303 - 305 North Main St

Architectural Description: 

The building was designed in the Georgian Revival style which Wm. M. Wood, President of the American Co. employed on most of the commercial buildings in Shawsheen Village. The architectural firm was Adden & Parker of Boston, partners Willard P. Adden, Winthrop D. Parker and Christopher M. Kehoe. Charles S. Patten of Melrose the contractor and builder.

Historical Narrative: 

Original owner William M. Wood, Pres. of the American Woolen Company - named the "Balmoral Spa", a pharmacy, shops & restaurant, with a meeting hall on top floor used as meeting room for Shawsheen Woman's Club, lectures and dances. Outdoor dancing at the Balmoral on a large polished cement floor. Many of the "Big Bands" played here during the 1920s-1930s. Also a place to reserving time for tennis courts, bowling green and Balmoral Playing fields. Also a canoe and boat landing incorporated in the design.

The Balmoral Spa opened on Friday night on May 27, 1921 with about 1500 residents from Andover and vicinity. The open house was attended by Mr. Wood who was seated at a table near the entrance who extended a greeting to his many acquaintances. George W. Wallace was the general manager of the building. Henry J. Summers the pharmacy manager. The article lists all the employees. Two tenants in the Spa included Cross Coal Co. and Phillip L. Hardy, contractor, who build many homes in the village. Also present were the architects of Adden & Parker and the contractor Charles S. Patten. Refreshments of ice cream, soda and punch were served and music provided by the American Woolen Company Orchestra. "The lighting effects are excellent and after dark the blazing electric sign "Balmoral Spa" which extends across the entire front of the building..." The Spa officially opened for business on Saturday, May 28, 1921.
This building was the social and recreational center for Shawsheen Village. The Balmoral pharmacy continued until 1960-61.
There was also a barber shop, express service, shoe repairs, architect's office, a dentist, Cross Coal Co.'s office, a doctor, a hairdressing salon,

In front of the Spa were outside tables. William Wood used to boast, Balmoral Spa was "only place North of Boston, you could get a dollar cigar".
Sept. 3, 1920 - Andover Townsman (AT) Work is progressing rapidly on the erection of the new drug store and tea room for Shawsheen Village on Main Street, opposite “Aberfoyle” The building is of brick and will be modern in every detail
June 3, 1921 - Shawsheen Pharmacy and Balmoral Spa Opened - (May 28, 1921)
July 29, 1921 AT – Photo of Balmoral Spa building, back page Shawsheen News
June 9, 1922 AT p.8 Personals – Boat rentals and names of employees - Uniforms for Balmoral Spa workers.

Subsequent uses - recreational, 1925/offices in spa building, fields used by boy's boarding school from 1946-1975
The Balmoral Fields included football & Soccer field, flooded for a skating rink in winter, a track, tennis courts, bowling green and canoe landing,

After 1945, playing fields became the property of Brothers of Sacred Heart for their boys boarding school, which existed until 1975 in the former Balmoral Administration Building of the American Woolen Co. The Town of Andover appropriated funds to purchase and preserve the Balmoral Athletic field and open-space in1976.

The Spa is now professional offices for "Tactician" and others. Merrimack Mutual Fire Insurance Co. Cambridge Mutual Fire Ins. Co. and the Bay State Insurance Co. now known "Andover Companies" co-owned from 1951 -1996. They were previously located in the Post Office Building in Shawsheen. (See. #342 North Main) The Andover Companies enlarged the building, first by a mirror image addition of the former Balmoral Spa building on the site of the former dance platform area in 1956-57. The two wings were delineated by a the new Georgian Revival pedimented three story center entrance façade.

Mar. 5, 1970 AT - Fire at Andover Companies building at 305 No. Main Shawsheen Village. On February 26, 1970 a fire gutted the third floor, attic and roof of the main entrance block to the rear of the building. It was a restored to the 1957 design plans. The two new projecting wings on the front façade were added in 1970 to the front for extra office space. Every effort was maintained to match the material and details of the original building and its symmetry.

Two residential properties to the south #291 and #295 No. Main Street were later acquired for extended employee park and parking area. The houses were moved on July 25, 1973 to #443 and #447 South Main St. just beyond Rattlesnake Hill Rd.

In the mid 1990's The Andover Companies built a new building off River Rd in West Andover and relocated. They then sold the Balmoral Spa building to Tactician Realty Trust in November 1996. The building has recently been sold in 2020 and plans are being made to convert the building into condominium units.

Bibliography/References: 

See Area Form - Shawsheen for complete Bibliography also.
Dr. Edward Roddy, History Dept., Merrimack College, North Andover, MA - "Mills, Mansions & Mergers"
Town Crier: A Directory of Shawsheen Village 1922-23
Essex Northern Registry of Deeds.
Arden Trust -
Phillips Corp. - J. Sumner Draper, Pres. May 13, 1926 - b. 522 p. 20
Sarah E. Hodson - Feb. 20, 1930 - b. 551 p. 182 lots 1 & 2 on Plan #643
Roy E. Hardy - June 18, 1930 - b. 553 p. 358
Alphonse A. & Germaine Brouillard - Nov. 29, 1941 - b. 647 p. 544
Alphonse A. Brouillard - Apr. 9, 1951 b. 748 p. 489
Merrimack Mutual Fire Insurance Co - Apr. 9, 1951 b. 748 p. 489
Merrimack Mutual Fire Ins. Co., Cambridge Mutual Fire Ins. Co. & Bay State Insurance Co.- Sept. 30, 1961 - b. 1220 p. 348
additional parcels - Sept. 15, 1964 - b. 1018 p. 209
Aug. 10, 1972 - b. 1199 p. 613 see map #643 lots #3 & #5
Tactician Realty Trust - Anthony Buxton & R. Robert Reading, Trustees. Nov. 7, 1996 - b. 4628 p. 260

listed as #303 Andover Assessors Tax Maps as lots 93-97

Inventory Data:

StreetNorth Main St
PlaceShawsheen Village
Historic DistrictShawsheen Village NRH District
Historic NameBalmoral Spa - Andover Companies, Inc
Present UseProfessional offices
Original UseDrug Store, restaurant, offices, third floor meeting hall, dances, lectures.
Construction Date1921
SourceAHS files
Architectural StyleGeorgian Revival
Architect/BuilderAdden & Parker of Boston
Foundationstone and concrete
Wall/Trimbrick and limestone
Roofslate
Outbuildings / Secondary StructuresPart of American Woolen Co.'s Shawsheen Village - Playing fields and recreational area behind building on east side of river, had tennis courts, soccer and baseball diamond and bowling green
Major AlterationsThe Balmoral Spa building was purchased by the Merrimack Mutual Fire Insurance Company and doubled in size with a mirror image addition to the south and the center entry facing No. Main St. 1960s' two new front wings were added
Conditionexcellent
Settingcommercial
Map and parcel36-93
MHC NumberANV.403
Recorded byStack/Mofford, James Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date entered1975-77, updated 2/2014

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