342 North Main Street
Site of History 🛈The Site of History tag is given to properties that were lost before this building survey was undertaken.

Architectural Description: 

Georgian Revival - Flat Iron building, designed by Adden & Parker of Boston

Historical Narrative: 

Themes - Architectural, Community development, Industry, and Social/humanitarian.

Original owner: William M. Wood President of the American Woolen Company.

Original use; Post Office, Grocery Market on street level, offices of the Homestead Association, Legal offices for the AWCo.
Also the offices of John Franklin, Civil Engineer & designer of Shawsheen Village, Chester S. Patten, builder, and the American Woolen Company Farms and Publication Office in addition to the Post Office. An assembly hall and kitchen on third floor. Shawsheen Village Kindergarten briefly used the upper hall before completing of Shawsheen School in 1924.

William M. Wood developed Shawsheen Village as the "Home of the upper management and staff of the A.W.Co. and included residences, commercial space as well as new mill buildings. This building, with its key location was the first public building completed.

Apr. 2, 1920 AT p1- The new building in Shawsheen Village, which is to contain the post office is being plastered and will probably be ready for occupancy about May first.

May 7, 1920 AT - pgs1& 7 Shawsheen Village’s New Building – Handsome Structure Nearly Completed. Will Be Community Centre for Residents of Village. Also to Contain Modern Store. ..."to house the post office, a grocery and provisions store, offices for the Labor Department of the American Woolen Co. and Homestead Association and numerous community interests. ...Although the building will not be completed for several weeks, the first social event will be held in the assembly hall tomorrow afternoon when the children of Shawsheen Village will be the guests of thier friend and neighbor, William M. Wood. The store will also be open for business next week.

The ground for the new building was broken in October (1919) Its every detail is the last word in modern construction, affording the tenants every comfort and convenience. The floors in the corridors, offices and halls are of quartered oak, white the inside finishes throughout is of gum wood.All the woodwork, including the window frames, doors, door frames, cornices, mouldings, {sic] mantles and staircases, was gotten out at the brush factory in Shawsheen Village.

Mounting the broad granite steps and entering the doors at the front of the building, one finds himself at once in the rotunda of the post office with its handsome black and white tiled floor and finished of gum wood. The delivery and stamp windows face the front of the building, while the boxes and other windows open on the corridor at the side which also gives access to Main Street.

The rear of the ground floor is occupied by a commodious store for the sale of vegetables, meat and groceries. The store extends the entire width of the building, and the room is flooded with light from the large windows which fill almost the entire wall space on either side. The floor is of battleship gray linoleum while the counters are of solid oak. The fine ice box is finished in white enamel and tile with a front of double glass through which may bee seen the meat hanging from the hooks. The marble to counter is enclosed in glass ensuring most sanitary conditions.

On the opposite side beyond the candy and crackers is the second refrigerator and a counter for the sale of butter, cheese, etc. The entire store is equipped with Toledo automatic scales, electric coffee mills will grind coffee, and in the cashier's booth in the center of the room, is found a National Cash register finished in mahogany.
The store will be managed by William N. Kenney, formerly of Houghton & Dutton of Boston. [Kenney mgr. of Shawsheen Market, lived on Kensington St. then later directly behind the store on Poor Street.]

The second floor is entirely given over to suites of offices, all with guartered oak floors, electric lights and steam heat, and several with fireplaces. as well.

The lavatories are finished in white tile and marble and at the bowels may be found not only running hot and cold water but ice water also. This is cooled in a coil in the basement which runs through a tank filled with ice. The ice use in the building will be obtained from the ice house seen on the shore of Hussey's Pond where 2000 tons have been stored for use here and in the mills of the American Woolen Company in Lawrence.

The third floor of the building will be devoted to community interests. There is a large assembly hall, a kitchen which is completely equipped in every detail, an attractive reading room and a lavatory with shower baths.

The steam heat for the building is provided by an oil consuming heater. No coal will have to be shoveled or ashes removed which will help to keep the building fresh and clean.
An automatic elevator by the mere pressure of a button carries one to any desired floor. An illuminated closk will grace the top of the building and a bell is already in position which will strike the hour."......

May 14, 1920 – Shawsheen Market Opens Tomorrow – Manager William Kenney formerly of Houghton & Dutton of Boston assisted by Miss Glenzel of Lawrence as cashier and Alex McLauchlan of Red Spring Road as head cutter, assisted by Harry Chipman of Malden, formerly with Arthur Dorr of Boston
and Mrs. Elizabeth Merrick of Shawsheen Village.

June 4, 1920 – AT Shawsheen Post Office Opened Thursday [June 1] in Community Bldg., deliveries were actually made Wednesday……John A. Burtt in charge of office – was carrier for 24 years. His assist. Miss Nellie B. Bliss. James J. Feeney transferred from center will be letter carrier for the new territory.

After the death of William M. Wood on Feb. 2, 1926 the American Woolen Co. moved the corporate offices back to Boston and began to sell off its unrelated holdings in Andover. The Post Office building was part of the Arden Trust created by Wood in 1921. The Trust also liquidated their holdings in 1926 via the Phillips Corporation of Maine.

The Post Office building and the triangular lot within Poor, Windsor and No. Main Streets was sold to Sarah E. Hodson, a widow from Boston. She took a mtg. from J. Sumner Draper of Milton MA and one from the Phillips Corp. of Maine. which also included the Balmoral Spa. In March 1932 the mtg. holders took possession of the property and this lot was acquired by the Atlantic National Bank of Boston which sold to the First National Bank of Boston in 1932.

The property was then bought by the Merrimack Mutual Fire Insurance Co. of Andover in 1933. This company had been established in Andover in 1824 and was housed in the Andover National Bank Building on Main St. across from Old Town House until moving here. The company partnered with Cambridge Mutual Fire Insurance Co. and the Bay State Insurance Co. The Shawsheen Market would relocate to 2 Riverina Rd in July 1940. The Post Office branch moved north into the Merchants Building, "The Aberdeen". The Insurance offices were relocated to the Balmoral Spa building in 1961-1995.

The Frye Village Corp. Dwain P. Smith Pres. purchased the building in 1979 and it was then sold to the Lawrence Savings Bank - Paul A. Miller Pres. in June 1981. With the bank mergers of the 1990s the building was sold to Frye Village Realty Trust - Thomas M. Kiley and Daniel Kiley III, trustees in Feb. 1995. The building continues to serve as a bank and professional offices building.

In 1992 the owners of the Post Office building received an Andover Preservation Award for exterior restoration.

Numbered 342 North Main St. Andover Assessors Map 52-41


Essex Northern Registry of Deeds, Lawrence
See maps; #645 Apr. 1926, # 913 - Feb. 1933 and #922 Feb. 1933.
The Town Crier - A directory of Shawsheen Village, Andover, Mass. C.1922-23
Shawsheen: The Model Community and the Home of the Officers and Staff of the American Woolen Company
Andover Townsman; May 7, 1920
See also: Bibliography - area form Shawsheen

William M. Wood -
Arden Trust - Feb. 9, 1921 - b. 447 p. 330
Sarah E. Hodson - Mar. 31, 1926 - b. 520 p. 473
J. Sumner Draper - Mar. 31, 1926 - b. 520 p. 474 mtg
Phillips Corp. of Maine - Mar. 31, 1926 - b. 520 p. 475 mtg.
J. Sumner Draper - Mar. 31, 1932 - b. 565 p. 280 poss.
Atlantic National Bank of Boston - auction of Mtg. 1932
First National Bank of Boston - Sept. 24, 1932 - b. 566 p. 499
Merrimack Mutual Fire Insurance Co. - Mar. 21, 1933 - b. 569 p. 403
Merrimack Mutual Fire Insurance Co.,Cambridge Mutual Fire Insurance Co. - Dec. 31, 1956 - b. 848 p. 121
Merrimack Mutual Fire Insurance Co.,Cambridge Mutual Fire Insurance Co. & Bay State Insurance Co. May 26, 1960 - b. 1220 p. 345
Frye Village Corp. - May 30, 1979 - b. 1372 pgs. 98-100-102
Lawrence Savings Bank - June 1, 1981 b. 1511 p. 128
Frye Village Realty Trust - Feb. 2, 1995 - b. 4206 p. 118

Inventory Data:

StreetNorth Main St
PlaceShawsheen Village - Frye Village
Historic DistrictShawsheen Village NRH District
Historic Name"Post Office Building"
Present Usecommercial offices
Original UseP.O., & Shawsheen Market
Construction Date1920
SourceENRDL, Town Crier, Business Dir. Of Shawsheen 1922, Andover Townsman
Architectural StyleGeorgian Revival
Architect/BuilderAdden & Parker
Foundationstone & granite
Wall/Trimbrick and limestone trim
Major AlterationsNorth end of building first floor large market display windows, replaced with the current windows matching existing windows. Drive through canopy added when owned by bank.
Acreage9,333 sq. ft.
Map and parcel52-41
Recorded byStack/Mofford, James Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date entered1975-77, 2/2014, 6/5/2015