Meet Your Commissioners – Doug Carr

The Medford Historical Commission has long relied on the expertise, and commitment of local architect and community activist Doug Carr. And he finally gave us a bio to share!

I am a third-generation Medford resident who grew up in Lawrence Estates and presently lives in West Medford. I have been deeply involved in many different aspects of Medford for the past 25 years.

I am an architect and Principal at CUBE3, which practices architecture, interior design and planning with offices in Boston, Lawrence, MA and Miami, FL. CUBE3 has designed and built 5 multi-family residences in Medford over the past 15 years, including Lumiere, Mill Creek Modera, 150 & 200 Rivers Drive, and the Hanover Mystic River project on Locust Street (under construction).

I have served on the Medford-Brooks Estate Land Trust Board for 25 years. M-BELT’s goal of restoring the Brooks Estate for public benefit – both the historic buildings and 50-acre estate on the National Register of Historic Places – has been an odyssey. My primary role on the M-BELT has been to oversee the restoration of the 1880 Shepherd Brooks Manor, for which I have managed over $1 million in restoration projects over the past two decades. I was also the primary author of the Brooks Estate Master Plan, which documents two decades of projects and planning and lays out the long-term future of the Brooks Estate.

I have also been a strong advocate for the Green Line Extension to Medford, a process which initially started planning in 2005. While the project will be constructed to Tufts University by late 2021, GLX advocates are still fighting to get it extended to its proper terminus at Route 16/Mystic River to serve a larger share of Medford residents.

I presently serve as 2nd Vice President of the Mystic Valley Branch of the NAACP, a group dedicated to securing the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all people.

Finally, I have served on the Medford Historic Commission since 2013 and have been impressed by the Commission’s record of defending Medford’s strong architectural and historic legacy.


Meet Your Commissioners-Peter Miller

Corey Street Circa 1915

Corey Street, c. 1915  Photo Courtesy of Jeff Myung

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: a view of old Corey St (above), and the following personal introduction,

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.

Ryan D. Hayward

Commissioner Ryan D. Hayward, past Chair, who patiently and thoughtfully led the Commission for many years,

I am lucky enough to have the opportunity to work in the fields of history and architecture. I was introduced to the topics in the fifth grade while attending Medford Public Schools. I later pursued these academically, graduating from the Boston Architectural College with a degree in Historic Preservation. My professional career began at the Medford Historical Society, Brooks Estate and Royall House and I joined the Commission in 2007 in order to give back to our community. When not preserving our local heritage, I’m out collaborating with homeowners as a self-employed preservation and design consultant. I’ve had he opportunity to work on buildings old and new. It’s rewarding seeing the joy of owners at the end of their renovations. I myself am restoring an 1895 Queen Anne Victorian which has been in our family for 70 years. As I have lived and worked in Medford all my life and know about the past, I can’t wait to see what the future holds for our community. Working with the Commission, we will ensure preservation is part of the ongoing change happening every day.

Photo courtesy of the owner.


Hayward House c. 1947

Richard Northrup

[Updated – Richard Northrup has resigned his commission, effective Jan 2019. Thanks for your service, Richard!]

Meet Commissioner Richard Northrup, who joined the Commission in 2016,

My wife and I became Medford residents when we bought our first home in 2011. In 2016 we welcomed our son. We have grown to love Medford and spend a lot of our time getting to know our adopted City.  Outside of my work on the Historical Commission we also enjoy exploring the Middlesex Fells with our son and exploring Medford homes as part of the annual Jingle Bell Festival.

View from Bear Hill, in the Middlesex Fells, c.1895-6, taken by Boston commercial and naval photographer Nathaniel Stebbins. Image via Friends of the Fells.


Edward Wiest

Commissioner Edward Wiest, who joined the commission in the winter of 2017-18 shares this about his love for Medford, its architecture and its history:

Our family blundered into becoming temporary custodians of Medford’s Edward Oakes House – earliest elements erected c. 1729, moved to current site 1977 – more than 30 years ago.  We’re still there. I am on on the Commission now to continue paying forward the work of Joseph Valeriani, Greg and Maia Henderson, John Hand, Fred Knox and many others who preserved the home in which we have lived so long, and the history of Medford as a whole.

The Oakes House, in what the commisson’s neighborhood surveyors now call “Medford Square South,” with its distinctive roof line – which could be described as both gambrel and saltbox. Photo from MACRIS.

Oakes House MACRIS

Abigail Salerno

[I resigned as a Commissioner in January 2022. It was a pleasure to serve and to learn so much about our community and its history.]

Now, a word from the current webmaster of the Medford Historical Commission, me – Abigail Salerno. I also administer the Commission’s ongoing neighborhood-by-neighborhood survey of historical buildings, landmarks and public spaces and have served on the commission since 2016.

I recently moved to Medford with my young family and I am interested in neighborhood history, and the similarities and differences in the historical development of Boston, and Philadelphia, where I worked at the library of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. I enjoy walking in the Fells and riding my bicycle “over the river and through the woods” on our expanding network of trails.

Below, Annie Londonderry – Boston resident and the first woman to bicycle around the world. Illustration (and more info) from the Jewish Women’s Archive, in Brookline, MA.


Jennifer Keenan

Next up, 2019 Chair, Jennifer Keenan, who shares the following:

I’ve officially been a Medford resident since 2006, but my roots go deeper as my father had his business here during the 70s and 80s. I am proud to call myself a local Realtor®, and I love being able to do my small part each day to make Medford a better place for all. If you come to my house you’ll find tea instead of coffee, steak instead of seafood, and cookies instead of brownies. In my next life I want to be a rock star, but for now I am wife to Melvin and mom to furbaby Dallas.

From Massachusetts Digital Commonwealth collection, photo titled “Teens Frolic in Medford Square,” 1972, by photographer Spencer Grant.

Medford Teens

Meet Your Commissioners-Benjamin Johnson

[Updated – Benjamin Johnson has resigned his commission, effective Jan 2020. Thanks for your service, Ben!]

We’d like to share a little more about each of us – the members of the Medford Historical Commission – and our interest in Medford history. Look out for biographical updates in the coming year. Commissioner Benjamin Johnson offered this:

I moved to Medford in 2009 being drawn by the historical assets the city has to offer. During the day, I am an archivist at Harvard Business School Special Collections. I enjoy canoeing on the Mystic River, gardening, cooking, and fermenting things.

Photo postcard of “the little stream that feeds Mystic Lake at West Medford” c. 1910 and courtesy of ebay.


Historical Commission Fall Update

This fall the Historical Commission participated in Medford Community Day at Andrews School. Visitors to our table looked at maps of Medford from  1875, 1900, and 1936 to get a general idea of when their house may have been built, which was then visually represented by different color pins in a map of modern Medford.
Thank you to everyone who stopped by to chat, tell us about their houses, and explore Medford’s architectural history and development!

This fall we also bid a fond farewell to long-time commissioner, Claire Dempsey. We thank her for her years of service to the commission – her knowledge of city history and architecture will be missed!