PRESERVATION Mass Old City Hall, 45 School Street Boston, MA 02108


Mark Your Calendar!
Historic Deerfield, Deerfield
December 2002 Annual Deerfield in December Celebration

Historic Salem, Inc., Salem
Dec. 7, 2002, 10 AM – 4 PM & Dec. 8, 2002, 12 – 4 PM 23rd Annual Christmas in Salem

Boston Preservation Alliance, Boston
February 8 – 9, 2003, 9 AM to 6 PM

Old House Fair 539 Tremont Street For more information call the BPA at 617-367-2458 or visit their website:

Sleigh rides, lamplight village walks, Historic Deerfield’s 50th Anniversary exhibition and much more! General admission is $12 for adults, $6 for ages 6-21. Children 6 and under are free. For more information, please call Historic Deerfield at 413-775-7214.

Walking tour of historic homes. For more information call Historic Salem at 978-745-0799 or visit their website:

WHALE (Waterfront Historic Area League), New Bedford
December 7-8, 2002. Holiday Shops 2002

Boston Society of Architects, Boston
Sept 2002 – May 2003 Lecture Series at the Boston Public Library

PreservatiON Mass, Boston
January 2003 Annual Meeting

For lecture topics, dates, times and other information, please contact the BSA at 617-951-1433 x. 221 or visit their website:

Date, time and location to be announced
May 2003 Annual Preservation Awards Dinner

Date, time and location to be announced

University of Massachusetts, Amherst
January 14-17, 2003 24th Annual Wood Identification Workshop

For more information, contact Bruce Hoadley at 413-545-1834.

Downtown New Bedford and the Whaling National Historical Park come alive during Holiday Shops. Free to the public, this family-oriented event features a variety of one-of-a-kind handcrafted and specialty items, great entertainment, tasty delectables, children’s activities and much more! For more information call WHALE at 508997-1776 or visit their website:

Preservation and e Peopl

Suffolk Street, Downtown Holyoke, 1920s postcard image.
Inset: Suffolk Street, 2002. The Vacant Buildings of Downtown Holyoke are a 2002 Ten Most Endangered Historic Resource, see pages 4-5 for more information.
Vol. 17, NO. 3


FALL 2002

In this issue From the Executive Director ............................2 2002 Ten Most Endangered ............................3

2001 Endangered Update ................................9 Upcoming Events..............................Back Cover


From the Executive Director
2002 has been a monumental year for Historic Massachusetts and the preservation community as a whole: • A Coalition of preservation organizations from across the Commonwealth was
established to strengthen preservation advocacy, legislation and organizational strategies.


Maurice Childs, Chair of the Board James G. Alexander, FAIA Vice Chair Samuel B. Knight, Jr., Treasurer Claudia Sauermann Wu, Clerk

Board of Directors
Katherine F. Abbott Barbara Bashevkin Robert Bernstein John F. Bok, Esq. Carol Bratley Maurice Childs, FAIA Anthony Consigli Katherine D. Flynn Coughlin Paul A. Faraca Allen F. Johnson Frank Keefe Robert H. Kuehn, Jr. Richard Lundgren Paul J. McGinley, AICP Otile McManus Louis Miller Marion Pressley, FASLA Clarissa Rowe Victor J. Walker, FASLA

• The Preservation Awards Dinner in May at the Copley Plaza Hotel was Historic Massachusetts’ most successful event to date.

• The Massachusetts Preservation Projects Fund (MPPF) received $15 million in funding, which means we can look forward to another year of important preservation projects throughout the state. • The annual Statewide Preservation Conference and Leadership Training Seminar took place this September in New Bedford, with great interest and enthusiasm from all who participated. • Historic Massachusetts elected a new Chair and Vice-Chair for the Board of Directors and completed a strategic planning process in which a new name, PRESERVATION Mass, and image were developed for our organization.
And so, in selecting the 2002 Ten Most Endangered Historic Resources, we knew we needed nothing short of a powerful and impactive list for such an ambitious year. From Adams to Attleboro; and from Downtown Holyoke, an historic city struggling to survive economically and architecturally, to tiny East Brookfield Railroad Station, an H.H. Richardson-designed station now used for storage, this year’s list runs the gamut of preservation issues facing Massachusetts’ communities today. As the perception of preservation evolves from it being primarily an individual building and landscape conservation tool to it being an economic and community revitalization strategy, our concept of how resources are endangered has also evolved. For it’s not only their past historical and cultural significance that makes them resources—it’s also their present and future potential to enrich our lives as locations for business, education, religious worship or the enjoyment of nature that makes them so valuable. Since the first announcement of Massachusetts’ Ten Most Endangered in 1993, the listing has been an encouraging and sustaining event that brings attention to historic valuable resources through coverage in the press, radio and television. With 2002 being a year of change, we realized we must go a step further in our presentation and involvement with the Endangered Resources. That’s why we developed an entire event, the Fall Preservation Celebration on November 19th, around the announcement of the Ten Most Endangered. That’s why the Endangered Selection Committee, with renewed energy and enthusiasm, will now be in continuous contact with resource nominees, providing them with helpful tools and advice for achieving successful preservation advocacy, so that more and more properties may be deemed “saved” each year and removed from Endangered status. We are honored and excited to showcase the Ten Most Endangered Historic Resources in the fall newsletter. I can think of no better themes for the final newsletter of 2002 than preservation, inspiration, perseverance and hope. Here’s hoping 2003 will bring us even closer to our preservation and organizational goals! -Jim Igoe

David Leach, Chair Katherine F. Abbott Eleanor G. Ames Peter Aucella Ann Beha, FAIA Arthur and Jean Bennett Shary Page Berg Charles Beveridge Richard Candee Marcia M. Cini, Esq. Rolf Diamant Grace Friary Ruth Geoffroy John F. Furlong, FASLA Martha D. Hamilton Gary R. Hilderbrand, ASLA Robin Karson David R. Keller Patrick A. T. Lee Arleyn Levee Barbara Levy Ellen J. Lipsey Wendy Nicholas Julia B. O’Brien Bruce Polishook Christine Rinaldo Michael Roberts Gretchen G. Schuler S. Christopher Scott Stanley M. Smith Antone G. Souza, Jr. Jane Stirgwolt Charles M. Sullivan Wesley T. Ward Patricia L. Weslowski Tobias Yarmolinksy Sally Zimmerman

Jim Igoe, Executive Director Sarah DiSano, Program Coordinator Kate Ranweiler, Office Manager


Preservation and People, Fall 2002

P R E S E R VAT I O N M A S S 2 0 0 2

Most Endangered Historic Resources
On November 19, 2002, PreservatiON Mass, formally known as Historic Massachusetts, announced the tenth annual Ten Most Endangered Historic Resources list at the Fall Preservation Celebration in Boston. This year’s listing includes a variety of resource types that embody the history and culture of the Commonwealth and are threatened by neglect, insufficient funding, inappropriate development, insensitive public policy, or vandalism. 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. PreservatiON Mass is proud to announce that due to the hard work and diligence of concerned citizens using the Endangered designation as a tool, fewer than one dozen of the more than one hundred sites listed to date have been lost. Many resources have been saved or are progressing well towards that goal. Through the commitment and determination of communities, organizations and individuals, we hope that all of the 2002 Endangered Resources will be preservation success stories over the upcoming year!

The W.B. Plunkett Memorial Hospital – Adams
he W.B. Plunkett Memorial Hospital served as Adams’ first and only hospital for 55 years. In 1918, local industrialist and philanthropist W.B. Plunkett hired the Boston architectural firm of Pa r k e r, Thomas and Rice to design this Colonial Revival brick building, which Photo: Jay Lukkarila, Save Plunkett sits on a hill in the town center. The hospital closed in 1973 and, with the exception of a short-lived reuse as a school for troubled youths, has remained vacant. Although members of the Adams community are working towards nominating the property, it’s not currently listed on the State or National Registers. In May of 2002, the Town Selectmen were authorized to sell the property without incorporating into the deed restrictions that would ensure its future preservation. Several Selectmen have publicly stated that they would like to see the building be demolished. Many in the community feel that any attempt to preserve the property would be a burden to local taxpayers. A small group of Adams residents have formed the Save Plunkett Committee, in order to advocate for the hospital’s preservation and adaptive reuse. The MHC has also voiced its support for the preservation of this property.


Tappan House – Attleboro
uilt in 1901, this Colonial Revival house was the home of Charles Tappan, a pioneer manufacturer in Attleboro’s jewelry industry, and is located along one of the city’s main avenues. This threes t o r y, 27-room mansion contains stained glass windows, mahogany, walnut, oak and cherry woodwork, and parquet floors. Three generations of the Tappan family lived there until Photo: Courtesy of Attleboro Historical Commission 1960, when it was sold to Sturdy Memorial Hospital (SMH), which is adjacent to the house. The property is not on the State or National Registers. Since being acquired by SMH, the building has had various uses, but currently houses administrative offices. Little has been done to the building in the way of repair or maintenance over the SMH’s 42 years of ownership. In 2001, SMH announced its intentions to demolish the Tappan House upon completion of the hospital’s $8 million expansion and renovation project. SMH claims that the building needs too much work to make saving it economically viable. Once demolished, SMH intends to use the land as a parking lot for the time being. Community support for the preservation of the Tappan House is widespread and vocal. The Attleboro Historical Commission, Historical Preservation Society, the Mayor, members of the City Council, local newspaper editors and columnists, and numerous other members of the community all favor preserving this resource. Fall 2002, Preservation and People 3


Vacant Buildings of Downtown Holyoke
ounded in 1850 by wealthy industrialists from Boston, Holyoke was the first planned industrial city in the United States. By harnessing the ample power of the Connecticut River, industrialists built the longest dam in the world at that time and a system of canals, which served a variety of water-powered manufactories. The resulting affluence from the manufacturing industries literally built the City of Holyoke as a dense urban community of mills, worker’s housing, impressive commercial blocks, churches, monumental civic and institutional buildings, and many blocks of rowhouses and residential hotels. Many industrialists hired house this immigrant work force resulted in the construction of numerous blocks of multi-story rowhouses, usually constructed of brick, in the late 19th century. During the 1920s, Holyoke was one of only two cities (Springfield being the other) in the Connecticut River Valley to achieve sufficient density to necessitate the construction of numerous three- and four-story masonry apartment blocks as a solution to middle-class housing needs. Additionally during this time the number and diversity of commercial structures in Holyoke, Randolph Apartment Building, Chestnut Street, vacant. such as banks and hotels, increased and the first blocks of "office" buildings began to appear in the city. With the waning of the industrial age in the early 20th century and the economic effects of the Great Depression in the 1930s, Holyoke’s prosperity began to dissipate. Although the city still remains diversely populated, it is now the poorest community in the Commonwealth. (According to the US Census Bureau’s figures for 2000, 22% of Holyoke families live below the poverty level.) As a result of ongoing population loss and disinvestment, Holyoke’s once active commercial core has a high vacancy rate and the downtown residential areas are interspersed with vacant buildings and empty lots; in some areas, entire city blocks have been cleared. The practice of demolishing vacant buildings began during the days of urban renewal in the 1960s when it was accepted public policy to remove "blight" in an effort to combat crime and related Demolition of Buildings on Hampden and Pleasant Streets social ills. The demolitions accelerated in the 1970s as a result of devastating arson well-known architects to design magnifiactivity that often necessitated demolition cent residential, commercial, and municipal of fire-damaged buildings for public safety. buildings and parks throughout the city. The demolition of vacant residential and H.H. Richardson designed the Holyoke commercial buildings continues today in Railroad Station and Frederick Law OlmstHolyoke’s historic commercial core and ed designed Holyoke’s Springdale Park and downtown neighborhoods. Under current rose gardens and Kerry Park (now known public policy, crime and vandalism are conas Pulaski Park). The Victory Theatre, the sidered best resolved through the removal last surviving historic movie theatre in the of the buildings in which they take place. city and a 1999 Ten Most Endangered HisRecent demolitions include the Hampden toric Resource, was one of several opulent and Pleasant Streets Apartment Block with theatres built in the downtown during the storefronts and the Maple Street Apartlate 19th and early 20th centuries. ment Building with commercial fronts. For much of the late industrial period Buildings currently threatened with demo(1870-1915) Holyoke’s population grew at lition or demolition by neglect include the a phenomenal rate, sometimes in excess of Victory Theatre, the Essex Hotel, the Essex 400%. During this period, the city’s mills 22 Main Street, damaged by fire and Building, and the Bulls Head Commercial attracted immigrant workers from Canada, vacant. Building. Once targeted buildings are Ireland, France, Germany, and Poland who created distinct razed, the land often remains vacant, leaving a gap in the city neighborhoods and added to the city’s diversity. The need to streetscape. In cases where new construction has taken place, 4 Preservation and People, Fall 2002


it is often of a scale, design, and materials that is inconsistent with the existing brick rowhouses. Despite the ongoing loss of vacant historic resources in the downtown area, the City of Holyoke can also proudly point to several successful private and public preservation projects. Holyoke City Hall, a 19th century Gothic Style monument, underwent a complete exterior and interior restoration in 2000 which was funded by the City and received a Preservation Award from the MHC. The Ball Block on High Street is a Massachusetts Preservation Projects Fund (MPPF) project currently undergoing rehabilitation and adaptive reuse. The stone balustrade in the Olmsted-designed Pulaski Park is undergoing restoration as well. The Holyoke Gas & Electric Company won a 1999 preservation award from the Holyoke Historical Commission for their renovation and adaptive re-use for offices of the former Holyoke Savings Bank Building at Chestnut and Suffolk Streets. While such public and private preservation efforts are commendable, a walk through the


Holyoke Catholic High School
Holyoke Catholic High School’s (HCHS) roots date back to 1868 when young Father Harkins opened Holyoke's first catholic school on the land currently used for St. Jerome's Parish and the Holyoke campus of HCHS. By the late 1940's there were Mara Hall four Roman Catholic high schools in the city: St. Jerome, Sacred Heart, Holy Rosary and Precious Blood. The Sisters of St. Joseph ran all four schools. In 1948 it became evident the four schools could not compete in sports on a level with area high schools due to of low attendance. To remain athletically competitive St. Jerome, Sacred Heart, and Holy Ro s a r y HCHS Gymnasium formed HCHS at the St. Jerome campus. Precious Blood tried to remain separate, but joined the group after closing their school in 1969. In the early years of the schools, the majority of students were from the immediate Holyoke area. Today the school draws students from Greenfield to Enfield and Westfield to Palmer. HCHS is comprised of five brick structures, built between 1874 and 1910, two portable classrooms and the St. Jerome’s Church. It was an open campus, meaning that the approximately 500 enrolled students moved between buildings for classes and were allowed to patronize local businesses for lunch. Art classes were held in the original chapel, where the wide gallery spaces and stained glass windows were inspirational to generations of students. In July 2002, the Springfield Diocese closed the school citing safety concerns. The school operations were moved to St. Hyacinth College and Seminary in Granby and will remain there until a new school is built. When the doors were closed on July 2, 2002, a crowd of 1500 gathered at the War Memorial in downtown Holyoke to express their shock and outrage. The local restaurateurs have lost thousands of dollars in business, and dearly want the students returned their old Holyoke campus. HCHS is significant to Holyoke not only for its architectural and historical value, but also for the economic and social viability its students contribute to the downtown area. Many HCHS students have been quoted as saying they dearly miss the downtown campus and eagerly look forward to returning. Unfortunately, although the fate of the old campus has yet to be officially decided, it’s the understanding of the HCHS parents and students that the Springfield Diocese’s current vision for the school is to develop a 20-25 acre site, including adjoining sports fields, which essentially rules out rehabilitating the downtown campus. With this campus’s fate hanging in the balance, downtown Holyoke could face another significant loss of architectural fabric and economic stimulus. 5

HH Richardson-designed railroad station, Bowers Street.

streets of downtown Holyoke reveal that more needs to be done if the urban core of this city is to grow and thrive. The aforementioned projects are admirable, but are isolated efforts amidst the neglected commercial buildings, vacant and boarded up rowhouses, and empty lots. PRESERVATION Mass extends the offer to work in partnership with the City of Holyoke and private property owners to rehabilitate and reuse, rather than see demolished the wealth of historic downtown buildings that are currently abandoned or neglected. PRESERVATION Mass also offers assistance to Holyoke in the development preservation-minded strategies for the planning and construction of infill structures on vacant lots that would enhance and revitalize the downtown area. Downtown Holyoke is endangered, but not lost. The historical significance of Holyoke, and the wealth of incredible architectural fabric that the downtown area still retains compel the Preservation Community to become more actively interested and involved with this city.

Fall 2002, Preservation and People

Carlton Street Footbridge – Brookline

threatened by severe disrepair: the roof leaks due to broken and missing slates, and rainwater is destroying unique interior woodwork and causing structural damage. The East Brookfield Historical Commission and community, including State Representative Mark J. Carron, support preserving the station, however its preservation is not a priority in the town budget.

Photo: Jean Stringham

he Carlton Street Footbridge, built in 1894, is located in Riverway Park, one of six parks in Olmsted’s Emerald Necklace. The footbridge served as primary entrance to Riverway from the residential section of Brookline’s Longwood neighborhood until its closure over 25 years ago, due to a lack of maintenance funds. This simple, ironwork structure is listed on the State and National Registers as part of the Emerald Necklace park system. In May 2002, an article to provide funds for demolition of the footbridge was reviewed at a Brookline Town Meeting. At that Meeting, the Town voted to delay funding preliminary plans for restoration, relocation, or removal until fiscal year 2004. Because the Town’s Demolition Delay By-Law only applies to habitable structures, it cannot be applied to the proposed demolition of the bridge. The MHC determined that demolition of the bridge would constitute an “adverse effect” on the Olmstead Park system. Proponents of restoring the footbridge are seeking funds to develop preliminary plans for reconstruction and repair.


Photos: Courtesy of East Brookfield Historical Commission

First National Bank & Trust Company Building – Greenfield
he First National Bank & Trust Company building was built in 1929 and is located in the center of downtown Greenfield’s Main Street National Register Historic District. The New York City architecture firm of Dennison and Hirons designed this Moderne curtain wall structure, with recessed center entrance framed by glossy green marble and infilled with glass and decorative ironwork, to signify the progressive commercial/industrial nature of the community. It’s the only building displaying Art Deco detailing in Greenfield, and was the largest building built for financial services in Franklin County.


East Brookfield Railroad Station – East Brookfield
uilt in 1893, this Richardsonian Romanesque railroad station’s design originated with H. H. Richardson’s 1880s plans for depots along the Boston and Albany Railroad line. The ailing Richardson sketched the plans, draftsmen Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge drew the plans, and then the O.W Norcross . Brothers supplied the stone and erected the stations. Since it was construction, this one-story granite and sandstone station has been a focal point of the community. It is not listed on the State or National Registers. The last passenger train stopped at the East Brookfield Station over 40 years ago. The once-active railroad station presently sits at the end of a dead end street and is used as a storage shed. This building is 6


Photo: Marcia Starkey

The bank moved to another building in 1971, and in 1979 several state offices were temporarily housed in the building, but since then it’s remained vacant. Although the steel frame and walls are believed to be sound, the concrete roof is leaking and granite façade plates are coming away from the wall. The current

Preservation and People, Fall 2002

property owner is not capable of saving the property. However, after years of proposals and negotiation, the Franklin County Community Development Corporation (CDC) has made an agreement with the owner under which the structure will be donated to the CDC for rehabilitation. The agreement gives the CDC 60 days to decide if it wants possession of the building. A team of experts is presently analyzing the building to determine feasible options for rehabilitation. The Greenfield Historical Commission feels strongly that this building should be preserved and adamantly opposes demolition.

released the Granite Building’s listing immediately in an effort to draw attention to this valuable resource and the urgent need to preserve it. The Milford Historical Commission and the MHC have publicly stated their opposition to the demolition or relocation of this structure, and several letters were published in the local paper in support of preserving the Granite Building.

George T. Baker/William Robinson Oil Works – New Bedford

Middle School East/ “The Granite Building” – Milford

Photo: Courtesy of WHALE

Photo: Paul E. Curran

uilt in 1896 and located in downtown Milford, the former St. Mary’s Grammar School Building, now known as the Granite Building, is a Colonial Revival structure built entirely of granite from Milford quarries. The building’s architect, Robert Allen Cook, was a Milford resident. During the 20th century, the building became part of an educational campus, as the red brick St. Mary’s Academy building was built adjacent to it in 1923, followed by the yellow brick Elementary School in the 1960s. In 1974, St. Mary’s closed and the Town later voted to purchase the complex, renovate it and reopen it as Milford’s second Middle School, which it did in 1980. In 1985, the Granite Building suffered a fire that caused $100,000 in damage to the interior wood framing and the building has been vacant ever since. This building was deemed eligible for the State or National Registers in 2002. The Town of Milford is currently undertaking a school building renovation project, which is considering the option of demolishing or moving the Old Granite Building. Due to its size and granite construction, moving the building would be an exorbitant cost to taxpayers, almost guaranteeing that the Town will favor demolition. In September 2002 the Milford School Building Committee voted to recommend demolition of the building at the December 2, 2002 Town Meeting. In response to this vote, Historic Massachusetts


onstructed in 1847 as a Whale Oil processing works, the Baker-Robinson Oil Works operated until 1925, the year the last whaling ship sailed out of New Bedford. The original 2 ? story rubble stone Greek Revival structure is currently vacant, although subsequent additions added to accommodate a fishprocessing plan are still in use. The surrounding area has been significantly impacted by Urban Renewal and the construction of Route 18 through the waterfront area. The property is not presently listed on the State or National Registers. The Baker-Robinson Oil Works and later attached buildings are presently on the market for a price in excess of $1 million. The sale of the property could lead to a proposal to demolish the buildings. While New Bedford has a tight demolition delay ordinance, a delay can’t last forever. The National Park Service did an archeological study of the Oil works and determined that it is an important contributing structure to the history of the American Whaling Industry.


St. Joseph’s Church – Roxbury
t. Joseph’s, a one-and-one-half story rectangular hall Romanesque/Italianate style church was built in 1845/46 as Roxbury’s first Roman Catholic parish. Renowned late nineteenth century architect Patrick C. Keeley designed both the 1860 enlargement of the church and the building’s 1886 interior modifications. The entire complex, including the church, convent, rectory and grammar school are on the State and National Registers of Historic Places. Issues with the roof structure in January 2002 and 7


Fall 2002, Preservation and People

then South Reading in 1851, and purchased the land where the town’s first grist and saw mill once stood in order to build factories for his business, the Wakefield Rattan Company. Wakefield, for whom South Reading was renamed in 1868, developed an 11-acre complex of factories where he employed the majority of the town’s residents. He donated a new Town Hall to the town, in addition to being the developer of several commercial buildings in the downtown that were significant to the shaping of Wakefield’s business and industrial districts. The property is listed on the State and National Registers.

Photos: Courtesy of Boston Landmarks Commission

the recent merging of St. Joseph’s with another parish have rendered the building vacant and the Archdiocese of Boston has slated it for demolition. Initially parishioners were told that there would be an opportunity to address this issue through fundraising efforts by the parishioners and the Archdioceses. In February the parishioners were told that the decision had been made to close the parish and dispose of the church. In June the roof partially collapsed and, had it not been for the vigilance of Boston’s Inspectional Services Department (ISD) and Landmarks Commission (BLC), the Archdiocese would have demolished the building. The BLC invoked a 90-day demolition delay to allow for investigation of alternatives to demolition, which expired October 22, 2002. The parishioners of St. Joseph’s are committed to finding a solution to save their church, including seeking additional protection through Boston Landmark designation.

The only physical remains from this significant era in the town’s history are four 19th-century brick structures on 5.6 acres of Wakefield’s former mill complex. Fire destroyed most of the factory buildings in 1972, and the town demolished the Second Empire style town hall donated by Wakefield and the Cyrus Wakefield Mansion 50 years ago. In December 2001 it was announced that Shaw’s Supermarkets planned to lease the site from its current owner, raze all the buildings, and build a modern supermarket with a 240-car parking on the site. A demolition permit was applied for in June 2002, and the Wakefield Historical Commission issued a six month Demolition Delay that will expire on December 25, 2002. The Wakefield Wicker Society and the Wakefield Historical Society support the preservation of this property and the Wakefield Master Plan Committee and the Local Housing Partnership have discussed the possibility of renovating the buildings for housing.

Robie Industrial Park – Wakefield


he founder of the rattan and reed business in the United States, Cyrus Wakefield came to what was Preservation and People, Fall 2002

2 0 0 1 T EN
Most Endangered Historic Resources

What a difference a year makes! Since being listed as the 2001 Ten Most
Endangered Resources, some of the following properties are saved, some are progressing well towards preservation, and others are still struggling. All of them, however, continue to be valuable resources that tell the story of how people lived, worked and played throughout Massachusetts history in a way that no photographs or book will ever be able to convey to future generations. In the near future, the Endangered Resources List Database, from 1993 to the present, will be part of PreservatiON Mass’ new website, so that this valuable tool will become readily accessible to all those interested in learning more about the history and status of each Endangered property. Town Hall Annex (Homer School), Belmont
order to conduct a feasibility study, which would determine how the Town’s office and parking needs could best be satisfied. Based on the study’s results, the Selectmen favored the option of demolishing the Annex and replacing it with a new office building and underground parking garage. STATUS: SAVED! In September 2001, the Selectmen unanimously chose an $11.2 million renovation plan that will bring the Annex into ADA compliance, thereby eliminating the threat to this historic resource. The two rejected options, estimated to cost $11.5 million and $12 million, would have resulted in the Annex being removed from the historic district, demolished, and replaced. Renovation work is scheduled to begin in March 2003. laid, uncoursed granite rubble bridge was made to withstand the weight of oxen carts that carried loads of iron over Fall Brook to the Providence Foundry Company. The only remaining bridge of its type in East Freetown, it’s a rare example of the town’s early industrial past, as many of its mills and other industrial structures no longer exist. THREAT: Due to structural deficiencies, the bridge was closed to vehicular traffic in 1998. The Town planned to demolish the bridge, but has since canceled those plans and given the Freetown Historical Commission (FHC) support for its restoration, but due to a lack of funding, the future preservation of the bridge is not ensured. STATUS: COMING ALONG… In 2001 the FHC began researching various grant opportunities and contacting stonemasons to get cost estimates for the bridge’s restoration. One stonemason felt the bridge is stable and in better condition than the Mass Highway Dept.’s report suggested, but estimated it would cost about $139,000 to restore, not including fees for the required services of a structural engineer. Meanwhile, the FHC continues to seek grants for the restoration and are applying for matching funds from the Massachusetts Preservation Projects Fund (MPPF). 9

S I G N I F I C A N C E : Built in 1898, The Town Hall Annex was designed by Eleazer B. Homer, an architecture professor at MIT and Belmont resident. Constructed as the town’s second high school, it subsequently became a junior high school, an elementary school and in 1935 it was remodeled as an office building. It is located within the Pleasant Street Local Historic District. THREAT: In 1995 the Annex became the subject of a Federal Court lawsuit brought about to make Belmont municipal buildings handicapped accessible. In response to the case, the Town began rehabilitating these structures. Although the Town Hall was successfully rehabilitated in 1999, Town Selectmen halted renovation of the Annex in 2000 in

Gurney Road Bridge, Freetown

SIGNIFICANCE: Built c. 1820, this dry Fall 2002, Preservation and People

Abijah Clark House, Hubbardston

SIGNIFICANCE: This c. 1820 Federal style house, with rear ell and barn additions, was believed to have been constructed by Abijah Clark, who built the adjacent general store in 1845. During the 1940s a barbershop was located in the front south room and local men used the ell as a place to play cards. T H R E AT: The house suffers from deferred maintenance and deterioration. It was condemned by the local Building Inspector and is considered a potential fire hazard as it’s next to the To w n building complex, which includes a school. S TATUS: STILL STRUGGLING… T h e Clark House and adjacent general store were purchased at auction by the Harden family in November 2001. The Hardens would like to reopen the store with residential space on the second f l o o r, and convert the house into an antiques co-op, meeting space and/or historical society museum, also with living space above. The house presents a number of zoning and building code problems, including lack of available parking space and septic system issues. The Hubbardston Historical Commission is working with the Hardens as they go before various Town boards applying for permits, which they must get in order to move forward with rehabilitation plans.

Whalom Park, Lunenburg

SIGNIFICANCE: Whalom Park was built in 1893 by the Fitchburg & Leominster Street Railway Company, who created the “trolley park” as a way to increase profits by increasing nighttime and weekend business. It was a traditional amusement park with 30 rides, some of which were rare, including a 1939 wooden roller coaster, the Tumble Bug, Flying Scooters, and a turn-of-the-century carousel containing 58 hand-carved animals. THREAT: In 2001, for the first time since opening 109 years ago, Whalom Park did not open its gates for the summer season. Due to financial difficulties the park was put up for sale. Unconcerned with the park’s historic significance, the owners entertained offers from other park operators and real estate developers, the latter of whom desire to raze the site for condominium development. As the owners waited for a buyer, they sold off valuable park components, including the carousel, which was auctioned off in pieces in 2000. STATUS: CRITICAL, BUT ALIVE…In 2002 the Whalom Park Amusement Company signed a purchase and sales agreement with a developer, however the deal has not progressed further. Although it’s not known why the deal hasn’t advanced, any number of reasons, be it zoning, permitting or personal issues, could cause delay. In the meantime, many rides were sold, leaving about a dozen rides remaining in the park. The Save Whalom Park (SWP) campaign, which hopes to buy the park and restore it to its 1920s heyday, is still going strong. Many people who’ve purchased rides from the park have agreed to sell them back, should the SWP campaign succeed. For more information about SWP, please visit their website:

of the original interior details of both houses remain intact, including fielded feather-edged wainscoting in the Johnson house and a fully paneled parlor in the Bartlett house.

William Bartlett and William Johnson Houses, Newburyport
SIGNIFICANCE: These late 18th century Federal style brick houses are situated on a 1 ? acre parcel of open land in Newburyport’s south end. During their lifetimes, Bartlett and Johnson were merchants listed among the top ten wealthiest men in Newburyport. Most

THREAT: In 2001 the community learned of the impending sale of the buildings and plans to develop the site with up to 60 units of affordable housing. Without a commitment to preserve and restore the existing houses as part of this development, the neighborhood feared the houses would be demolished and the open space would be developed in a way that conflicts with existing community character. STATUS: COMING ALONG WONDERFULLY…Over the past year, an ad-hoc committee of neighborhood residents, along with the Planning Director, began drafting a special voluntary zoning overlay that could apply solely to this distinctive property. At the same time, the Archdiocese placed the property on the market and began asking for proposals from interested developers. One developer, Richard and Dolores Person, created a scheme based on the zoning overlay. The plan, which involves placing permanent preservation easements on the two houses, has met with tremendous community support, and includes the


Preservation and People, Fall 2002

development of 15 units of housing in addition to the mansions, which would become single-family homes. Some of the new homes are planned as historic replicas; others will be built in a way that simply blends in with the area’s existing housing. The development also provides off-street parking and two units of affordable housing. The city Planning Board unanimously embraced the proposed ordinance as a way to encourage development that would fit within the character of the South End and preserve historic buildings. The overlay needs the support of the City Council, who will vote to pass or reject it at their next meeting on October 28th.

owners on a proposal that would give them more parking spaces in return for deeding the building to the Salem Redevelopment Authority (SRA). Habitat for Humanity expressed strong interest in rehabilitating the property, as have many other non-profit groups over the years. All regulatory bodies and court decisions have decided in favor of preserving this resource. Sadly, the deal between the City and owner has stalled. The City is now exploring the possibility of taking the property by eminent domain.

become more involved through securing matching grants for façade rehabilitation, however the present owner’ s inability to provide matching funds makes this solution less than viable for the time being.

Historic Diners of Massachusetts

Former Universalist Church Building, Southbridge
Photo: Road Age Media © 2002

Wendt House, Salem

S I G N I F I C A N C E : The Wendt House, built c. 1770 and moved to its present location in 1830, is located in Salem’s smallest National Register Historic District. It’s one of six remaining buildings in the last surviving residential enclave in downtown Salem. The house was once occupied by members of Salem’s early African-American and maritime communities and circumstantial evidence suggests it may have been a c. 1840 a stop on the Underground Railroad. THREAT: The owners seek to demolish it and construct a parking lot in its place. Though not successful in obtaining a demolition permit, they have succeeded in constructing additional parking spaces on the property and demolishing the rear porch. After years of neglect, the building has a high vagrancy rate and is considered a blighted area and fire risk. STATUS: STILL STRUGGLING…Over the past year, the City worked with the

S I G N I F I C A N C E : This Greek Re v i v a l church, built in 1841, served as a Universalist Church until the early 1970’s. It’s the second oldest church in Southbridge and the only one built in the Greek Revival style. The building is used as rental retail and apartment space. THREAT: Threatened by neglect, the lack of exterior maintenance is evident in the poor condition of the slate roof shingles and deterioration of the trim work. STATUS: STILL STRUGGLING…The elderly owner is unable to maintain it hims e l f, but has indicated he’d consider selling the property, should someone show interest in buying it (it’s not currently on the market). The community feels strongly that this building should be preserved and maintained, as it’s a key component of the downtown historic district. The Town is trying to

SIGNIFICANCE: Diners hold an important place Commonwealth history. The first mobile lunch wagon, seen as the precursor to the traditional diner, was introduced in Worcester in 1884. In the early 20th century the lunch wagon evolved into the stationary portable lunch car. Companies in Worcester and Springfield became major manufacturers of these new “diners.” Reflecting the growing dependence on private automobiles, diners were often found on the sides of highways such as MA routes 2, 9, and 12. To this day the diner is celebrated in film, art, and literature as a vital aspect of the American vernacular. THREAT: In the late 1950’s diners fell out of favor with restaurant patrons as fast-food franchises and family-oriented facilities gained popularity. The construction of large access controlled highways that bypassed the smaller roads where diners were found also contributed to their decline. STATUS: GOOD NEWS & BAD NEWS… Massachusetts is home to well over 100 historic diners, 14 of which are listed in the National Re g i s t e r. In 2002 the MHC began the process of nominating an additional 10 diners to the National Register. Today there’s a resurgence of interest in diners, which is both a positive and negative phenomena. Some diners, such as Town Diner (1920s) in Watertown, have been restored in situ. Others, such as the former Breakfast Club (1929) in Pittsfield, were dismantled and “exported” to other states, or, in the case of Ted’s Diner (1920s) in

Fall 2002, Preservation and People


Milford, razed for business or zoning reasons. If you know of an owner who’d be interested in pursuing a National Register listing for their diner, please contact the MHC at 617-7278470.

make it a feasible project. Many Danvers preservationists believe that more of the Kirkbride complex could and should be preserved, as it is a significant piece of Danvers’ architectural heritage.

Field House, Weston

Historic State Hospitals: Kirkbride Building, Danvers State Hospital, Danvers

Northampton State Hospital (Old Main Building), Northampton

S I G N I F I C A N C E : Built between 1874 and 1877, the Kirkbride building was the central element of the State Lunatic Hospital at Danvers. It’s constructed from local materials including cherry red Danvers brick, Rockport granite, and Maine slate. THREAT: The hospital was permanently closed in 1991 and has remained vacant. However, the site is slated for redevelopment. Although the project selection criteria strongly emphasized preservation, many submitted proposals stress the high cost of restoring the Kirkbride and propose instead to preserve just the facade or portions of the building. STATUS: STRUGGLING…The hospital site is slated for redevelopment as senior housing, luxury apartments and office space. The selected developer initially believed it could preserve most of the 334,4000 square-foot Kirkbride building. However, two independent reports found that the structure is in danger of collapsing and now only the shell of about 100,000 sq. ft. of the complex’s center will be retained. Initially, the developer believed rehabilitation would cost $240 per sq. ft., but a more detailed analysis found it would cost $271 per sq. ft., which was too costly to

SIGNIFICANCE: The original section of the Northampton State Hospital was constructed in 1855 and is a rare example of mid-19th century Jacobethan style architecture. The hospital was considered the state’s western regional center for mental health services and at one point housed over 1000 patients. THREAT: Vacant since the 1970s, Old Main suffers from serious water infiltration and vandalism. Certain sections of the hospital are slated for redevelopment as commercial, retail, and residential space. However, due to the deteriorated state of Old Main, its preservation is not yet ensured. S TATUS: STRUGGLING, BUT SOME PROGRESS… . At a public hearing in October 2002, some significant headway was made on Old Main redevelopment possibilities. New rehabilitation cost figures, which made redeveloping Old Main look more feasible, were presented to a standing room crowd, most of whom came to voice their support for preserving the building. Northampton’s state representative offered to look for state or federal money to stabilize the building, and the Save Old Main group has contacted a potential developer with a track record for successfully rehabilitating old buildings.

SIGNIFICANCE: Predating the Gropius House in Lincoln by four years, the Field House, built in 1934, was one of the first International Style modern houses in New England. Designed by Edwin B. Goodell, this large concrete and wood-clad house sits upon a broad hill overlooking a 2 ? acre site on a rural road. It’s eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. THREAT: The owners applied for permission to demolish it and replace it with a new residence. The Weston Historical Commission (WHC) issued a sixmonth demolition delay that expired August 8, 2001. The owners have yet to obtain an official demolition permit, however with the expiration of the demolition delay they are free to do so at any time. STATUS: STILL STRUGGLING…Last summer neighbors started a petition to save the house and the WHC placed this petition and information about the house on the Town’s web site. The listing of the Field House was released early by Historic Massachusetts and articles about the house were featured in local and national publications. Earlier in 2002 the property was listed as “land” in a real estate advertisement. Upon discovering this ad, the WHC put an alert on the National Trust’s “911” page and the ad has since been changed to describe the Field House as “property.” As of September 2002, the house is still standing, but has not yet been purchased by a preservation-minded buyer.


Preservation and People, Fall 2002

STAYING ON TRACK, the 2002 Leadership Seminar
On Saturday, September 28, 2002, the second day of the statewide conference continued with a Leadership Seminar sponsored by Historic Massachusetts for Historic Districts and Local Historical Commissions. Jim Igoe, Historic Massachusetts Executive Director, welcomed the audience and introduced Tony Souza, Executive Director of WHALE (Waterfront Historic Area LeaguE), the citywide non-profit preservation organization, who started the seminar off with an engaging and dynamic illustration of how historic preservation has become an economic development engine for the city of New Bedford, through rehabilitation projects such as the Zeiterion Theatre and the Star Store building. entire class of buildings, town-wide; commissions can act quickly and gain leverage across a broad geographic area, independent of a lengthy historic district study process, and not be limited to the "historic" part of town. Nick Langhart from the Boylston Public Library gave a spirited and very informative presentation on more than three centuries worth of architectural styles that can be found throughout Massachusetts. The day concluded with a Mobile Workshop, led by Tony Souza and Eric Dray from the Provincetown Historical Commission, in which participants were able to see firsthand the effects of design review on the Down-

Jim Igoe welcomes seminar participants.

Tony Souza of WHALE. Seminar participants listen intently to Langhart’s Architectural Styles lecture.

Two morning sessions followed that were thought provoking and informative. Betsy Friedberg, National Register (NR) Director at MHC, held the audience captive with her presentation on post-war housing. The post WWII era and the residential architecture that created "developments" and other residential clusters is now presenting a challenge to historians on how to evaluate 20th century resources and nominate them to the NR. Approximately 20 people attended Preservation 101, a session led by Gretchen Schuler of the Boston University Preservation Studies Program. Gretchen led an interactive discussion about the basic principles of preservation: identifying your local historic resources, evaluating their architectural and historical significance for NR listing and other types of recognition and protecting, and preserving those resources that contribute to the community character. The first afternoon sessions dealt with Demolition Delay and a short course on Architectural styles. Charles Sullivan, Executive Director of the Cambridge Historical Commission led the panel and the session focused on the desirability of demo delay ordinances because they extend the reach of the Historic Commission or Historic District Commission to an

town New Bedford area; and a Public Outreach and Advocacy session, led by Kathleen Fair from the Dartmouth Historical Commission, which focused on increasing community participation in preservation through public outreach and promotional strategies. Thank you to everyone who attended this year’s statewide conference. Your participation helped make for a successful and worthwhile event!

Fall 2002, Preservation and People


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PreservatiON Mass at 617-723-3383 for advertising rates and conditions.

The Newburyport Public Library is located in a Federalist mansion (c.1771) that once hosted George Washington, the Marquis de Lafayette, and Benedict Arnold. The building was converted to a library and then expanded in 1881. The 19,000 square foot library has been restored and an addition doubled its size to 38,000 square feet. The library now offers state-of-the-art space for research, reading, public meetings and diverse collections. Architects and Preservation Planners Celebrating Our First Forty Years 1962-2002 77 North Washington Street, Boston, MA 02114


Preservation and People, Fall 2002

New and Renewed Memberships
June 1 to October 31, 2002

Corporate Sponsors
Barr & Barr Bratley Associates, Inc. CBT Architects Consigli Construction Company, Inc. Individuals: James G. Alexander Shantia Anderheggen Douglas W. Anderson Joan M. Angelosanto Elaine Baptista Ronald P. Barbagallo Arthur & Jean Bennett David L. Bittermann John F. Bok Evelyn Davoren Bon Tempo Marilynn H. Borst Sarah Robbins Bradshaw Carolyn Britt Kathleen Kelly Broomer John K. Bullard Jane Carolan Susan McDaniel Ceccacci Paul Chan Mildred A. Chandler Marcia Mulford Cini Bruce S. Cohen Doris Cole Ron Couture Paul E. Curran Michael J. DeLacey Brett Donham Leslie Donovan Donald M. Doucette Eric E. Dray Harry Durning James F. Dwinell Edward J. Dwyer Sally Romer Evans Laurie Evans-Daly Barbara Flinn John Fobert Daune B. Frey Nancy L. Goodwin Martha D. Hamilton Betsy Hannula Beth A. Harding Ray Harrington Rodman R. Henry Karen M. Herman Philip B. Herr Allen C. Hill Ray Hirschkop Robert E. Hoogs Richard C. Howard Philip M. Hubbard Wendy Ingram Joanne L. Iovino Candace Jenkins Esther M. Jepson Thomas C. Jester Margo P. Jones Jane Holtz Kay Jean Kozlowski Neil Larson Henry Lee Patricia A. Lee Monique B. Lehner Pauline Lombardi Caleb Loring Sandra J. Luckraft Dimeo Construction Paul Faraca Richard Lundgren National Development Tofias P.C. Jay H. Lukkarila Rosalind K. Magnuson Kaethe O’ Keefe Maguire Fred W. Martin Jean White McCluskey Staley McDermet Christina A. McMahon A. Brown Miller Charlotte B. Moore Ruth L. Morgan Susan S. Nelson Jane C. Nylander Atsuyuki Okazaki Gerry O’Reilly George F. Ostler Shari H. Polikoff Laura N. Rigsby Todd S. Robecki Allan G. Rodgers Gayle L. Rosenfeld Ralph Schulman John W. Sears Alice M. Seelinger Peg Senturia Senturia Philip Shwachman Joseph Peter Spang Frederick A. Stahl Cynthia Stone Barbara A. Syer Lori Tanner Norman P. Tucker Howard Van Vleck Mark A. Verkennis Rita Walsh Lowell A. Warren D. Bradford Wetherell Katherine B. Winter Penny Wortham Organizations: Acton Historical Commission Bedford Historical Commission Berlin Historical Commission Blackstone Block Architects, Inc. Bolton Historical Commission Boston Society of Architects Cape Cod Commission Essex National Heritage Commission Harvard Square Defense Fund Hatfield Historical Commission Heart of Taunton Lakeville Historical Commission Ludlow Historical Commission Historic Boston Incorporated Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust North Attleborough Historical Commission Schooner Ernestina Commission Sandwich Historical Commission South Hadley Historical Commission Southwick Historical Commission Wilmington Town Museum

PRESERVATION Mass Our strength lies in the working partnership we have forged with people throughout the Commonwealth. We welcome all people and organizations who care about the preservation of our historic and cultural resources. Our goal is to encourage the weaving of these resources into the social and economic fabric of Massachusetts life in this new century.

Please indicate your choice of Membership Category.
K Preservation Leader: $2500 or more K Sponsor: $250 or more K Donor: $100 or more K Family/Organization: $50 or more K Individual: $35 K Seniors and Students: $15 K I would like to give a gift membership to the individual(s)
listed below.

Please make check(s) payable to Historic Massachusetts and mail to: Historic Massachusetts, Old City Hall 45 School Street, Boston, MA 02108 Name________________________________________ From ________________________________________ Address ______________________________________ City ______________State Phone ____Zip __________


Email ________________________________________ PRESERVATION Mass is a 501 (c) (3) organi zation. Membership contributions are fully tax PRESERVATION and PEOPLE is a membership benefit of PRESERVATION Mass . For additional membership information please call 617-723-3383. PRESERVATION Mass can also be reached over the Internet.
Randal L. Struckus
Keller Williams Realty


Fall 2002, Preservation and People


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