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Our Commonwealth - January E-News from Preservation Massachusetts


Our Commonwealth
Preservation Across Massachusetts
January 2009

In This Issue Greetings to All!

A Day in the Life of a Circuit Rider - Anne Dodge Happy New Year!
Where Are They Now?
As we begin 2009, the PM staff has made a New Year's
Save the Date! 2009 Annual Meeting Resolution: communication. We resolve to better communicate
as an organization with all of our members, partners and
Save the Date! Cape Cod Historic Preservation
colleagues. There are so many exciting thing happening in our
preservation community and we are determined to better share
Save the Date! 2009 Annual Awards Dinner that information, experiences and opportunities with you. Another
goal of PM for 2009 is to reach out to our culturally diverse
Contribute to Our Commonwealth communicates across Massachusetts. It is clearly a priority to
stimulate conversation and better understand the many diverse
cultures and neighborhoods that make up the fabric of our
Commonwealth. Our Circuit Rider, Anne Dodge, provides some
Preservation insight into embracing diversity within preservation in the following
article. We are excited for this new year and look forward to the
challenges ahead!

Jim Igoe, President

A Day in the Life of a Circuit Rider

By Anne Dodge (1 of 7) [1/15/2009 12:02:08 PM]

Our Commonwealth - January E-News from Preservation Massachusetts

Board of Directors
In my job as a Circuit Rider, I
Claudia S. Wu - Chair get to work with a wide range of
Jack Hodgkins -Vice Chair historic properties all over eastern
Douglas Kelleher - Clerk Massachusetts. However,
Phil A. Madonia- Treasurer although the properties can be
very different from one another,
James G. Alexander, FAIA the people who call the Circuit
Pamela Bailey Riders tend to have a lot in
Daniel R. Benoit common. But every once in a
Thomas F. Birmingham while, a property's fate hinges on
Jean Carroon, FAIA the participation of a racially and
Stuart Gregerman culturally diverse population. The
Todd McCabe Wollaston Theater is one of those
James McDermott properties.
Sean McDonnell
Louis C. Miller The Wollaston Theater in Quincy is a single-screen, classical
Michael H. Rosenberg revival-style building on a bustling commercial street near
Yanni Tsipis downtown Quincy. Known locally as "The Wolly", the theater
Rita Walsh operated as a first-run movie theater until the 1990's, when it
Fran Weld began to fall into disrepair. The Boston Globe reports that a
group of individuals in the arts have entered into a purchase and
Staff sale agreement with the estate that owns the building; reportedly,
James W. Igoe the new owners intend to keep the theater in use as some type of
President performance or cultural center.

Erin D. A. Kelly
Assistant Director

Anulfo G. Baez
Office Manager

Elsa Fitzgerald
Special Projects Manager

Circuit Riders
Michele P. Barker
Anne Dodge
Dorr Fox
Support Preservation Massachusetts!
Since the 1980's, the Wollaston's North Quincy neighborhood has
also been home to many Chinese and other Asian immigrants.
According to The Next American City, Quincy's Asian-American
population stands at around 14,000, or around 17% of the town's
total population. When I was contacted by a concerned local
citizen about the theater's recent sale, we spent much of our
meeting talking not only about the theater, but about the
community around it. My client worried that it would be difficult to
form a collaborative, diverse coalition of advocates - not because
the theater didn't matter to all of the neighborhood's residents, but
because she had no knowledge of any Chinese-Americans in
Quincy who worked in preservation. And unfortunately, neither
did I, and neither did my coworkers, although the city has no (2 of 7) [1/15/2009 12:02:08 PM]

Our Commonwealth - January E-News from Preservation Massachusetts

shortage of knowledgeable preservation professionals.

Preservation Massachusetts is entirely
supported by our Corporate and Individual
From my perspective as a Circuit Rider and someone relatively
Members and Foundations.
new to the field of preservation, the Wollaston Theater is not only
a building to be saved, but an opportunity to explore the issues of
Find out about Corporate benefits,
diversity, relevancy, and communication that characterize the
events, programs historic preservation field. The field has worked hard in recent
and take an active role in preserving our years to broaden both its participants and the types of resources it
Commonwealth. celebrates, but there is definitely more work to be done. Riding
the "Circuit" around eastern Massachusetts has shown me how
Join today! few new Americans are engaged with historic preservation. And I don't believe that this is primarily because the buildings often
represent Anglo-American history or because historic preservation
Did you know? Preservation
is a luxury business, but because preservation organizations have
Massachusetts is on...
failed to create sustained and meaningful relationships with new
American individuals, groups, and organizations.

It also seems to me that historic preservation may be in a bit of an

Flickr! PM identity crisis, which makes this a great time to start talking about
relevancy, diversity, and the future of this field. In its struggle to
explain itself (and support itself financially), the field is looking to
the environmental movement, to modernism, and to financial
incentives, to name just a few, in order to make its case to the
world. But at its core, the field is about remembering,
demystifying, celebrating, and criticizing our past. It's a field of
memory, and as this country's collective memory changes to
embrace the narratives of a broader population, so must the
participants in the work of preservation. I believe that the
YouTube PM
Wollaston Theater and cases like it are a golden opportunity for
Preservation Massachusetts, since they give us a chance to listen
to new voices and engage new partners in the act of remembering
and interpreting this country's history. More importantly, I also
hope that these kinds of partnerships will reenergize the field of
preservation - a field that means so much to me, but can feel so
Facebook PM
remote to many - and help it forge a more modern, inclusive
identity that reflects the critical importance of this work, now and
Check us out online as we strive to take
in the future.
preservation across Massachusetts!
Who are the Circuit Riders? Anne Dodge is the Circuit Rider serving Metro Boston, Central and Eastern
Massachusetts. The Circuit Rider Program is in partnership with the National
Trust for Historic Preservation.

Interested in learning more about our

Circuit Riders? Find out which one is a
published author, studying motels along
Route 66 and who grew up in a
neighborhood designed by Mies van der
Rhoe by visiting
shtml and meet the people are actively
bringing preservation across
Massachusetts! (3 of 7) [1/15/2009 12:02:08 PM]

Our Commonwealth - January E-News from Preservation Massachusetts

How can Our Commonwealth serve you?

PM wants to know what you would like Our

Commonwealth to be.
-More articles
-Before and After pics
-Emerging Issues
-Statewide updates
-How to be a local advocate
-Legislative news

Let us know what YOU

want to know!

Where Are They Now?:

Massachusetts Most Endangered Historic Resource Updates

TheH.H. Richardson House, Brookline Listed: 2004

Built in 1803 as a summer retreat for Samuel Perkins, a

merchant who had grown wealthy in the clipper ship era,
the Perkins-Richardson House was laid out with open lawns, an
orchard and specimen plantings that reflected Perkin's
horticultural interests. In 1864, the property was acquired by
Edward Hooper, a Harvard classmate of H.H. Richardson who
leased the house to architect in 1874. Richardson moved to the
house in order to supervise the construction of his masterwork
Trinity Church on Copley Square and remained in it until his
premature death in 1886.

The house was for sale in the late 1990's and early 2000's under
constant threats of demolition and insensitive
redevelopment. The deteriorated conditions of the house discouraged top buyers who could not envision the house

Listed as a Massachusetts' Most Endangered Historic Resources in 2004 and as one of America's 11 Most
Endangered Historic Places by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 2007, as of July 16th, 2008 the
Richardson House was purchased by private residential owners with preservation restrictions in place. At the
moment the house remains in good condition and is being carefully preserved.

Check out the following links for more information on the H.H. Richardson House:

11 Most Endangered Update: H. H. Richardson House Has a New Owner

Architect's historic home in danger of being lost

The First National Bank and Trust Company, Greenfield

Listed: 2002 (4 of 7) [1/15/2009 12:02:08 PM]
Our Commonwealth - January E-News from Preservation Massachusetts

Listed as one of Massachusetts Most Endangered Resources in

2002, The First National Bank and Trust Company in Greenfield was
built in 1929 and is located in the center of the Main Street Historic
Register. The entrance is framed by glossy green marble with glass and
decorative iron work, to signify the progressive commercial/industrial
nature of the community. The Bank moved to another building in 1971
and in 1979 several state offices were temporarily housed in the
building, but since then it has remained vacant. The property,
threatened with years of neglect eventually led to the 2002 listing as an
endangered resource by Preservation Massachusetts.

As of January 2009, the Franklin County Community Development

Corporation who currently owns the building is working to stabilize and restore it to its original grandeur. The
proposal states that the rehabilitation include an open "mall like" retail space inside with a restaurant/café.

Ames Shovel Works, North Easton

Listed: 2008

The Ames Shovel Shops make up an 8 acre site of fifteen

buildings that date from 1852 through 1928. The buildings are
constructed of stone rubble, quarried locally in North Easton. The
site is bounded by Main, Oliver and Sullivan streets and is
located in the heart of the North Easton NR district and the H.H.
Richardson National Landmark District and one of the town's
most important historic sites. The Ames family began
manufacturing a simple but vital tool, the iron-bladed shovel
around 1774. Blacksmith Capt. John Ames started his enterprise
in West Bridgewater and his son Oliver established the more
formal Ames Shovel works in Easton in 1803. The shovels made
the Ames family and the town of Easton known world wide, from the Erie Canal to the Australian Gold Rush to the
European trenches of WWI. The original shovel shops were destroyed by fire in 1851 and replaced with the present
day stone buildings.

In 2007 the Shovel Shops were purchased by local developers, Turner Brothers LLC, who propose major changes in
order to create an affordable housing development. Discussions with the Easton Historical Commission and various
town officials resulted in two possible scenarios developing 6.5 of the 8 acre site. One variation integrates some
historic fabric into a 40B project with 182 units of housing, while an alternate 40R "Smart Growth" proposal would
have 168 units and 4 luxury condos. There is serious concern that the development as planned would have adverse
effects on existing historic structures, from complete demolition to engulfing historic fabric with new construction and
inappropriate scaling and massing. The impact on the surrounding neighborhood, which includes five famous H.H.
Richardson buildings, would be drastic. The community hopes that listing the Shovel complex will encourage the
developers to seek a more preservation focused development that will allow the community and tourists to see and
appreciate the shovel shops and their importance to the expansion of America and the rise of industrialization.

On Wednesday January 7th, 2009 the Friends of the Historic Ames Shovel Works of North Easton appeared before
the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) and presented two alternatives to the Chapter 40B development that brothers
George and Robert Turner have proposed for the site. A continued hearing has been scheduled for a later date.

Check out the following links for more information on the Ames Shovel Works in North Easton:

Owners of Easton shovel factory site may seek demolition permits

Decision due on environmental review of Shovel Shop Square (5 of 7) [1/15/2009 12:02:08 PM]

Our Commonwealth - January E-News from Preservation Massachusetts

Industrial strength: Historic factory under pressure from the present

Plan for Ames site has foes

Threatened: Massachusetts Shovel Factory

Group comes up with alternate plan for Ames Shovel Works in Easton

Group: Ames Shovel Co. endangered

ZBA hears Friends' alternatives

LETTER: Support for EIR to study Shovel Shop alternatives appreciated

Save the Date: PM's 2009 Annual Meeting

2009 Annual Meeting

Thursday January 29, 2009

The Undercroft at Trinity Church

206 Clarendon Street, Copley Square

5:00PM Registration

5:30PM Meeting and Public Program

A Wine and Cheese Reception will follow the meeting

(Image of Trinity Church-HABS)

Please RSVP to

The Annual Meeting is sponsored in part by Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc.

VHB (6 of 7) [1/15/2009 12:02:08 PM]

Our Commonwealth - January E-News from Preservation Massachusetts

Save the Date: Cape Cod Historic Preservation Conference

Cape Cod Historic Preservation Conference

Thursday April 02, 2009

Harwich Community Center

Workshops on Community Preservation Act and Demolition Delay

Sponsored by the Cape Cod Commission, Preservation Massachusetts, and the

National Trust for Historic Preservation

More information to follow

Save the Date: 2009 Awards Dinner

"The greenest building is the one that's already built"- Carl Elefante

Preservation Massachusetts' 2009 Awards Dinner

Wednesday May 6th, 2009

Join us at the Fairmont Copley Plaza for the

22nd Annual Awards Dinner.

Stay tuned for information on ticket sales, 2009 Awardees and volunteering opportunities!

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