May Meeting Materials

Our May meeting will have a bit of everything on the agenda. You will find that here:

We will be discussing a bunch of properties and you can find the associated Massachusetts Historical Commission inventory forms below:

We will also be receiving an application for the demolition of 37 Locus Street and reviewing progress at 28 Grove Street.

Toward the end of our meeting, we will conclude with updates on our survey projects, and the work at Thomas Brooks Park.

Hope to see you there!

April Meeting Recap

Here’s a quick recap of the decisions we made at the April meeting –

The Historical Commission found 222 Boston Avenue not preferably preserved, but we expect that the redevelopment of this historically significant site will continue to have public discussion and feedback as plans continue through the Community Development Board and other city offices.

Both 12 George Street and 28 Winter Street were voted NOT historically significant.  

The house at 17 Green Road was voted historically significant; the Commission agrees that it is an excellent and well-preserved late 19th century shingle-style home. Shingle-style, though now widespread throughout the country, began as a New England style of architecture influenced by domestic and commercial coastal buildings, and their use of shingle. The influence of New England shingle-style can be seen in many turn-of-the-century homes throughout Medford, but 17 Green Road is an especially good example of the style. Although the actual shingle is covered by a recent application of vinyl siding, the proportions, massing and roofline of a classic shingle-style are still evident. The house was built for a prominant Boston doctor as a summer home. Its large porches and placement on a rocky outcropping at the top of what was then called “Highland Avenue,” preserve a sense of the dramatic natural landscape, and the beginnings of that landscape’s development into residential use. More info is available in the Form B our architectural historians prepared.

We also received an application to begin the demo review process at 142 Mystic Avenue.  

Finally, we approved our annual report for 2022.

April Meeting Materials

The April meeting is going to be busy with a hearing and three determinations of significance. The Commission will then conclude with ongoing business. Be sure to check out our agenda that comes out on the Wednesday before the meeting.

222 Boston Avenue Public Hearing

222 Boston Avenue, formerly 55 North Street. The building is being proposed for demolition.

Last month, the Historical Commission determined the building at 222 Boston Avenue historically significant. The multi-story factory building was constructed for the G.L. Erving Company. This business specifically catered to the larger American Woolen Company complex next door at 200 Boston Avenue. The entire American Woolen Company complex is an important reminder of our industrial history. There were only a handful of large mills, the type you might see in Lawrence or Lowell, and they were constructed along the adjacent rail corridor.

You can read all about the complex in the Massachusetts Historical Commission Area Form from Medford and there’s a bit more context about the site in the form for Somerville.

Determination of Significance:

The Commission has received three applications this month for the demolition, in whole or in part, at the following locations:

12 George Street

The Benjamin and Effie L. Richmond House on George Street is among the first development carried out around the Royall House. The property is slated to be altered beyond recognition and the Commission is reviewing the building for significance. An MHC inventory form was prepared for the property and is included for review.

17 Green Road

Prominently located on a lot along Green Road, the Dr. Charles M. and Helen L. Green House is being proposed for substantial renovation that will alter the building. It is an excellent example of shingle style architecture and relates to the early development of Medford Square. The first commuter class homes were constructed just behind the line of houses fronting the main arteries. In this case, the Green House is located just up the street from High Street. It is not difficult to imagine why its owners placed it here. The quiet neighborhood is a world away from the bustle of the busy commercial and municipal heart of Medford. You can read more about the building in the MHC inventory form below.

28 Winter Street

Last but not least is the Randall – Bailey House. This building is slated to be renovated beyond recognition. It is a nineteenth century end house that is typical of the time period. You can read more about it’s owners and the architecture below.

The Commission will determine significance at the next meeting. We do not take public comments at the meeting as there is a public hearing process if the building is significant. If you would like to submit comments in writing, we are happy to enter those into the record as part of our deliberations. Please do not hesitate to send us an email.

At the end of these demolition delay items, the Commission will carry on with it’s normal business. Be sure to check out our blog posts for more information about the happenings around Medford. We have work happening on Thomas Brooks Park, and the survey of historic properties is ongoing.

February Decisions

A quick run down of the votes and decisions this month, and what to look for at next month’s meeting –

Both 28 Grove Street and the carriage house at 91 Winchester Street were voted historically significant. Both are in fairly visible locations – take a stroll by and see the classical proportions and Craftsman aesthetic, in the natraul stone porch foundation, and the Tuscan columns, at 28 Grove Street. At 91 Winchester Street the carriage house was historically used as a carpentry shop, and the Form B – available here – describes the lively neighbhorhood adjacent to the old railroad station, of which this business was part. At our March meeting the Historical Commission will determine whether these properties are preferably preserved.

Next month the Historical Commission will also be determining historical significance for 3 properties at the corner of North Street and Boston Avenue – 236 Boston Avenue, 222 Boston Avenue/55 North Street, and 67 North Street, most recently Rudy’s Upholstery. The history of the American Woolen Company and the associated businesses that grew nearby in the early 20th century can be read in the area form (below) that our architectural historians wrote when the Commission surveyed the Hillside neighborhood of Medford.

The Historical Commission has declined to review demo permits for both 86 Suffolk Street and 230 Boston Avenue; at Suffolk Street, the renovations do not amount to demolition and at 230 Boston Avenue the building is not old enough to fall under the commission’s purview.

February Meeting Materials

Enclosed in this post are the two Massachusetts Historical Commission inventory forms for buildings that will be discussed this evening.

The Historical Commission uses this information in order to determine if a building is significant. There are many different ways a building can be significant. The reasons sometime include architectural importance, relationship to notable persons or events, or part of the broad patterns of history that define the neighborhood, city or Commonwealth. We encourage folks to write in if they have opinions on the matter in advance of the meeting.

Also in the news, tree work did in fact start today at Thomas Brooks Park! We are clearing scrub, dead, and invasive trees within 5′ of the wall in order to facilitate its restoration. The tree warden and city departments are aware this work is taking place. While doing a walk through, we noted a memorial mid-way in the park that is in the way of construction. We will be taking this down for safe keeping and will find a suitable place to return it to at the end of construction. If you are or know the person who put this up and would like to hold onto it, please reach out to us!

November Meeting Materials

The Medford Historical Commission will host a public meeting on Monday, November 14, 2022. The agenda is enclosed for those who want to follow along. The meeting is via Zoom, or it is sometimes broadcast on Medford Community Media. A recording is also available a day or two following so you can watch this and past meetings in the archive hosted on their website.

There are two buildings which will be reviewed for significance. The first is 31 South Street, a nineteenth century residential duplex that is slated to be altered beyond recognition. The second is 180 Lincoln Road which will be totally demolished and new building replacing the existing at a later time. The Commission will use the enclosed inventory forms to base their opinions.

The remainder of the meeting will be dedicated to project updates. As always, we welcome community participation. If you have any questions, please email us anytime!

October Meeting Materials

The Medford Historical Commission will hold its October meeting on Monday, October 17 at 7PM via Zoom. Our agenda has been posted to our website but you can also find it here:

The Commission will receive two applications. The first is for a residential dwelling at 31 South Street, which is slated to be altered beyond recognition and is therefore subject to the demolition delay review. The second is a total demolition for the building located at 180 Lincoln Road in Medford.

The Commission will then move forward with a determination of significance for 8 Hamlin Avenue. This building appears to be a late 19th century house that was altered following a major fire. It’s present appearance is more in line with the other 20th century buildings in East Medford.

As a reminder, you can learn all about our demolition delay process on our page here and in our application package. The public is always welcome to engage in the process. We look forward to seeing you at our next meeting.

October Hearing Materials

The Medford Historical Commission will hold a public hearing on the demolition of 16 Foster Court to determine if the demolition is detrimental to the historical, architectural, or cultural resources of the City of Medford. The meeting agenda and related materials are included below. Hope to see you there!

16 Foster Court, an early nineteenth century cape. This resource is one a handful of early buildings in East Medford.

September Decisions

Here’s a rundown of the wide variety of decisions and discussions this month.

The Historical Commission had previously determined that the house at 16 Foster Court is historically significant; we will vote on whether it is also preferably preserved at a special meeting, currently scheduled for October 3.

We also voted to lift the demo delay at 130 Boston. This property was found to be Preferably Preserved earlier in the year. We tabled the release of the demo delay at 20 Otis Street.

We reviewed the submission of an application for a demolition permit from 8 Hamlin Street; a vote on whether it is Historically Significant will take place next month.

In addition, property at 80 Canal was determined to be NOT Preferably Preserved, and the property at 11 Orchard was determined to be NOT Historically Significant. These applicants will be granted their demolition permits.

We did not receive an application for 31 South Street, which was on the agenda, so we were unable to proceed with review.

And finally, we determined the Shiloh Baptist Church of West Medford to be Historically Significant. This designation will support their application for Community Preservation funding.

Thanks to everyone who took part in the meeting. If you have items for next month’s agenda, PLEASE send them to us via email ahead of time.