Framingham, MA – The Framingham Historical Commission is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2018 Preservation Achievement Awards. These projects have helped to preserve and promote important pieces of Framingham’s history. They will be honored on Thursday, May 31 at 7 pm at the Edgell Memorial Library, 3 Oak Street. For more information please contact Jennifer Doherty, Historic Preservation Planner, at (508) 532-5455 or jbd@FraminghamMA.gov.
Research into the street name “Indian Head”
In February, 2018, McAuliffe Charter School student Elana Gelfand presented a request to the Framingham City Council to change the street names Indian Head Heights and Indian Head Road. She completed a significant amount of research on the names, noting that the term “Indian Head” was likely offensive to many Native Americans. She reviewed maps at the Framingham History Center and spoke with local Native American activists and advocates to understand their perspective. While the City Council ultimately voted to maintain the street names, the Historical Commission would like to recognize Ms. Gelfand for her interest in this topic and her thorough research of the issues. The Historical Commission will be working with Ms. Gelfand to install a plaque in the Indian Head neighborhood explaining the history of the name and the role of Native Americans in Framingham’s history.
Richard J. and Margaret M. Golden
The Owl’s Nest, 429 Belknap Road
Constructed in the late 19th century, the Owl’s Nest was associated with the Bowditch family, who owned over a thousand acres in the northwest section of Framingham during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In the 1920 the house was remodeled into the Colonial Revival style by Framingham architect George F. Marlowe, and a landscaping plan for the grounds was drawn up by the firm of Frederick Law Olmsted. In 2014, owners Richard J. and Margaret M. Golden rehabilitated the building, undertaking interior preservation work and repairing the exterior of the building.
Southern Middlesex Opportunity Council (SMOC)
Dennison Manufacturing Company Warehouse, 7 Bishop Street
After their purchase of several Dennison Manufacturing Company buildings at 7 Bishop Street, SMOC rehabilitated one of the buildings into their new headquarters and office space. The building was constructed in the late 19th century as a warehouse for Dennison Manufacturing, a prominent manufacturer of tags, labels, cards, and other paper goods. In the middle of the 20th century the lower level of the building was converted into the Dennison Associates club, a recreation space for male employees. Later in the 20th century, the building, then known as Department 20, was used for the manufacture of sealing wax and price tagging machines. The building sat vacant for several years before SMOC purchased it in 2012, and in 2014 they undertook significant renovations to the interior, creating office space in the former warehouse and clubhouse. Today the building serves as the organization’s headquarters.
Preservation of Affordable Housing, Inc.
The Tribune and Victory Buildings, 46-82 Irving Street
Constructed in the 1890s and 1920s, respectively, the Tribune and Victory Buildings are today one large apartment building. The Tribune Building, a brick building with dark sandstone trim and a large name block in the middle of the building, originally held storefronts on the first floor with office space above. It was the headquarters of the Framingham Tribune, Framingham’s late 19th century weekly paper. Town offices and Town Meeting were also housed in the building for a time before the Memorial Building was constructed. Next door, the Victory Building also housed storefronts on the first floor with offices above. It features cast stone details on the façade as well as a heavy cornice. In 2017 Preservation of Affordable Housing, Inc., used a number of different funding sources, including State Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits and Department of Housing and Community Development funds to rehabilitate the low-income and senior housing in both buildings. The apartments were updated and major upgrades were made to the buildings, including life safety systems, structural repairs, and a new roof. Because Preservation of Affordable Housing, Inc. made use of historic rehabilitation tax credits, the work was sensitive and in keeping with the historic nature of the two buildings.