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.
This month, the Commission voted to find the house at 120 Jerome Street historically significant.
The building is an early 20th century bungalow that maintains a fair amount of its original character. This particular neighborhood is part of the larger Smith Estate subdivision, which was developed in the late nineteenth century. Large houses on corner lots and main streets give way to smaller, modest, examples of residential architecture. This house is one of many middle class buildings erected on speculation and sold to first-time homeowners. The builder and occupant relate to the broader neighborhood, which you can read all about in the information below.
Click here for the neighborhood overview for West Medford from the Survey Plan.
Last month, the Medford Historical Commission received the application for partial demolition of 120 Jerome Street in West Medford. At our December public meeting we will determine whether or not this building is also preferably preserved.
We will be reviewing 3 applications for demolition – at 120 Jerome St, at 116 Dover St and 15 Hadley Place – and determining historical significance for a large Queen Anne home in the Wellington area, at 202 Middlesex Avenue.
If you follow us on Facebook, you’ll have seen my recent post about Elinor, a young woman who lived in Medford in the 1930s and kept a diary. That diary has been found by a young woman living in the Boston area NOW and she publishes Elinor’s entries on Instagram – along with photos and a little background research about the names and places mentioned in the diary.
It looks like Elinor may well have spent the summer of 1933 at 202 Middlesex Avenue! In that summer, Elinor lived with a family she calls “Uncle Roy” and “Aunt Shirley,” or “The Robbinses” and she describes many of their local outings and adventures, including an evening “running walk” around the Fellsway and Wellington Road. Furthermore, according to our surveyors’ Form B on 202 Middlesex Ave,
“Henry Lyman Cornell (1852-1935) was a music teacher and vocal musician of opera. Little could be ascertained about his career through readily available records, but several brief newspaper accounts suggest he was actively performing in Boston as a basso during the 1880s. In 1900 the household, identified as 202 Middlesex Avenue, included his wife, Harriet Sophia (Withington, 1849-1940), whom he married in 1874, three sons, and three daughters born between 1879 and 1899. In 1930[…] the household included his daughter, Shirley (b. 1880) and her husband Leroy H. Robbins (b. 1880), a real estate broker.”