348-362 North Main Street

Architectural Description: 

Georgian Revival, brick and limestone, long thin elegant fluted columns anchor the architraves at both ends of the facade and repeated at each store entrance. The main entrance pedimented projecting pavilion held in place by four Corinthian columns and two engaged pillars break up the long facade which appears symmetrical but is not. The north end shop has delicate arched windows floor to ceiling while the south end cleverly disguises a mezzanine floor. Door entrance treatments all include broken or swan'e neck pediments.
NRDIS, conformed to the brick style of Shawsheen Village - Wood's aim always for aesthetic order and conformity of style

Historical Narrative: 

Themes - Architectural, Commerce, Community development, and Industry.
Original owner; William M. Wood and Arden Trust
One of the later public buildings (1923), this space was easily filled by merchants and businesses for its "strategic location with respect to textile New England".
Later Aberdeen Apartments, now Aberdeen Condominium.

The property has a long history with both the Frye and Hussey families who once owned and resided on the land where the Aberdeen building sits today. It was an unplanned structure when the idea of transforming Frye Village into the model community Shawsheen Village began in 1919.
William M. Wood acquired the property on July 1, 1910. Poor Street at that time curved around Hussey’s pond crossing Lowell St. along the road to the rear of “Wood Park”, rejoining North Main St. where the Christian Science Church is today. Mr. Wood moved all eight homes that were on the Park site. One small Cape owned by John Taylor on Poor St. was moved here in 1919 occupying about 1/3 of the spot of the south end of the Merchants building’s footprint. Taylor then deeds his former house lot to Mr. Wood. At the north end of the lot was a Smith family home. Two new houses were constructed between the Post Office building and the Taylor house. All four homes would be relocated to Kensington Street in 1922 for construction of the Merchant’s Building

The building in the Georgian Revival style was designed by Clifford Albright of Boston and the contractor was Charles Patten of Melrose. The three story building had seven stores and the upper stories were business merchant’s offices, mostly rented by firms connected with the textile manufacturing.

A description of the building A. T. Nov. 16, 1923 “Merchant’s Building…. The main entrance of the building on Main Street opens into an exceptionally wide corridor with the elevators at the rear. Along the corridor walls are a series of carefully designed plate show cases, reminiscent of the French arcades, which will be rented for the display of choice merchandise to specialty shop and others. Stores have already been secured by the J.F. McGrath Co., The Wills Motor Car Co., the Shawsheen Supply CO., Cross Coal Co., James Varney, a tailoring firm of Boston and the Western Union Telegraph company. Other applications are being considered. “

The two floors of offices above were completely rented with Consolidated Textile Corp. of 245 State St. in Boston leasing 16 offices on the second floor. Thirty one other companies are also listed. November 1923 also marked the opening of the new American Woolen Company’s Executive Administration Building at 16 Balmoral St. The business activity would be short lived for the following year on December 31, 1924 William M. Wood resigned as President of the company and named Andrew G. Pierce Jr. his successor. His son Cornelius was named first vice president. President Pierce then ordered the closing of the Executive Administration Building in Shawsheen and “the company’s exodus from the model community began almost immediately.”

Most of the businesses in the Merchant Building “The Aberdeen” followed suit and returned to Boston. The building however was owned by William M. Wood and held in the Arden Trust for his children. William M. Wood died on Feb. 2, 1926. Cornelius Ayer Wood and Frederick R. Edington trustees of the Arden Trust then began to liquidate the Trust properties and sold the Merchants Building to Widow Sarah E. Hodson from Boston on March 31, 1926. Sarah’s second parcel was house lots south of the Balmoral Spa on No. Main Street. Sarah took a mortgage loan of $125,000 from J. Summer Draper of Milton, MA. Much of the Arden Trust was transferred over to the Phillips Corporation of Maine on March 31, 1926 for sale of the remaining properties.

Sarah Hodson converted the building into an apartment house and leased the stores. Her mortgage was later assigned to the First National Bank of Boston in Oct. 4, 1932 of which J. Augustus Remington was an accountant. Augustus was appointed the bank as Resident Agent for the property and returned to Andover and occupied the apartment at 348 No. Main St. in the building. Remington then purchased the Aberdeen Apartments on May 6, 1933.
Joseph Augustus Remington was born Aug. 12, 1873 in Fall River, MA son of J. Augustus & Adelaide V. (Adams) Remington. His father sold fire insurance. Both parents died in 1884 when Augustus was nine. He then came to Andover and was a member of the Punchard High School class of 1893. Augustus became a book keeper, worked for Tyer Rubber Co. then was hired by the American Woolen Co. and worked in the Boston office. Augustus married on Nov. 20, 1902 to Sarah Chase Luscomb b. 1874 in Bristol, RI, dau. of George G. & Sarah (Coffin) Luscomb. They had one daughter Virginia b. 1910, and lived in Newton, MA. When AWCo. moved to Andover in 1923 they came and occupied 9 Argyle St. then moved back in 1926 to Newton. Augustus later left AWCo. to work for the bank.
Augustus was well known in town. He was Director of the Andover Taxpayers Assoc., a member of St. Mathews Lodge AF & AM, the Square & Compass Club, past pres. of the Andover Service Club and worked on the local rationing board during WWII. Augustus died on Nov. 23, 1950 and his wife Sarah inherits the estate. Sarah died on May. 21, 1953 and is interred at West Parish Cemetery. Virginia Remington inherits the estate and become resident manage. The Remington family owned the Aberdeen for 36 years.

Virginia sold the property to Arthur Cedar and Robert Cedar of Bay State Home Construction Co. on Dec. 30, 1969. They owned for 12 years then selling on Sept. 1, 1982 to David T. Zussman of the 354 North Main St. Realty Trust. The apartment building was then rehabbed for resident owned condominiums now known as Aberdeen Condominium. A small cape style home at 49 Poor St. behind the building was purchased and moved to Lawrence for additional resident parking.

Store tenants in 1926: #354 Shawsheen Barber Shop - proprietor Natale Giamo, Shawsheen Hairdressing Parlor (later moved to the Balmoral Spa), Shawsheen Tailor, Cross Coal Co., Bay State Specialty Co., Ryder & Brown Wool, and #360 Nugent Furniture. In 1935 Ruth Hammond dress shop occupied #352.
In 1943; Hammond, the barber shop, #356 Margaret Beauty Shop, #358 Cornelius A. Wood, Trustee, #360 Shawsheen Post Office (now the longest tenant) #362 Andover Shawsheen Realty Co. & Collection Recorder Co. Another long term tenant was the bridal shop in the north end corner store.

Bibliography/References: 

Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem, MA
Northern Essex Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA
See area form - Shawsheen for complete bibliography
Mills, Mansions, and Mergers; The Life of William M. Wood - by Edward G. Roddy 1982
Andover Townsman - Nov.16, 1923 - Merchants Building
Andover Directories; 1924, 1926, 1930, 1943
Ancestry.com Remington family

Inventory Data:

StreetNorth Main St
PlaceShawsheen Village - Frye Village
Historic DistrictShawsheen Village NRH District
Historic NameMerchants Block "The Aberdeen"
Present UseCondos, commercial space & USPO
Original UseMerchants building offices.
Construction Date1923 -1924
SourceBusiness Dir. Of Shawsheen, 1922 Town Crier
Architectural StyleGeorgian Revival
Architect/BuilderClifford Allbright / Charles S. Patten
Foundationconcrete / brick
Wall/Trimbrick and limestone
Roofasphalt/gravel- flat
Major AlterationsAberdeen Apartments 1927-1982, Condominium Conversion 1982
Conditionexcellent
Acreage1.45 acres
Settingresidential/commerical
Map and parcel52-43
MHC NumberANV.406
Recorded byStack/Mofford, James S. Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date entered1975-77, 04/06/2020

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