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

202 Middlesex Ave – Historically Significant

At our October public meeting, we voted to find the Queen Anne home at 202 Middlesex Avenue “historically significant” based on the architectural descriptions and family research in the Form B, shared in our previous post.

For the full discussion of our decision, please see the recorded Zoom meeting, at Medford Community Media.

Due to some scheduling irregularities, we will not vote on whether the property is also “preferably preserved” until our December meeting, on December 14.

October Agenda

Our October monthly meeting will be Monday, October 19, via Zoom. The agenda is below, and includes all Zoom info.

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.”

Demo Application: 202 Middlesex Avenue

The Medford Historical Commission has received an application for the partial demolition of the Queen Anne Victorian house located at 202 Middlesex Avenue. Located in the Wellington neighborhood, the building is a large and ambitious example of the types of buildings erected during the earliest development. Large lots were laid out for white collar commuting individuals but the proximity to the Boston and Maine Railroad enticed the working classes to round out the neighborhood. Constructed largely between 1880 and 1920, the Wellington area contains some of the finest examples of single family residences anywhere in the City. In addition, the house has an excellent social history which roots the occupants firmly to the fabric of the area. We will review the building for significance.

202 Middlesex Avenue, an excellent example of Queen Anne Victorian architecture.
202 Middlesex Avenue Carriage House