Preserving the Past for Our Future
Throughout the month of May, the Somerville Historic Preservation Commission (SHPC) partners with other local organizations to host events honoring Somerville’s history and historic districts. All events are open to the public and free unless otherwise noted.
The SHPC, in concert with Union Square Main Streets, is sponsoring a “Jane’s Walk” to honor urban activist and writer, Jane Jacobs. A world-wide event, this year’s walk will be a leisurely stroll through Union Square, to explore some of the mid 19th and early 20th century housing and industrial buildings that established the area as a place to both live and work. Local residents and business owners are encouraged to share their knowledge of the Square’s history, as well as their visions for the future. The walk will be led by community leaders involved with the rebirth of the Square and will start from the Union Square Plaza. It will end in time for lunch in the Square and visits to various Somerville Open Art Studios from noon to 6pm. Rain or shine. For more information about Jane’s Walks see http://www.janejacobswalk.org/
Launching of “Seasonal Sundays” at the Milk Row Cemetery. The Docent Program started last year begins anew with an afternoon opening to the public of this fragile burial ground. Barbara Mangum, Objects Conservator and President of Historic Somerville, Inc. will lead an informative tour from 2-3pm, of the historic and very compact cemetery founded in 1804 by Samuel Tufts on farmland once part of Charlestown. Come find out about whose buried here, the extraordinary monument dedicated to Somerville soldiers fallen during the Civil War, and recent municipal enhancements. Light refreshments at the end. Meet at the front gate at 439 Somerville Avenue, next to Demoulas' Market Basket. Rain or shine.
Workshop on “Repairing Versus Replacing Your Old Windows,” led by David Liberty, founder of a long-standing Boston business, windowrepair.com. Takes place at the Somerville Museum at One Westwood Road, at the corner of Central St. Hands-on demonstration of work on an actual window removed from the Museum. Limited to 15, giving individual attention to attendees. $50 per person, with proceeds benefitting the Somerville Museum Building Fund.
The 12th Annual Historic Bike Tour “Industrial Somerville, Past and Present” is co-sponsored with the Somerville Bike Committee. This year’s theme will take us from one end of the City to the other, learning about Somerville’s industrial growth and evolution. The guided ride, escorted by the Somerville Police, is designed for all ages and riding levels, and includes a couple of rest stops and a tour of the soon to open Brooklyn Boulders site. Starts at City Hall at 2:00 pm and ends at the Somerville Museum around 4:30pm, for light refreshments. $3.00 donation appreciated. Ride will be dedicated to Somerville resident and police officer, Sean Collier, who was fatally wounded as a result of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.
Walking Tour of East Somerville: “New Insights into its Rich Architecture and Historical Figures.” Edward Gordon, President of the New England Chapter of the Victorian Society of America, will lead a lively and informative tour of one of the oldest and architecturally diverse sections of Somerville, this time with a focus on pre-Civil War buildings and architectural features. Sponsored in collaboration with East Somerville Main Streets, the walk begins at the Sullivan Square transit station, and concludes with appetizers at a local eatery. Rain or shine.
Historic Preservation Awards Ceremony. A reception, with light refreshments, will be followed by a ceremony to honor 11 Somerville owners for their award-winning preservation work on the exterior of their properties. The properties include both historically designated homes and older buildings in the City. SHS students will present their original drawings of each property to the owners. The event takes place in the historically unique space within the Somerville Armory at 191 Highland Avenue.
Memorial Day Parade – join the Historic Somerville contingent! For more information contact email@example.com Rain or shine.
A talk “Researching the History of Your House and Your Family,” will be given by Kristi Chase, Preservation Planner for the SHPC. Find out how the Somerville Library can help you research the histories of your house and family. Mini tour of genealogy resources at the library and beyond, as well as tips for getting started. Somerville Central Library, 79 Highland Avenue.
For more information, contact SHPC Executive Director Brandon Wilson at 617-625-6600 x2532 or via firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.somervillema.gov/historicpreservation for updates and photos. Joseph A. Curtatone, Mayor