Posts Tagged ‘Massachusetts’

Success Story Sunday: The Executive Offices of the Governor

| March 22nd, 2015 | No Comments »

Finegold Alexander designed the renovation and museum-quality restoration of the Executive Offices of the Governor, in the original, historic Bulfinch section of the Massachusetts State House. Built in 1798, the Massachusetts State House is one of the country’s oldest buildings and is a National Landmark. This was the first comprehensive restoration of the Governor’s Office in over a century, which retains rare historic fabric from the Colonial era. The renovations also included the Lieutenant Governor’s Suite, constituent offices and conference rooms on the second floor, and a new high-tech conference center on the fourth floor. Following detailed research and testing of materials, the spaces have been restored to their original detail seamlessly incorporating new temperature controls, fire protection, updated security systems and universal accessibility.

The newly-renovated executive office now looks like it did in 1798.

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Congratulations Finegold Alexander + Associates for contributing to the successful preservation of a piece of Massachusetts history! 

Historical Story Sunday!

| March 15th, 2015 | No Comments »

In honor of two upcoming Boston holidays, we are giving this weeks blog post a historical twist:


On March 17th Boston will celebrate both Evacuation Day & St. Patricks Day. 

Here’s the history of Evacuation Day, courtesy of

On this day in 1776, British forces are forced to evacuate Boston following General George Washington‘s successful placement of fortifications and cannons on Dorchester Heights, which overlooks the city from the south.

During the evening of March 4, American Brigadier General John Thomas, under orders from Washington, secretly led a force of 800 soldiers and 1,200 workers to Dorchester Heights and began fortifying the area. To cover the sound of the construction, American cannons, besieging Boston from another location, began a noisy bombardment of the outskirts of the city. By the morning, more than a dozen cannons from Fort Ticonderoga had been brought within the Dorchester Heights fortifications. British General Sir William Howe hoped to use the British ships in Boston Harbor to destroy the American position, but a storm set in, giving the Americans ample time to complete the fortifications and set up their artillery. Realizing their position was now indefensible, 11,000 British troops and some 1,000 Loyalists departed Boston by ship on March 17, sailing to the safety of Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The bloodless liberation of Boston by the Patriots brought an end to a hated eight-year British occupation of the city, known for such infamous events as the “Boston Massacre,” in which five colonists were shot and killed by British soldiers. The British fleet had first entered Boston Harbor on October 2, 1768, carrying 1,000 soldiers. Having soldiers living among them in tents on Boston Common–a standing army in 18th-century parlance–infuriated Bostonians.

For the victory, General Washington, commander of the Continental Army, was presented with the first medal ever awarded by the Continental Congress.

If you’re looking to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in a historical Boston bar, look no further than Thrillist’s Oldest Bar’s in Boston list. Some of the historic bars include:

The Warren Tavern

Green Dragon Tavern



Update: Senate Budget Amendment GOV 119 Withdrawn

| May 24th, 2012 | No Comments »

Preservation Massachusetts has learned today that the proposed Senate budget amendment GOV 119 has been withdrawn. This amendment would have seriously curtailed the Massachusetts Historical Commission’s ability to protect our historic resources through their review and consultation services. Preservation Massachusetts, along with many other partner organizations and individuals contacted the Senate in opposition to this amendment.

We also understand that another amendment that concerned a historic piece of Frederick Law Olmsted’s Emerald Necklace was rejected as well.

Thank you for opposing this amendment and helping to ensure our historic resources and sites in Massachusetts are protected.

MER Update: End is near for Rev. Williams house

| February 24th, 2011 | No Comments »

Front Elevation

It looks as though the end is near for the Priest Williams House at 69 Dudley-Oxford Road in Dudley. This circa 1780 Federal-style house was the residence of Abiel “Priest” Williams, who was a minister in Dudley for 32 years. According to the Historical Commission, this wood-frame house was “once one of the most magnificent dwellings in Federalist Dudley.” The home had been vacant and neglected for nearly a decade before the present owners purchased it last October for $40,000. The new owners applied for a demolition permit, triggering Dudley’s demolition delay ordinance.

After inspecting the house with Circuit Rider Michele Barker last November, Historical Commissioners Ed Bazinet and Michael Braniff concluded that the house was remarkably sound, despite years of neglect. Mr. Bazinet and Mr. Braniff found the massive stone foundation and central chimney base one of the most impressive they’ve seen in town, and noted that much of the original interior trim remains intact. Even some of the original 12-over-12 windows have survived. The Historical Commission invoked a 12-month demolition delay in November 2009.

Since then, Dudley’s Historical Commission has been working tirelessly to find solutions for the Williams House before the clock runs out. Preservation Massachusetts listed it as one of the state’s Most Endangered Resources this past fall, in the hopes that the publicity might attract a new owner. The listing did bring the house to the attention of a potential buyer interested in relocating the building, but unfortunately, the cost of the project exceeded his budget.

The demolition delay expired last November. The owners are willing to sell the house for $1 to anyone who will relocate it, but unless a white-hat rescuer appears on the scene, it looks as though the Williams House will be gone as soon as the weather permits.

If there are any last-minute rescuers out there, please contact Ed Bazinet or Michael Braniff of the Dudley Historical Commission at 508-949-8004

Click here to read a Worcester Telegram-Gazette article about the house.

Find more photos of the Priest Williams House on Preservation Massachusetts’ Flickr site

New Bedford: A distinctive destination with national recognition!

| February 22nd, 2011 | No Comments »

Our View: Award of Distinction for New Bedford

Editorial|The Standard Times| February 16, 2011

New Bedford — It might not have the horsepower of Boston, and it doesn’t have the mystique of the Cape, but New Bedford has what a lot of other places wish they did: authenticity.

On Tuesday, the National Trust for Historic Preservation named New Bedford one of the 2011 Dozen Distinctive Destinations in America.

The program chooses communities that are “unique and lovingly preserved” in an effort to promote heritage tourism.

Few cities or towns of any size can match New Bedford, of course.

From the city’s preservation office to the Waterfront Historic Area League (W.H.A.L.E>) and the city’s Office of Economic Development, New Bedford has long recognized the value of historic preservation and its role not only in attracting new businesses and residents but in maintaining the close bonds of community among people who treasure their history.

Our collective history is not only in the Whaling Museum or the National Park…

For the full article, click here.