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Preservation & People (PM Newsletter), Fall / Winter 2001

Preservation & People (PM Newsletter), Fall / Winter 2001

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Published by: Preservation Massachusetts on Dec 15, 2009
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05/31/2014

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PRESERVATION
and
PEOPLEF
ALL
 /W
INTER
, 2001
1
 
PreservationPeople
and
Vol. 16, NO. 1
HISTORIC MASSACHUSETTS
FALL/WINTER, 2001
 T e n  M o s t  E n d a n g  e r e d  H i s t o r i c  R e s o u r c e s  2 0 0 1
Whalom Park,Lunenburg
Page 10
 
PRESERVATION
and
PEOPLEF
ALL
 /W
INTER
, 2001
2
 Dear Friends,
I
n early October I left Historic Massachusettsto accept a newly created position in theBoston Parks and Recreation Department.I will serve as the city’s Director of Historic Parks.While it is very difficult to leave Historic Massa-chusetts, this is an extraordinary opportunity tohelp shape and protect the historic landscapes of my hometown.The past six years have been incredible. I amhonored to have been involved in preservation ata time when preservationists in Massachusettsmade tremendous strides toward making protec-tion of historic assets a fundamental element of economic development projects, environmentalprotection efforts, and broad-based planning strat-egies. We have gathered to train wonderful vol-unteers from local Historical and Historic Dis-trict Commissions and opened those trainingworkshops to planners, transportation engineersand consultants. We have passed the Commu-nity Preservation Act, giving communities whoadopt the Act a way to set up a dedicated fundfor historic preservation. We have changed theSchool Building Assistance Program to providemore state funds for school renovations than fornew construction; in doing so Massachusetts hasbecome a model for the nation. We have workedwith the Franklin County Regional Housing Au-thority to restore the Crocker Bank Building inTurners Falls National Register Historic District.This developed into the Authority’s first combinedhistoric preservation/affordable housing tax creditproject, as they went on to restore the CutleryBlock worker housing in the same district.Above all else, the greatest pleasure has beenworking with the people of preservation. I aminspired by your joy in the historic resources of the Commonwealth, your pleasure in the resto-ration of community landmarks, and your un-flagging optimism and commitment in the faceof threats to historic resources. I will carry yourenergy and dedication with me always.Many thanks,Margaret Dyson
 Dear Friends of Historic Massachusetts Inc.,
T
he Board of Directors congratulatesMargaret Dyson as she moves to hernew job with the Boston Parks andRecreation Department. Margaret will be join-ing Justine Liff, Park Commissioner, in the ParksDepartment’s ongoing efforts to protectOlmsted’s great legacy to Boston, the EmeraldNecklace. We want to thank Margaret for herwork as an advocate for historic preservation, asa tireless voice on Beacon Hill, and as a bridgebuilder to environmental and housing advocacygroups. These partnerships, along with her work on the Community Preservation Act, serve as themarks of her tenure at Historic Massachusetts.Historic Massachusetts is at an exciting cross-roads as we continue our efforts to bring the fif-teen-year-old organization into the new century.Since last January, the Board and Staff are ac-tively involved in a Strategic Plan for our futureand in October voted some of the first steps to-wards that plan. Historic Massachusetts remainscommitted to its core mission as the non-profitprivate partner of the Massachusetts HistoricCommission and other preservation organiza-tions throughout the Commonwealth.As we search for a new executive director, weare grateful for the active participation of all theboard officers: Otile McManus, Sam Knight, andClaudia Wu. Claudia Wu will continue as headof the ongoing strategic plan. Past PresidentMarcia Molay has graciously offered to help uswith this year’s dinner. Kathryn Coggeshall, Pro-gram Manager, will be heading the office duringthis interim time, and Sarah DiSano, an internfrom the Boston University Preservation Pro-gram, will be assisting her.Please feel free to contact me at HMI or atmy office during the next couple of months.Best regards,Clarissa Rowe
 Board of Directors, Chair  Brown and Rowe, Landscape Architects and Planners
617-542-8552, crowe@brownrowe.com
x
 Messages from theBoard of DirectorsChair, Clarissa Roweand Margaret Dyson.
P. 2
x
 HMI’s Ten MostEndangered 2001
P. 3
x
 Status Report onMassachusetts’ MostEndangered HistoricResources
 Insert between pages 4and 9
x
 The CommunityPreservation Act: OneYear Later . . .
P. 15
x
 Mark your Calendar-Upcoming Events
P. 15
COVER PHOTOCOURTESY OFKEN DENTON
 
PRESERVATION
and
PEOPLEF
ALL
 /W
INTER
, 2001
3
H
ISTORIC
M
ASSACHUSETTS
’ 2001
T
en
M
 ost
E
 ndangered 
H
istoric
R
esources
O
n September 28, 2001, Historic Massachusetts an-nounced its ninth annual Ten Most EndangeredHistoric Resources listing. This year’s list includesproperties from across Massachusetts that represent the diversehistory and culture of the Commonwealth and are seriouslythreatened by neglect, insufficient funding, inappropriate de-velopment, insensitive public policy, or vandalism.Sites are nominated by local groups or individuals state-wide who are concerned about the possible loss of these impor-tant resources. The listing helps focus attention on the condi-tion of these historic resources and their importance to theircommunities. The listing is only the beginning, often servingas a catalyst for extensive preservation opportunities. HistoricMassachusetts is proud to announce that due to the hard work of concerned citizens using the Endangered designation as atool, fewer than 12 of the ninety sites listed to date have beenlost to demolition. Many other sites have been saved or areprogressing well toward that goal.
x
Continued on page 4
Town Hall Annex (Homer School),Belmont
S
IGNIFICANCE
:
Built in 1898, The Town Hall Annex was designed by Eleazer B.Homer, an architecture professor at MIT and resident of Belmont.Constructed as the town’s second high school, it subsequently became a junior high school, an elementary school and in 1935 it was remodeledas an office building. It is located within the Pleasant Street LocalHistoric District.
T
HREAT
:
In 1995 the Annex became the subject of a Federal Court lawsuit brought about to makeBelmont municipal buildings handicapped accessible. In response to the court case, the Townbegan to rehabilitate these structures one at a time. Although the Town Hall was successfullyrehabilitated in 1999, the Town Selectmen halted the renovation of the Annex in 2000 in orderto conduct a feasibility study, which would determine how the Town’s office and parking needscould best be satisfied. Based on the results of this study, the Town Selectmen favored the optionof demolishing the Annex and replacing it with a new office building and underground parkinggarage.
S
TATUS
:
Saved!
On September 20th of this year the Town Selectmen unanimously chose an $11.2 millionrenovation plan that will bring the Annex into ADA compliance, thereby eliminating the threatto this historic resource. The two rejected options, estimated to cost $11.5 million and $12million, would have resulted in the Annex being removed from the historic district, demolished,and replaced. Historic Massachusetts has gladly removed the Belmont Town Hall Annex fromthe ranks of the Most Endangered.
PHOTOS: COURTESYOFRICHARD CHEEK

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