March Newsletter

What is your favorite historic building in your community?

Residents of New England know that no matter what town you live in, there is usually a great wealth of historic resources. During our recent historic inventory work in Arlington, North Adams, and Hanson, we’re reflecting more and more on the deep history of communities in this region and thinking about resources in our own neighborhoods. For this feature, we’ve chosen our favorite historic buildings or places to highlight that are in our neighborhoods.

 Interior of the auditorium on the third floor of the Masonic Building in Roslindale

Interior of the auditorium on the third floor of the Masonic Building in Roslindale

One of Jennifer's favorite historic resources in her hometown - the Roslindale neighborhood of Boston - is the Masonic Building on Belgrade Ave. It is a traditional mixed-use commercial and residential brick and masonry building that was originally built in 1899 and expanded in 1921 with a third floor addition. The Roslindale Masonic Building Association added the third floor to the building to create an elegant auditorium, which is where the late Fenwick Smith (Boston Symphony flutist) created a premier recording studio that is nicknamed "The Sonic Temple." 

 Facade of the Durant-Kenrick House in Newton

Facade of the Durant-Kenrick House in Newton

Lara’s pick for a hometown favorite historic building is the Durant-Kenrick house in Newton. It’s an amazing ca.1700s time capsule located in the center of a neighborhood. The family used it as a summer home into the early twentieth century, but never updated it so it’s all still there – all the original finishes and details, amazing murals, and early furniture. The building is a real treasure for a history buff, and a rare find. The family still owned it in the early 2000s, and Community Preservation Act funds helped the town to purchase and preserve it – including restoring its original paint colors.

Jamie moved to the Central Square neighborhood of Cambridge last year, and one of the places she found refuge in around the busy area was the Cambridge Public Library. The original building was constructed in 1887 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. In 2009, an addition and renovation took place, nearly quadrupling the size of the library and creating what we now know as the CPL – a landmark public building that maintains its historic roots while creating a large, open space welcome to the whole community.

 Cambridge Public Library

Cambridge Public Library

These buildings are just a few of the many historic buildings in these neighborhoods and we’re glad to call these places - so rich in history - our homes!

What else is JM Goldson up to?

Sharon Master Plan

JM Goldson is working with Civic Moxie in Sharon to write the Master Plan for the town, focusing specifically on the housing and historic and cultural resources sections. The kick off meeting was in the end of March, and we’re excited to get started!

Acton Housing and Economic Development

In Acton, we’re happy to be working again with Barrett Planning Group LLC to help the town develop a Housing and Economic Development Implementation Program. This project will kick off in April, and CHAPA will be involved in the public engagement component.

North Andover Public Engagement

On March 15th, the town held a second community forum to solicit community feedback on the draft vision, goals, and strategies for the North Andover Master Plan . We had a great turnout and received great, in-depth feedback from community members on the draft community vision as well as goals and strategies to include in the plan.

The Color of Law Talk

The team at JM Goldson all attended a talk by Richard Rothstein, the author of The Color of Law, on March 27th, hosted by the Massachusetts Community & Banking Council (CMBC) and held at MassHousing. Rothstein spoke about his research regarding a history of residential segregation in the US. The program, put on by CMBC, was insightful and a great way to further discussion among housing practitioners.

Lara's One-Year Anniversary

We celebrated Lara’s one-year employment anniversary this month! Lara has contributed so much to our team and we’re grateful for all of the historic preservation, community preservation, and housing work she has accomplished.

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