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2003 Massachusetts’ Most Endangered Historic Resources List

2003 Massachusetts’ Most Endangered Historic Resources List

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Established in 1993, the Massachusetts’ Most Endangered Historic Resources Program is one of our most important preservation advocacy and education tools. Local groups or individuals who are deeply concerned about the potential loss of these significant resources nominate sites from across the state. The list is one of the first steps in focusing statewide attention on the condition of these historic resources and their importance to communities, and often serves as a catalyst for extensive preservation opportunities.
The Most Endangered list at its core an advocacy and education “PR” program. Preservation Massachusetts utilizes our statewide visibility, resources and networks to promote the importance of these resources and work with the nominators and other involved parties to find a solution to the preservation challenge. Since the first listing in 1993, only 17 resources have been lost, over 40 completely saved and restored and many more progressing well on the long road back from the brink.

The Most Endangered list is announced each year at the Fall Preservation Event.
Established in 1993, the Massachusetts’ Most Endangered Historic Resources Program is one of our most important preservation advocacy and education tools. Local groups or individuals who are deeply concerned about the potential loss of these significant resources nominate sites from across the state. The list is one of the first steps in focusing statewide attention on the condition of these historic resources and their importance to communities, and often serves as a catalyst for extensive preservation opportunities.
The Most Endangered list at its core an advocacy and education “PR” program. Preservation Massachusetts utilizes our statewide visibility, resources and networks to promote the importance of these resources and work with the nominators and other involved parties to find a solution to the preservation challenge. Since the first listing in 1993, only 17 resources have been lost, over 40 completely saved and restored and many more progressing well on the long road back from the brink.

The Most Endangered list is announced each year at the Fall Preservation Event.

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Categories:Types, Brochures
Published by: Preservation Massachusetts on Dec 15, 2009
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05/11/2014

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2003
PreservatiON MASS
annually spotlights the
Ten Most En-dangered
 
Historic Resources
in the Commonwealth to focusattention on and rally support for imperiled historic buildingsand landscapes. Through a media campaign, the program head-lines historic places threatened by neglect, deterioration, insuf-ficient funding, inappropriate development, insensitive public policy or vandalism. Local organizations and individuals con-cerned about the potential loss of these significant resourcesnominate sites from their community. Due to the hard work anddiligence of concerned community members using the Endan-gered designation as an advocacy tool, fewer than fifteen of themore than one hundred thirty sites listed to date have been lost.Through the hard work of preservation-minded groups and in-dividuals, we hope that the 2003 Endangered Resources will become preservation success stories!
Ten Most EndangeredHistoric Resources
 
 Wright-Holden Farm, Acton
One of the earliest houses in East Acton, thec. 1830 “Middlesex Federal” style Wright-Holden Farm sits prominently on Route 2 andis the last farmstead in Acton to retain so muchopen space surrounding it. The farmhouse has been vacant for 20 years, although part of theopen space is used by the community for soc-cer fields and Boy Scout ceremonies.The current owner, the Massachusetts Department of Corrections (MDOC), has noimmediate plans for the house and performs little in the way of maintenance. Manyconcerned individuals have contacted the Acton Historical Commission regarding thestate of the house and their wish to see it restored and adaptively reused, however littlecan be done while the MDOC retains control of the property.
 Photo: Peter Grover, Acton Historical Commission
Blackstone Canal, Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor
The Blackstone Canal is an engineered structure and land-scape extending forty-five miles from Worcester to Provi-dence, RI. The Massachusetts canal route travelsthroughthe communities of Blackstone, Millville,Uxbridge, Northbridge, Grafton, Sutton, Millbury andWorcester. The Canal operated from 1828 to 1848, dur-ing which time it played a significant role in advancingthe Industrial Revolution through innovative transporta-tion technology. The industrial villages came to see them-selves as connected by the river and canal.
   P   h  o   t  o  :   B   l  a  c   k  s   t  o  n  e   R   i  v  e  r   V  a   l   l  e  y   N  a   t   i  o  n  a   l   H  e  r   i   t  a  g  e   C  o  r  r   i   d  o  r
Because some segments of the Canal are intact and well-preserved, there’s a generalmisconception by the public that the entire resource is protected. Much of the Canal islocated on private property, which is being developed without regard to the resource. Nature and time continue to erode canal walls and wash out sections of the towpath.The public sections of the Canal are subject to erosion from dirt bike tires.Suburbanization occurring adjacent to the Canalthreatens the integrity and continuityof the early 19
th
century landscape.
 
Historic Breweries of Mission Hill, Roxbury 
The 1886 Eblana-Alley Brewery, the 1892-1913Highland Spring Brewery, and the 1876-1886Vienna Brewery are located along the former Stony Brook corridor in Roxbury’s Mission Hillneighborhood. At the height of the local brew-ing industry in the late 19th century, the StonyBrook corridor was a regional center of indus-trial production. The remnants of the three brew-eries, as well as four additional brewery complexes in Roxbury and Jamaica Plain, wererecommended as a potential thematic National Register Historic District by the BostonLandmarks Commission (BLC) in 1985. In 1988 the BLC issued an official eligibilityopinion finding the Vienna Brewery eligible for the National Register and also designatedthe complex a Boston Landmark.The three breweries face similar threats, including neglect, inappropriate rehabilitation,and pending sales without preservation restrictions or clear plans for redevelopment.Whilethere is no immediate threat of demolition for any of the structures, all are in a similarlytenuous position by reason of being largely vacant or for sale. The plight of the breweriesdrew the attention of the Friends of Historic Mission Hill, a neighborhood preservationadvocacy group, who submitted the property nomination.
 h  o t   o :  l   a i   n e S  t   i   l   e s 
After decades of neglect, the Granite Landings are collapsing into the river. Environ-mental conditions, especially freeze and thaw cycles, mortar loss, inappropriate re- pairs, organic growth and extensive use, have all contributed to the damage. A 1999Metropolitan District Commission assessment report identified urgent repairsneededwithin one to two years. Since that study was issued, nothing has been done tostabilize or repair the structures and additional damage has occurred. There is strongand widespread support for preserving the Granite Landings from preservation andconservation groups across the Commonwealth.Built in the 1930s, Commissioners, DartmouthStreet and Gloucester Street Granite Landingsare architectural anchors of this National Reg-ister-listed riverside park. Boston landscape ar-chitect ArthurShurcliff, best known for his work at Colonial Williamsburg, designed the Gran-ite Landings as part of the 1930s widening of the Charles River Esplanade. The Granite Land-ings serve as overlooks, formal landings for small boats, and popular gathering spots for  park visitors.
 Photo: The Esplanade Association
Historic Granite Landings,Charles River Esplanade, Boston

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