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 historically significant, as was the 19th century Italiante home at 33 Vine Street. Next month, at our public meeting, we will decide whether or not these buildings are also preferably preserved.

July Agenda

We will be determining the historical significance of properties whose applications for demolition were submitted last month – including properties in Hillside and Haines Square. Zoom details in the agenda.

109 Forest Street Application Materials:

109 Forest Street as seen looking toward the northeast in 2019 prior to the construction of the new houses in the rear and right yards.

The Medford Historical Commission has received an application for a partial demolition of the building located at 109 Forest Street on the corner of Webster Street. The Commission has previously reviewed this building which has since been sold. The proposal calls for the demolition of a porch and new construction on one side, therefore burying one facade. The building is subject to review under the demolition delay ordinance. A determination of significance has already been made for this property and as a result, it has moved directly to a public hearing to determine of demolition of the building will be detrimental to the City of Medford.

7 Vine Street Application Materials:

The Medford Historical Commission has received an application for the partial demolition of 7-9 Vine Street in East Medford. An 18th century building, the structure is one of a handful which maintains a true period gambrel roof. The building has been heavily altered and is slated to be altered beyond recognition which has prompted a demolition delay review for this property.

MHC Form A for Washington Square Area which includes information on 7-9 Vine among others

Click here for the neighborhood overview for East Medford from the Survey Plan.

33 Vine Street Application Materials:

Like the above property, 33 Vine is a building slated to be altered beyond recognition. The building is a nineteenth century parlor bypass structure. The form was developed in the Boston area and employed extensively in the refined homes of Medford.

30 Dearborn Street Application Materials:

This house is a great example of a classic American Bungalow. It represents a growing community in the early 20th century.

Spring Decisions

We have spent the spring making the usual determinations, as redevelopment continues to affect all of Medford’s neighborhoods. Here’s a summary, though more info is always available in our agendas & minutes.

202 Middlesex Avenue

Found historically significant at our October 2020 meeting, and preferably preserved at our March meeting. Between October 2020 and March 2021 the building’s owners reconsidered their plans and the building changed hands.

104 Harvard Street

Found historically significant at our March meeting, and preferably preserved at our April meeting.

34 Linden Avenue

Found NOT historically significant at our April meeting.

174 Fulton Street

Found NOT historically significant at our April meeting.

This spring we’ve also been making two other kinds of decisions regularly, and we’ll try to post more about those soon, but, in brief,

A) We have been working with the Building Department to review permits for projects that involve large scale exterior renovations & rehabs, or partial demolitions – to make sure that true “demos” do come before us. And . . .

B) We’ve been officially designating public buildings throughout Medford “historically significant” so that their stewards can apply for Community Preservation Funding from Preserve Medford, to preserve the historic beauty and detail of these buildings. These public buildings – all of them prominent neighborhood landmarks – have included the Chevalier Theatre on Forest Street, as well as the Curtis Tufts School in South Medford, the Groundskeepers’ Buildings at Oak Grove Cemetery, and fire stations throughout Medford. We have also deemed the tennis courts at Dugger Park part of a historically significant landscape – for similar preservation purposes.

Follow us, and Preserve Medford, for more on this process and to show support for historic preservation in your neighborhood.

Curtis Tufts School, Main Street, Medford

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)

Preferably Preserved – January 2021

At our January meeting we voted that both the property at 15 Hadley Place AND the property at 75 South Street should be preferably preserved. In both cases, neighbors expressed concern that the loss of these homes would be a detriment to the character of the street and neighborhood.

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.

Thanks to the Medford residents who wrote in, or attended in person, to voice their opinions for and against the preservation of these buildings.

We also voted that the building at 403 Riverside Avenue was NOT historically significant. When, after review, a building 75 years old or older is deemed NOT historically significant a demolition permit is granted.

To review all our demolition cases under review, see our index of Demolition Review Cases.