January Agenda

Our January Agenda is now available – it’s a light month, but check back soon. Our busy season is coming, as developers tend to submit their demo applications in early spring. Last year, we received 6 of our 10 demo applications in February and March.

We’ve also published our meeting dates for 2020 – the Commission will continue to meet on the second Monday of every month (except October, when we meet on the third Mon) at 7 PM in Room 201 of City Hall.

January 13
February 10
March 9
April 13
May 11
June 8
July 13
August 10
September 14
October 19*
November 9
December 14

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Brooks Park Presentations

If you missed our November info meeting about the Brooks Park, or if you just want to take in all that information more slowly, we now have the presentation slides available to share!

Here they are, in PDF form – Brooks Park Info Meeting Presentation Slides

brooks house wall.png

Maps, and the history of the property’s ownership and uses, were discussed by landscape architect Peter Hedlund.

Richard Iron, a masonry preservationist gave an analysis of the present condition of the Old Slave Wall (with photos), and some general history of bricks and brickmaking in New England (with bricks!).

Finally, the archeological potential of the site was discussed by Suzanne Cherau, a Senior Archeologist and Principal Investigator from the Public Archeology Laboratory.

The videos of each presentation are coming soon – the audio is helpful to listen to as you flip through the slides.

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.

September Agenda

The Agenda for our next meeting, Mon Sept 9 at 7 PM is now available here. We have been asked to comment on plans for the Lawrence Memorial Hospital site. Although we have not seen full plans yet, discussion is on the September agenda, and the plans should be available to share with the public at our September meeting.

DunhamLMH

1924 Main Building, Georgian Revival Style, Charles B. Dunham, Architect 

And you can always find past meetings’ agendas and minutes on our website.

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.