complete applications for demolition permission for properties at 29 Summer Street, in Medford Square South, and for buildings on two neighboring parcels in Haines Square – a carriage house at 209 Park Street and a one-story commercial building at 290 Salem Street. Votes on the historical significance of these properties will take place at next month’s public meeting.

75 Clewley Road – Historically Significant

July Decisions

At our July meeting we voted that the house at 109 Forest Street should be preferably preserved. Neighbors expressed – ongoing – concerns that the demolitions plans would be a detriment to the character of the street and neighborhood.

Many neighbors have been following the re-development plans at 109 Forest Street, the corner of Webster and Forest, since June 2019. They expressed the following, in strongly felt statements –

their appreciation of the beauty of our city and its neighborhoods

their frustration with the current mechanisms for preservation in our city

their mistrust of developers, given the recent history of redeveloment in our neighborhoods

their desire for a different kind of redevelopment in our city

Thanks to the Medford residents who wrote in, or attended, to voice their opinions – the public meetings of the Historical Commission, whether virtual or in person, strive to be a space where residents can learn more about what development plans are being pursued in their neighborhoods, and can discuss these plans with property owners and developers.

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. However, the demolition delay may be lifted before the 18-month period, if a plan is developed that addresses the concerns of the public and the commission. The applicant is always 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.

We also voted that the 20th century bungalow at 30 Dearborn was NOT historically significant.

The 18th century house at 7-9 Vine Street was found to be NOT historically significant, while the 19th century Italiante home at 33 Vine Street was voted historically significant. Next month, at our public meeting, we will decide whether or not that building is also preferably preserved.

July Agenda

We will be determining the historical significance of properties whose applications for demolition were submitted last month – including properties in Hillside and Haines Square. Zoom details in the agenda.

109 Forest Street Application Materials:

109 Forest Street as seen looking toward the northeast in 2019 prior to the construction of the new houses in the rear and right yards.

The Medford Historical Commission has received an application for a partial demolition of the building located at 109 Forest Street on the corner of Webster Street. The Commission has previously reviewed this building which has since been sold. The proposal calls for the demolition of a porch and new construction on one side, therefore burying one facade. The building is subject to review under the demolition delay ordinance. A determination of significance has already been made for this property and as a result, it has moved directly to a public hearing to determine of demolition of the building will be detrimental to the City of Medford.

7 Vine Street Application Materials:

The Medford Historical Commission has received an application for the partial demolition of 7-9 Vine Street in East Medford. An 18th century building, the structure is one of a handful which maintains a true period gambrel roof. The building has been heavily altered and is slated to be altered beyond recognition which has prompted a demolition delay review for this property.

MHC Form A for Washington Square Area which includes information on 7-9 Vine among others

Click here for the neighborhood overview for East Medford from the Survey Plan.

33 Vine Street Application Materials:

Like the above property, 33 Vine is a building slated to be altered beyond recognition. The building is a nineteenth century parlor bypass structure. The form was developed in the Boston area and employed extensively in the refined homes of Medford.

30 Dearborn Street Application Materials:

This house is a great example of a classic American Bungalow. It represents a growing community in the early 20th century.

Spring Decisions

We have spent the spring making the usual determinations, as redevelopment continues to affect all of Medford’s neighborhoods. Here’s a summary, though more info is always available in our agendas & minutes.

202 Middlesex Avenue

Found historically significant at our October 2020 meeting, and preferably preserved at our March meeting. Between October 2020 and March 2021 the building’s owners reconsidered their plans and the building changed hands.

104 Harvard Street

Found historically significant at our March meeting, and preferably preserved at our April meeting.

34 Linden Avenue

Found NOT historically significant at our April meeting.

174 Fulton Street

Found NOT historically significant at our April meeting.

This spring we’ve also been making two other kinds of decisions regularly, and we’ll try to post more about those soon, but, in brief,

A) We have been working with the Building Department to review permits for projects that involve large scale exterior renovations & rehabs, or partial demolitions – to make sure that true “demos” do come before us. And . . .

B) We’ve been officially designating public buildings throughout Medford “historically significant” so that their stewards can apply for Community Preservation Funding from Preserve Medford, to preserve the historic beauty and detail of these buildings. These public buildings – all of them prominent neighborhood landmarks – have included the Chevalier Theatre on Forest Street, as well as the Curtis Tufts School in South Medford, the Groundskeepers’ Buildings at Oak Grove Cemetery, and fire stations throughout Medford. We have also deemed the tennis courts at Dugger Park part of a historically significant landscape – for similar preservation purposes.

Follow us, and Preserve Medford, for more on this process and to show support for historic preservation in your neighborhood.

Curtis Tufts School, Main Street, Medford