The Massachusetts Most Endangered
Historic Resources Program
Since 1993, Preservation Massachusetts had endeavored to identify and aid in the preservation of endangered historic resources across the Commonwealth. As our core advocacy and education program, Preservation Massachusetts utilizes our statewide visibility to spotlight places, buildings or structures under threat, increase awareness about them and work collaboratively with key stakeholders to find a positive outcome.
Though the program is only an honorary designation, it can serve as a catalyst for action and opportunities. Preservation Massachusetts works with listed resources as priority projects, drawing upon our staff expertise, technical assistance abilities and networks, in an effort to see the listed resources, and the people committed to them, put on the path toward preservation.
The Most Endangered Program will return in 2020, along with a new update of this page that will feature examples of successful nominations, a "how to" guide for filling out a nomination form and more. Nomination forms will be available after January 1, 2020.
The 2018 Massachusetts Most Endangered Historic Resources List
Arlington High School
The proposed plan for a new school includes
demolition of the existing buildings, including the 1914 Fusco Building and 1938 Collomb Building and the construction of a new facility on the school’s front lawn. Residents feel that a design incorporating historic portions of the school and preserving the existing green space would better suite the educational needs and history of the town.
Attleboro Switch Tower
One of only a few wooden railway towers remaining, the Attleboro Switch tower retains its historic electro-mechanical equipment. Located alongside active rail lines owned by the MBTA and leased to AMTRAK, it is no longer in use. Vacant and damaged by weather and vandalism, its future is uncertain if it is not moved and reused.
This private home was built by Captain Obed Welden and features a full two-story Greek Temple front facade. The property contributes significantly to the South Dennis Local Historic District and stands out among more modest Cape homes. The home has been deteriorating over the years and there is growing concern about the future of the property.
Clinton AME Zion Church,
Dedicated in 1887, Clinton Church has been the spiritual, cultural and political home for the local African American community. It is also associated with W.E.B. DuBois, the architect of the Civil Rights movement. Saved from demolition by a non-profit, it still faces significant challenges due to years of deferred maintenance and structural instability.
An icon along busy Rt. 28, the home of a Dennis sea captain features ornate fluted Ionic columns transported from Boston. The property was a popular restaurant featuring jazz music. Despite attempts to revive the property, nothing has been successful. The house presents a tremendous opportunity for a restoration and reuse that will retain and revive this local landmark.
G.A.R. Memorial Hall,
One of Lynn's most historic buildings, the GAR Hall was built to serve the many veterans of the Civil War. It features Fellowship Hall, an impressive assembly and exhibition space. Severe lack of funding has resulted in phased stabilization and restoration work funded by grants. The City is hopeful more awareness can aid in fundraising to complete this restoration.
Town Hall & Auditorium,
Built as a WPA project, the Town Hall was constructed with materials salvaged from four towns and a village of New Salem that were lost during the creation of the Quabbin Reservioir during the 1930's. Cost to bring the building up to code have been prohibitive but the community wishes to utilize this important historic touchstone on a regular basis once again.
Echo Bridge Railings,
Spanning the Charles River, Echo Bridge is a valuable community asset with many pedestrians walking along its promenade, which is flanked by cast iron railings and posts. At 140 years old, they are in disrepair and not code compliant. Efforts to make the bridge safe are utilizing panels that can easily integrate with the railings once they are restored. Yet the cost is significant to keep this important part of the bridge's original design in place.
View articles about this year's Most Endangered from around the state.
J.R. Alley Brewery, Mission Hill, Boston
The Alley Brewery was one of the most technologically advanced when it was built in 1885 and was known for the production of Eblana Irish Ale. Demolition was proposed in 2013 for housing, and while that has not occurred, the property sits vacant and deteriorating. Community members feel the property has potential for creative restoration and adaptive reuse.
Calf Pasture Pumping Station, Dorchester
A visible manifestation of Boston's public utilities that sought to keep sewage out of Back Bay and the harbor, the granite station has sat vacant for many years. The major changes to the landscape on Columbia Point only further highlight the lack of planning and reuse options for this important part of Boston's history.
Historic Stone Walls,
Truly iconic features on Massachusetts landscapes, they represent the most abundant visible evidence of our local agricultural heritage. Yet there are little protections in place and what does exist is seldom enforced. There is now an opportunity to recognize the importance of stone walls, encourage policy changes and protections as well as educational programming.