Built as a commercial utilitarian structure the building has Italianate elements; low pitched roof, wide eaves, brick embellishments create an attached corbel or dentil detail on the wide cornice banding.
Two and half acres of land was purchased for $100. from John L. Abbott on April 18, 1889 by the Andover Electric Company, a newly organized company established in 1888. The Andover Townsman reported in the paper the following day.
April 19, 1889 Andover Townsman (AT) pg. 4 - Electric Company buys 2 acres on Railroad Street [Lupine Rd.] for company. First experimental electric street lights installed in town.
April 26, 1889 AT pg. 1 - Hardy and Cole have contracted to build Lyman A. Belknap’s new residence on the site of the old Catholic Church. The cottage which was on the lot and the old barn have been sold to the Electric Light Company for removal to their premises. The Church having been sawed in two, Mr. Belknap has moved the front part to his lot this side of E. H. Barnard’s, the back part, unless sold, will be moved back and made into a stable.
May 14, 1889 AT - Hardy & Cole to build the new Electric Company building – to be brick 50’ x 72’ and an 80’ chimney built, to be finished in 50 days.
June 7, 1889 AT - The brick work of the Electric Company's building is four feet high, and the chimney has obtained a height of forty feet.
June 14, 1889 AT p1. - The Electric Co. Plant is growing fast. The brickwork is nearly ready for the roof, and the engineers are on the way. The poles are up in Ballardvale, and the workmen are waiting for them to come from Michigan for other parts of the town. The progress of the work has been somewhat retarded by the daily rains.
June 28, 1889 AT p.1 - ...Bodwell & Veazie of Lawrence have the contract for this (National Bank building) and Horace Bodwelll, a former resident of Andover, has the personal supervision of the work, as also Abbot Academy. (Draper Hall)
The same firm is doing the work at the Electric Light Plant, which is progressing fast. The little flag of completion will wave today from the top of the chimney.
July 5, 1889 AT p.1 The Electric Co's buildings are now finished, one engine and boiler are set up, and the foundations are nearly ready for the second engine.
The pumps, heater, and other fixtures will be ready in a few day days. It is hoped that the lights will be in operation by the 1st of August.
F. P. Crowell, the engineer of the electric works, has come with his family this week, occupying the house adjoining which was moved from Central Street.
July 12, 1889 AT p1. - The Electric Company are trimming their poles, and will commence to set them next week.
July 19, 1889 AT p1 - Now that the poles have come the Electric Co. are making good progress in their work, and they expect to have light running in less than a month.
Aug. 2, 1889 AT - p1 The Andover Electric Co. has purchased of John L. Abbott an acre of land adjoining its present property on Railroad St. - L. A. Belknap's house is being wired for the electric light by Holtzer-Cabot Company of Boston.
Aug. 9, 1889 AT - The Electric Co. is engaged this week putting up the wires for the light.
p. 4 Blasting rock by the Electric Co. for poles next to the railroad station, used too much dynamite, caused damage to the station......
Frye Village - The village will soon be lighted with the new light. The poles have this week been put into their places. The pole which is put up in the center of the village is getting some severe criticism on account of it position.
Aug. 16, 1889 AT - The Electric Company is putting up the circuit of wires for the arc lights now, and it is expected that they will be ready to light in a week.
Aug. 30, 1889 AT - A call at the Electric Light Station revealed a very tasty looking set of buildings. The house and barn have been brightened by painter Wood, and everything appears decidedly pleasant. The electric dynamos have arrived, and it is expected that we shall have light by the 10th of September.
Abbott Village - The event of the season in Cricket will come off to-morrow afternoon on the Andover Cricket Club's grounds, in the rear of the Electric Light Station. The Andovers will have for their opponents, the Albions of Lawrence.....
Sept. 13, 1889 AT - The Electric Light Appear - Where are the electric lights to be lighted? ... on last evening the long awaited lights illuminated our streets, a watch held by a gentlemen in the centre of town giving the time 7:23 o'clock when the light appeared. [32 arcs and 43 incandescent]
Ballardvale - Anxious crowds awaited the advent of the electric light, last night, and when at last it came in its brilliancy it was hailed with cheers by the small boys and the qualified approbation of the older ones....... none on Cuba St. or Chandler's Hill in Abbot Village - (part of longer article worth reading)
Sept. 20, 1889 AT p. 1. An article on a week of electric lights. P. 4 - Several of the stores were lighted were lighted by the electric light last evening, and others will be ready soon.
The new bank building is being wired for the electric light.
Frye Village - On Tuesday night the light in the centre of the village went out about eight o'clock, and its want was greatly felt. (first malfunction)
Sept. 27, 1889 AT p.1 - The Electric Co. Entertains the Citizens of the Town.
p. 4 col. 1 - Electric Light poles.....
Oct. 4, 1889 p.1 AT - One of the incandescent lamps used in the street lighting was broken on Thursday evening, evidently the work of boys. A heavy penalty is attached to such actions as this, and the Electric Co. promptly offer a reward for the conviction of any such mischief makers. (first report of vandalism)
P.4 - Andover News - Invest in stock of the Andover Electric Company.
Oct. 11, 1889 AT p1. Notice - Citizens of Andover who desire to invest in the stock of the Andover Electric Co.; can have an opportunity of doing so on or before Saturday the first in lots from one to ten shares [hr value one hundred dollars] until the entire Capitol Stock is taken. Subscription paper can be seen at the Andover National Bank - Andover Electric Co. - B. F. Smith Treas.
May 8, 1891 – G. A. Hadock, engineer at the Electric station, has severed his connection with the company. His place will be taken by John Palmer, late master mechanic of the Niagara Cotton Mills, of Niagara, NH.
The period photograph shows the commercial building, the small cottage house moved to the site from the Belknap property at 71 Central Street and the new house built for the use of the company Superintendent in 1900.
Mar. 23, 1900 – Plans are out for a substantial new dwelling to be constructed near the Andover Electric Light Company’s plant for the Superintendent,, W. H. Coleman, and will be constructed by the company. The cottage house is to be moved from the present position to one near the B & M Tracks.
Mar. 30, 1900 AT – p1 Contractor J. H. Pitman has the job of building the new residence to be erected by the Electric Light Co. for the use of its Superintendent, W. H. Coleman and family. Work will commence at once. The house will contain nine rooms and a bath.
May 6, 1910 – The gas tank which the Lawrence Gas Co. has been erecting on Railroad Street (Lu is now completed and it is thought that it will be filled in a few days. The tank will probably be used as an emergency holder at present, supplying Andover and Ballard Vale.
This section of Railroad Street was changed to Lupine Road by Town meeting vote in 1911.
The Andover Electric Company took out a $30,000 mortgage and sold 56 bonds at $500. each to fund the project in Feb. 1891. Trustees were Moses Foster, Marcus Morton Jr. and William S. Jenkins, George W. Foster treasurer and B. Franklin Smith President. (son of Peter Smith)
With the introduction of electric lights to illuminate streets, business and homes it also brought the electric powered street cars, poles, lines and cables to the landscape.
Two additional notes of interest;
July 8, 1892 AT - The electric cars claimed a victim this week, the well known feline “Theodore”, belonging to Dr. C. E. Abbott, being run over and killed Wednesday morning. He was buried with all honors beneath a large grape vine.
July 22, 1892 AT - The club house belonging to O. Chapman, at the corner of Main & Morton Streets, has been moved to the rear of his store building. It was moved by Geo. Wilson last Friday (July 15) night, as it was necessary to wait until the electric cars had stopped running in order to cut the wires and get the building around them. Work on the new house on the corner is already underway. Hardy & Cole having the contract to build it.
On August 31, 1903 the Andover Electric Company was sold to Lawrence Gas Company. At that time A.C. Tenney was the clerk, R.W. Emmons 2nd. treasurer and Gardiner P. Gates present at the deeded transfer. The new company later became Lawrence Gas & Electric Co.
Lawrence Gas had already established itself in Andover and opened a store in the Musgrove Building. The gas company offered gas lighting in homes and businesses as well as a full line of heaters and ranges. This company was a presence on Main Street for many years later moving to the Carter Block at 5 Main St.
Feb. 22, 1901 AT - Law. Gas Co., Musgrove Block, opened branch office & show room – Jan. 18, 1901, C. J. R. Humphrey’s - Agent
The company acquired an additional acre of land on Lupine Rd. A large gas storage tank was built on the site south of the brick building completed in 1910. The tank was was eventually abandoned and removed in the early 1960's. The two houses were also removed at some point perhaps for the storage tank. In May 17, 1951 the Lawrence Gas and Electric Company deeded the right of way to the St. Augustine's Cemetery to the Archdiocese of Boston. The 28 foot wife road on plan #2376 is now named Austin Ave.
The Company has gone through many changes and mergers through the years. Merrimack - Essex Electric Co., Lynn Electric Co. and Suburban Electric all merging with Massachusetts Electric Co. on June 28, 1962 effective on Sept. 1, 1962.
Then part of New England Power Service and New England Electric,. Bay State Electric.
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA
Andover Townsman 1889, 1892, 1903
See plan of land #2657 Lupine Rd - May 26, 1953 b. 776 p. 107
Austin Ave. plan # 2376 - May 17, 1951 - b. 750 p. 201
John L. Abbott - 1888
Andover Electric Company - Apr. 18, 1889 - b. 100 p. 94
Andover Electric Co. - Moses Foster & Trustees – Feb. 28, 1891 – b. 110 pages 495-510
Jacob W. Barnard mtg. – Dec. 14, 1902 - $25,000 – b. 198 p. 142 discharged Aug. 1, 1912 - b. 320 p. 185
Lawrence Gas Company - Oct. 15, 1903 - b. 206 p. 142
Lawrence Gas & Electric -
Lawrence Electric Company - June 1, 1953 - b. 776 p. 265 name change
Massachusetts Electric Co. - Sept. 1, 1962 b. 969 p. 1 - 200+
|Place||Andover Center District|
|Historic District||Not Applicable|
|Historic Name||Andover Electric Company Building|
|Present Use||Elecric Company warehouse|
|Original Use||Elecric Company|
|Architect/Builder||Hardy & Cole builders|
|Foundation||stone and brick|
|Major Alterations||Gas Tank removal 1960's|
|Map and parcel||74-43|
|Recorded by||Stack/Mofford, James Batchelder|
|Organization||Andover Preservation Commission|
|Date entered||1975-77, updated 3/2014|