NOT Historically Significant: 96-102 Winchester St

At our October meeting, the buildings at 96-102 Winchester St, near Ball Square, were found to be NOT historically significant and a demo permit was granted.

Whiting Milk

Photo from the collections of the Wisconsin Historical Society, dated 1961

But the garages at 100 Winchester St were once part of an extensive and long-running commercial dairy operation –

The Whiting Milk Company, active between 1857 and 1973, was one of New England’s first distributors of milk and dairy products door-to-door. It was established by David Whiting (born 1810) in 1857. Whiting’s father, Oliver, owned a large farm in Wilton, New Hampshire. “With the advent of the railroad to Wilton, Mr. Whiting [David] inaugurated operations in the milk contracting business for the Boston market…”

milk map

Map from the USDA publication, “The Milk Supply of Boston” 1898

The firm was carried on by his son Harvey Augustus Whiting (1833-1903) and grandsons Isaac Spalding, George, John Kimball, David and Charles Frederick (1875-1972); Charles Frederick used his Harvard (1897) and MIT training to manage the dairy in a modern sanitary manner. Under the direction of David Whiting’s grandsons, the company merged with C. Brigham and Elm Farm Milk (both included in above map) to form a new corporation that, according to the Cambridge Chronicle of 1922, “employs more than 1000 persons and is one of the largest milk distributors in the country.”

In the 1950s, H.P. Hood and Sons and the Whiting Milk Company competed for the majority of the Boston milk market; the photo of the Whiting’s Milk truck at the top of the post is dated 1961. But the business of delivering milk and other dairy product suffered a national decline, due to increased consumer mobility because of automobiles. The company went into bankruptcy in 1973.

Still, most commissioners felt that the history of this company was not reflected in, or represented by the structures on the property at 100 Winchester St. Information above was adapted from the Form B for Winchester St_96-102.

Demo Application: 96-102 Winchester St

At our September public meeting, the Medford Historical Commission received an application to demolish the buildings at 96-102 Winchester St, in South Medford near Ball Square.

MHC Form A for 96-102 Winchester Street

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

streetview

The owner has already applied to demolish 104 Winchester (pictured above) and a demolition delay of 18 months has been imposed on that property, to give the applicant time to consider renovation, reuse, relocation and other alternatives to demolition.

Preferably Preserved: 109 Forest St

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.

Demo Application: 17 Florence Ave

At our May public meeting, the Medford Historical Commission received an application to demolish the house at 17 Florence Ave, in the Fulton Heights neighborhood.

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

[At our June meeting, this house was found to be NOT historically significant and a demo permit was granted.]

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.

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.

 

Demo Application: 104 Winchester Street

The Medford Historical Commission has received a demolition application for the building at 104 Winchester Street. The building is a good example of mid nineteenth century residential dwelling. The Commission hired a preservation consultant to prepare an Massachusetts Historical Commission Form B to document the history.

streetview.jpg

The Commission will post additional information on this post as the building progresses through the review process.

104 Winchester Street MHC Form B
Click here for information on the South Medford neighborhood from the Survey Plan.

Legal Notice for 104 Winchester Street
Determination of Significance for City Clerk

Demo Application: 421 High Street

The Medford Historical Commission has received an application to demolish the Cincotti Funeral Home located at 421 High Street. The building is an important part of the West Medford commercial district and was included in the area form. A recent Massachusetts Historical Commission Form B was prepared to detail the history of the building.

Street View of 421 High Street

A Google street view of the Funeral Home.

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

421 High Street MHC Form B
West Medford Commercial District Area Form
Click here  for the community overview for West Medford from the Survey Plan

Legal Notice for 421 High Street
Determination of Significance Letter

Demo Application: 16 Foster Court

This month the Historical Commission received an application for the demolition of a small cape located at 16 Foster Court. Foster Court is a small residential side street located off Riverside Avenue. It was originally a lane to a landing place along the Mystic River. It later became the entrance to one of many important shipyards. The lane is named for Joshua T. Foster who owned the last shipyard to operate in the area.

16 Foster Court

A view of 16 Foster Court from the street.

The house itself is a great example of an early Cape Cod style dwelling. Its early construction date places it among the few early buildings remaining in the community. The development coincides with the rise of shipbuilding in Medford.

The Historical Commission will update this page as the building moves through the review process.

16 Foster Court MHC Form B
Medford Shipbuilding Area Form
Click here for the neighborhood overview for East Medford from the Survey Plan.

Legal Notice for 16 Foster Court
Determination of Significance for City Clerk