It was a privilege to be selected to investigate and develop preservation plans and reuse scenarios for the North Andover Historical Society buildings. Documenting, preserving, revitalizing, and perhaps repurposing these distinguished structures will celebrate both the Society’s vision for its future and its regard for its historic resources. This study provides the stewards of the North Andover Historical Society buildings with an in-depth look at the structures’ architectural significance, an understanding of their structure and fabric, and most importantly, a road map for their preservation and renovation.


Historical Society Headquarters Complex

The Historical Society complex at the Town Common is structurally sound with the exception of some framing components at Johnson Cottage. With appropriate repairs and proper maintenance, the building has many useful years of service ahead.

The cost to accomplish all of the exterior preservation recommendations in this report is approximately $500,000 excluding soft costs such as architectural, engineering, and legal fees and expenses. To assist in funding the preservation project, the Society plans to seek Community Preservation Act funding.

With the preservation and cyclical maintenance needs of the building envelope well understood, rehabilitating and/or expanding the interior to better support the Society’s programming becomes a meaningful prospect. The most pressing needs include more space for archival storage, more functional and accessible restrooms, and a kitchenette facility located on the first floor. The programming study performed for this report demonstrated that the space needs of the organization are far greater than the current building capacity.

Several options for re-use were explored, including the transfer of selected functions and collections storage to the adjacent Museum of Printing building. The Society directors selected an option that included an infill addition at the headquarters building with an estimated cost of approximately $385,000 including contingency and architectural/engineering fees.


Parson Barnard House

The Society is rightfully proud of the careful stewardship it has maintained of the Parson Barnard House. The house had no significant structural issues, but requires a new roof. The carriage barn foundations and framing need to be reinforced for continued school activities.

The North Andover Historical Society buildings make an invaluable contribution to the rich architectural and historic character of the Town. Sensitivity to their architectural context and fulfilling the expectations of Society constituents and the community related to their reuse offer both challenge and opportunity.

North Andover Historical Society MASTER PLAN North Andover, Massachusetts vi by Menders, Torrey & Spencer, Inc. • 2013

The Report

Part One of this study, Building History and Significance, provides a brief historical synopsis, a construction/alteration chronology, a physical description of the buildings, a list of character defining features, and recommendations for building preservation that are guided by The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties. We believe that a building’s “story” and its defining physical characteristics are valuable assets that should be respected and celebrated during the renovation/rehabilitation process.

Part Two, Existing Conditions & Treatment Recommendations, includes an examination of the physical conditions at the buildings and treatment recommendations for preservation and restoration. These recommendations are consistent with the standards and preservation guidelines provided in Part One of this report. Overall, the exterior of the buildings is in good condition. The most pressing issues that should be addressed in one to two years include framing at the headquarters complex and the roof at the Parson Barnard House. The construction cost to repair these features is estimated at approximately $266,000.

The outline plans and specifications for preserving the buildings were based on recommendations from the existing conditions survey and a comprehensive regulatory analysis. The construction cost estimate for total restoration of the structures is estimated at $500,000. A cyclical maintenance plan is provided in the report that will help the building stewards anticipate and budget for routine maintenance activities.

Part Three of the report contains schematic drawings and cost estimates for space use planning. These were generated from the established program of needs, a comprehensive regulatory analysis, several conceptual design iterations, and recommendations from the existing conditions survey. A total cost estimate for renovating the headquarters complex is approximately $385,000.