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.

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.

April Agenda

April Agenda is available for next week’s meeting – drop by the Zoom to hear the proceedings or let us know what you think! We will be determining whether or not the building at 104 Harvard Street is preferably preserved, and voting on the historical significance of three properties – on Linden Ave, Fulton Ave and Albion Street.

Medford Square
“High Street, Medford, 1860” by Jas. F. Murray.

February Agenda

A busy agenda for next Monday; we will be reviewing applications to demo for 4 properties in Medford. If you want to see the demo review process start to finish, this is how it starts. Note – we are still looking for a new member to replace an outgoing commissioner and complete the commission. If you are interested and have any questions, or want to learn more, please stop by!

Historical Commission Seeks New Members

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 and the Medford Historic District Commission share the common goals of preserving and protecting the City’s historic character and heritage.

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 in the City of historical significance and is the principal adviser to the City on matters relating to historic preservation. The Commission is further charged with reviewing all requests for demolition of buildings 75 years or older, or are listed on the National and/or Massachusetts Registers of Historic Places, in accordance with the City’s demolition delay ordinance.

Applicants should have interest, knowledge, and experience in fields related to historic preservation and Medford history.  Interested applicants may contact the Commission for further information. Please include your name and contact information, as well as any supporting material.  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 submit letters & materials to:
Candidate Selection Subcommittee
Ryan D. Hayward, Vice-Chairman
Medford Historical Commission

Email (preferred): HistoricalCommission@Medford-MA.gov

Regular Mail:
Please contact us for regular mailing address (City Hall access is limited)

January 2021 Agenda

This month’s agenda is now available, along with all Zoom info for remote participation.

At our monthly public meeting, this month on Monday Jan 11, the commission will be determining whether or not two properties – one on South Street, and one in Haines Square – are preferably preserved. We invite all residents and members of the public to share their thoughts on these properties with us – you can email, or attend the meeting next week.

Past posts and documents on 75 South Street, and 15 Hadley Place.

120 Jerome Street: Preferably Preserved

Also at our busy December meeting – we voted that the property at 120 Jerome Street should be preferably preserved given its potential contribution to historic district that would preserve and highlight the neighborhood history of West Medford’s African-American community.

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 applicant is invited to return to the Commission’s upcoming public meetings to present plans and alternatives – in this case, we voted to have a subcommittee communicate with the developer – and to discuss the preservation concerns that their neighbors and the commission have. If 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 wrote in, or attended in person, to voice their opinions for and against the preservation of this building.

For more on the demo review process at 120 Jerome Street, the posts are collected here.