The CPA has a broad definition of Historic Resources that includes buildings, historic landscapes, artifacts, and culturally significant features.
Over many decades, old, historic City-owned properties have been routinely vacated and closed in favor of new facilities, with minimal attention to protecting their future physical or structural integrity. There has been limited enforcement of Framingham’s policy of preferring adaptive reuse of historic structures and features.
While some municipal historic buildings have been repurposed, many need additional upgrades for efficient operations, code compliance, and occupant safety. Others are empty and deteriorating without a plan for municipal or community reuse.
A SAMPLE OF POTENTIAL HISTORIC RESOURCES PROJECTS
- Athenaeum Hall (1847), built as the town hall in Saxonville, and Watson Place Fire Station (1901) are two abutting historic properties that have been closed by the City, the Athenaeum for 30 years. A 2015 architectural plan envisions the two buildings connected and adapted for use as a Community Hall.
- Edgell Grove Cemetery (1848) is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It was modeled after Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge and designed by the same architect. Edgell Grove, with its one-time lavish landscaping, was intended to provide a peaceful resting place for the dead and a contemplative setting for mourners. Its chapel is an architectural masterpiece. Today, it is a tired shadow of its former glory and requires a historically appropriate landscape renewal plan.
- Hemenway Homestead (ca. 1740) is one of a handful of pre-revolutionary homes still standing in Framingham.
- Farm Pond Gatehouses (1877), the head of the historic Sudbury Aqueduct, are now defaced and in severe disrepair. The property is owned and managed by the state.
- MCI for Women (1877). Now scheduled for closure, the oldest remaining women’s correctional facility in the U.S. was founded to protect female inmates from men. Clara Barton, American Red Cross founder, briefly served as Superintendent. The Superintendent’s House is historically important, with two beautiful chapels.
- Historic postal markers (1768). Four stone markers, carved with the date and miles to Boston, cross Framingham from the Wayland town line to the Southborough town line. There were once five, but one was stolen a few years ago. The remaining four are unprotected and vulnerable to damage from vehicles and vandals.