2-8 Railroad Street

Historical Narrative: 

#10 Railroad Avenue issued a National Register of Historic Places certificate is on file in book.

This business block was constructed in 1964 and contained three commercial units listed as numbers 2-4-8 Railroad Street and one in the basement at 57 Essex St.

Dec. 31, 1964 Andover Townsman – p.16 - New office building on Essex St. & Railroad Ave. (photo) – George Westhaver project, occupied on lower level by Andover Sheet Metal Co. (57 Essex St)

In 2014 Ann's Cleaners occupies most of the main level today.

Railroad Street, sometimes called Railroad Avenue, was constructed in 1846-1848 by the Boston and Maine Railroad Company. The tracks were relocated west to the current location to service the new City of Lawrence in 1847. The former track location was part of the Andover - Wilmington Railroad located behind the Memorial Hall Library. A portion of High Street from Harding St to Route 114 in North Andover is a section of the old rail bed.

B & M RR built a freight building at #15 Railroad which included a spur track that run through the building and reconnected to the main line. The street ran on out to the former Essex Turnpike now North Main St.

Essex Street is a ancient way in Andover and served as a connection route to West Andover, north to New Hampshire and west to Chelmsford long before the Turnpike was built about 1806-1810. This passenger and freight RR crossing would have needed a gate tender and a home to accommodate him and his family.

On this corner of Essex St. and Railroad St. the B&M RR built a Greek Revival home that sat on a diagonal facing the train station which was on the east side of the tracks. The gate keepers duties were to close and open the gates, done manually, with each scheduled train. A telegraph operator in the depot would signal the gatekeeper when a train was arriving. A signal pole and flags can still be seen on the former 1906 train station at 100 School St.

A small gatekeepers Hut was located on the east side of the crossing near the building now housing Depot Pizza. It remained in use until the crossing was automated in the early 1960s. The B&M RR no longer needed the property and it was sold. The town reconstructed the corner to widen the road and create better sight lines for traffic. The former Gatekeepers House was picked up and moved to #10 Railroad St. It sat in the new location for about 10 years before it was sold to Donald I. Richmond and moved to 66 Burnham Road.

The George Westhaver Trust purchased the property on October 17, 1961. The trust was created in Jan. 1957 and comprised George Westhaver, Richard B. Kydd and Walter C. Tomlinson as trustees. This purchase included two parcels of land at 2-4-6 and 17 Railroad St. Westhaver Trust later acquired most of the property on the west side of Railroad St. up to the Tyer Rubber Co. property.

List of tenants;
2 Railroad St.
Thrifty Rent-A-Car (1974)
Train Stop Toys (1981)
Storage Solutions (1992)
Ann’s Dry Cleaning, (2000)

#4 Railroad Street
Robert E. Looke & Associates, realtors, (1974)
#6 Railroad St.
Permanent Waves Unisex Salon, (1992)
#8 Railroad Street
Artistic Design, (1988)
Lucille’s Beauty Lounge (1974)
#57 Essex St
Andover Sheet Metal Co. (1964)
Richard Galley Theatrical Lighting Co. (1970s-1990s)


Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem, MA
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA
Andover Townsman - 1964
Main Street Evolution 2014 - Gail Rawlston
Andover Historical Society - Railroad files
See plans #6605 - Oct. 1963 - b. 1193 p. 70 parcel "E"
#4376 - parcel #1 and parcel #2

Boston & Maine Railroad - 1840s-1961
George B. Westhaver Trust - Oct. 17, 1961 - b. 946 p. 213 - two parcels
Look Realty Corporation - Jan. 11, 1978 - b. 1329 p. 728
Eric Byonghak An & Kyung S. An - Nov. 3, 1999 - b. 5625 p. 30

Inventory Data:

StreetRailroad St
Historic DistrictAndover Village Industrial NRH District
Present UseProfessional / Commercial
Original UseProfessional / Commercial
Construction Date1964
Architectural StyleOther
Wall/Trimwood clapboards, coverd vinyl sided
Acreage0.175 acre
Map and parcel54-1
Recorded byStack/Mofford, James Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date entered1975-77, Dec. 20, 2014