Volunteers Wanted for Archaeological Dig!

Channel Your Inner Indiana Jones!

The Medford Historical Commission is seeking 20 volunteers to participate in an archeological dig at Thomas Brooks Park.

Participants must be a minimum of 18 years old and be available during the week of June 6th, with potential spillover into the week of June 13th. Participants will work 1 full day, Monday-Friday from 8am-4pm with a 30 minute lunch break. All volunteers must participate in a 1 hour orientation on the morning of Day 1.

If there are more than 20 volunteers, a lottery drawing will be held and participants will be assigned a day. If you are unable to work your assigned day, another volunteer will be chosen.

Digging will take place during inclement weather. Volunteers do not need to bring any equipment but must wear close-toed boots/shoes with good ankle support. Flip flops are not allowed. Participants are welcome to bring their own gardening gloves and/or knee pads. Volunteers must provide their own lunch and water.

If you are interested, please email the Medford Historical Commission at historicalcommission@medford-ma.gov.

May Meeting Materials

We have a busy month coming up and we want to make sure that information is readily available to the general public so they may submit comments at or in advance of the meeting on May 9. In this post, you will find the MHC forms for the various demolition delays, as well as some updates on projects that we are working on with applicants already under delay. Our agenda has been posted on our website. If there are questions or comments, please do not hesitate to reach out. Comments always welcome in advance of the meeting and may be submitted via email or regular mail (via City Hall).

Public Hearing – 69 Jerome Street:

69 Jerome Street as seen from the sidewalk. The building was constructed by noted designer and builder Moses W. Mann of West Medford.

The Commission will hold a public hearing to determine if the partial demolition of 69 Jerome Street is detrimental to the resources of the City of Medford. Information for the property can be found below:

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

Determination of Significance:

The Medford Historical Commission will determine significance of the following properties:

130 Boston Avenue:

52 Allston Street:

232 Fulton Street:

146 Summer Street:

Site Plan Review4054 Mystic Valley Parkway:

The Commission will be receiving and accepting the demolition application for the Bertuccis building at 4054 Mystic Valley Parkway. We have also been invited to comment on the proposed development. The industrial brick building was constructed c. 1945 as a potato factory and has undergone a number of transformations over the years. The Commission will be determining significance at the June meeting. In the meantime, you can read the form below.

The public should be aware that information about the proposed development, which is currently undergoing review by other boards, can be found on the City of Medford’s website.

4068 Mystic Valley Parkway:

4068 Mystic Valley Parkway – the WEEI Radio Transmission Station. Built in 1936, it is one of the oldest radio buildings in the Commonwealth.

We commissioned this form in response to proposed development located at 4054 Mystic Valley Parkway. The WEEI building is an important example of Art Decco architecture. It is still used as a radio broadcast station and has been recommended for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

Coming Up for Review:

The Commission will be accepting applications for the demolition of the following properties:
– 20 Otis Street Carriage House
– 76 Sharon Street
– 136 Boston Avenue
– 4054 Mystic Valley Parkway (already mentioned above)
Information and Forms will be posted before the next meeting.

76 Sharon Street, an intricate nineteenth century Victorian building slated to altered beyond recognition and subject to review under the demolition delay ordinance.

Demolition Delay Committee Updates:

78 Cotting Street: The demolition delay subcommittee provided initial comments to the owners of 78 Cotting Street. The owner’s architect has made changes which seek to mitigate the demolition proposed for the building. The Commission invites the public to review the proposed plans and provide feedback, either in advance of, or at the meeting. The latest version is at the bottom of this list.The Commission will then review the next steps, if any, for the project.

February Summary

At our busy February meeting, the decisions were as follows –

The house at 33 Third Street was voted to be Preferably Preserved, in a vote of 3 to 2, and we are now actively working with the owner on revised designs.

Whenever 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; often the applicant works directly with a subcommittee that can help them develop appropriate plans.

The house at 78 Cotting Street, and the house at 17 Edward Street were both found to be Historically Significant by unanimous vote. We will determine whether they are also Preferably Preserved at the March meeting.

The house at 64 Court Street was found to be NOT Historically Significant, also in a unanimous vote.

The campus of the St. Clements church and school, at 595 Boston Avenue, were found to be historically signficant, by unanimous vote.

And we approved our Annual Report, which will be shared here after it is reviewed by the mayor.

78 Cotting Street

January Meeting Summary

Here’s a quick look back at the January meeting –

We reviewed 3 applications for demo permits; this begins the process of demolition review by our committee. We reviewed applications submitted by the residents at 78 Cotting Street, and by property owners at 17 Edward Street and 64 Court Street and found them complete.

We also voted to find both 28 Chester Street and 93 Wason Street not historically significant, so their demolition permits have been granted and they will proceed with their plans.

The house, already under redevelopment at 160 Forest St was found to be NOT preferably preserved by a unanimous vote.

The house at 33 Third Street was found to be historically significant by a vote of 4 to 1. At our February Meeting we will decide whether this building is also preferably preserved.

New Member Needed!

Medford Historical Commission Call for Letters of Interest

The Medford Historical Commission seeks letters of interest from qualified individuals within the Medford community to serve on our board.

The Medford Historical Commission was established under Section 8d of Chapter 40 of the Massachusetts General Laws and Chapter 48 of the Medford Municipal Ordinances. The Commission is the official City body charged with the identification of properties and sites of historical significance and is the principal advisor to the City on matters relating to historic preservation. The Commission is further charged with reviewing all requests for demolition of buildings that are 75 years or older and/or are listed on the National and Massachusetts Registers of Historic Places, in accordance with the City’s demolition delay ordinance.

Currently, we are specifically seeking applicants with experience in archaeology, historic preservation and/or law to round out our membership. Interested applicants may contact the Commission for further information. Please include your name and contact information, as well as any supporting materials. Candidates may be contacted by the commission for an interview. The commission shall then present a list of nominees to the Mayor for final selection and appointment. Those selected to serve on the board generally serve three years.

Please visit our website to review our most recent cases, blog posts and meeting minutes. Our website address is http://www.medfordhistoricalcommission.org

Please a resume and submit letter of interest via email to: 

Medford Historical Commission Call for Letters of Interest

The Medford Historical Commission seeks letters of interest from qualified individuals within the Medford community to serve on our board.

The Medford Historical Commission was established under Section 8d of Chapter 40 of the Massachusetts General Laws and Chapter 48 of the Medford Municipal Ordinances. The Commission is the official City body charged with the identification of properties and sites of historical significance and is the principal advisor to the City on matters relating to historic preservation. The Commission is further charged with reviewing all requests for demolition of buildings that are 75 years or older and/or are listed on the National and Massachusetts Registers of Historic Places, in accordance with the City’s demolition delay ordinance.

Currently, we are specifically seeking applicants with experience in archaeology, historic preservation and/or law to round out our membership. Interested applicants may contact the Commission for further information. Please include your name and contact information, as well as any supporting materials. Candidates may be contacted by the commission for an interview. The commission shall then present a list of nominees to the Mayor for final selection and appointment. Those selected to serve on the board generally serve three years.

Please visit our website to review our most recent cases, blog posts and meeting minutes. Our website address is http://www.medfordhistoricalcommission.org

Please a resume and submit letter of interest via email to:

Jennifer M. Keenan
Commission Chair
email: historicalcommission@medford-ma.gov

Medford Historical Commission
c/o Office of Planning and Community Development
Medford City Hall
85 George P. Hassett Drive
Medford, MA 02155

February Meeting Materials

We have a number of cases to review this month. In this post, you will find a number of inventory forms and related reports that the Commission uses to make its determinations. We will post our agenda on Wednesday after it is filed.

Neighborhood context reports can be found here: MHC Survey Plans and Neighborhood Overviews

33 Third Street Public Hearing:

The Thompson-Sinclair House was determined significant at our last meeting. The Medford Historical Commission will hold a public hearing to determine if the demolition of the building would be detrimental to the City of Medford. Public participation in the hearing is encouraged.

78 Cotting Street as seen from a recent Zillow view.

78 Cotting Street Application Materials:

This building has a colorful history dating back to the early nineteenth century. The land was once owned by members of the Adams family of Braintree/Quincy. The farm is referenced in several of their correspondence and was constructed before the 1850s. Stylistically, it is a great example of early building efforts in the Hillside neighborhood.

The Cotting Street Area Form provides a bit of information about the streetscape and how the lane got its name. There’s loads of information on all the houses on the street.

17 Edwards Street Application Materials:

17 Edwards Street is part of a collection of Victorian end houses that were constructed by the same developer at the end of the nineteenth century. The building has been stripped of its asbestos siding, revealing original detail and character from its original construction. The Commission will be determining significance at its next meeting.

This building has a striking resemblance to another end house we reviewed years ago. 6 Rockwell (since demolished) was the subject of a six-month demolition delay. Efforts to find a mover to relocate the building failed so it was extensively documented before demolition. The information gleaned can help us learn more about Edwards Street and other properties of similar vintage.

64 Court Street Application Materials:

Up for consideration is this small nineteenth-century building which will be altered beyond recognition. The building has many articulations in its complex massing which give it a fair degree of character. The Commission will determine significance at the next meeting.

St. Clements School at 595 Boston Avenue:

The Community Preservation Committee has requested the Commission determine if the St. Clements Elementary School at 595 Boston Avenue is significant. The Commission will make the determination based on the area form which was prepared for the church campus.

We encourage everyone to write in comments to us about these proposed projects. We take them into consideration when making our determinations. Please email us using the contact form on our website. If you just want to listen in, most of our meetings are live-streamed on the community channel and available after the fact on their website.

January Agenda

Here’s the agenda for the first meeting of the year, with Zoom details included. Join us! And start 2022 with a look back at some interesting buildings, and a look forward, to where Medford is headed in the new year. We have planned one vote on “preferably preserved,” 3 votes on “historical significance” and review of 2 new applications. With so many cases, we’ll be all over the map – Hillside, Fulton Heights, Wellington, Forest Street and South Medford.