45 Main Street

Architectural Description: 

This facade is a renovated rehab of a former Post-Modern building built in 1927 and later updated in 1953.
The second story was added by Andover Savings Bank during expansion of the bank in 1985.
The brick and limestone facade was designed to blend as a cohesive unit in the development of the entire business block. The arched signage panel is a nod to the original bank building at 61 Main.

Historical Narrative: 

45 -47-49 Main Street –The Miller Block - Built 1927 renovated in 1935 & 1985 second floor added

July 8, 1927 AT pg. 1 “New Business Block – Work in Progress for Building to Provide for three New Stores on Main Street to be Completed September 1.”

This lot of land was purchased by Edwena & Henry Miller from the Trustees of Andover Associates; John B. Angus, Frank A. Buttrick & John H. Campion. The trustees had acquired the former Nathaniel Swift property #53 Main Street in 1922 from the Edward F. Searles estate of Methuen. This site was part of the rear yard of the Swift house, which faced south to Chestnut Street and was moved to the southwest corner of the property for the construction of the Andover Savings Bank in 1923.

Henry E. Miller had his shoe shop next door in the small Swift building at 43 Main Street until he built this block. Designed by architect William H. Peare of 6 Beacon Street, Boston and was constructed by E. W. Pitman of Lawrence, MA during the summer of 1927. The original description is as follows; “The 34- foot frontage will be divided among three stores, two with a 12-foot frontage two windows each, and one with 8-foot frontage and only one window. The smaller store in the center of the building is only 40 feet deep and occupies the space, which may eventually be used as a main entrance and stairway to the proposed second story. The larger stores are 70 feet deep.”
Roger’s brook, over which the building is to be erected, is already confined in cement walls reinforced with steel braces and excavation for the cellar is underway. The Henry E. Miller shoe store will occupy one of the larger stores and the smaller store is already let.

Mr. Miller, owner of the Andover Shoe Hospital, bought the business of the late George A. Brown located at 43 Main Street. Benjamin Brown had established a shoe & boot shop in 1861 in the Deacon Albert Abbott building on the “Hill” but shortly relocated to the Swift building in the center of town. His son George A. Brown joined the business before 1896. After the death of George in 1918 the business was purchased by Miller in 1919. Henry Miller had established his shop at 10 Bartlet St. in 1914 with partner Alfred Robb, later relocated to 6 Central Street before moving to the Swift Building 1919-1927. Miller continued his business here until he retired in 1939, selling to William Reinhold’s Shoe Store of Lawrence. Reinhold remained at this location until 1953 when the store relocated to 13 Main Street.

The original small store in the middle #47 was rented by John Ferguson who had his Jewelry Store in the Swift building at #41 next to Miller’s shoe shop. He moved in on Sept. 14, 1927. In a history of Hill Hardware (1946) it states that Grecoe Jewelry Store had the small shop between Miller & Ben Franklin and after he moved out the store was enlarged. Grecoe had been sharing space with Carl Elander Men’s clothing shop in the ARCO building #56 and is listed at both #56 & #47 in 1935 after buying out Ferguson in May 1934.

On September 28, 1935 the new Ben Franklin variety store opened for business. The former small store in the middle was incorporated into the store at #45. The Townsman reported “Tomorrow morning at nine a new variety store, the Ben Franklin store, will open at 45-47 Main Street, a large shop which formerly occupied by two different establishments, Dehullu’s market and John H. Grecoe, jeweler. Edward B. Butler, who with Mrs. Butler has leased an apartment in the Aberdeen, is the owner. The store reaps the advantage of chain-store buying, but it is independently owned, so that the money spent in the store will remain in Andover. All Andover help has been hired.”

In 1932 the Andover Art Studio is listed at #45. Dehullu’s market and Ben Franklin were short lived businesses as only Miller’s is listed in 1937. In 1939 Hill Hardware is at #45.

W. R. Hill Hardware, had purchased the oldest continuously run hardware business in town. Begun by Henry Abbott and son Henry W. Abbot (Dec. 1851- 1877), Charles L. Carter (1877-1880), McLawlin & Baker (1880-1884), McLawlin Hardware 1884-1906, Morse Hardware (1906-1928). In the early 1940’s Hill also bought out William Poland’s Athletic store #48 in the ARCO building across the street. Hill moved Poland’s entire stock over to his store and converted part of the basement for additional display area for athletic equipment..

In 1953 Hill expanded the business into the vacated shoe store space. The front facade was remodeled with large plate glass windows, aluminum and brick trim for a post war modern look. Completed in September 1953, designed by Lawrence Plate & Glass the contractor was A. E. Alvino of North Andover. The address then became just #45 Main Street. Hill remained here until 1970 when the Hill estate sold to William Scanlon Hardware of Lawrence. Scanlon’s continued at this location until 1984. When Scanlon acquired the Barnard Building and Cole’s Hardware at 12 Main St the two businesses were consolidated to the new location as Scanlon's Hardware. (1970-1990) With the closing in 1990 Andover lost its last remaining hardware store a run of 139 years.

The Andover Bank purchased the Miller block from Scanlon in 1984 and re-developed the block in 1985. The building was completely gutted, a second story added for bank office use and the current brick facade created. Channel Builders did the reconstruction.
Kenneth Thompson’s Office Products, then owned by Charles Caperonis, then relocated to #45 from #77 Main Street in September 1985. In 1988 Thompson was purchased by Loring, Short & Harmon also dealers in office supplies, art and drafting equipment. The former name changed in September 1993 and operated until November 1995.

With the closing of the stationary store also came the end of a continually operated Andover business first established in 1842 by William Francis Holt known as Frank Holt in 1842-1846 as restaurant and periodicals store. Followed by; Edwin Russell (1846-1849), James P. Burnham & John Cornell (1849-1852). Marshal Blood (1852-1867), John H. Chandler (July 1867- Aug. 1895), Omar P. Chase (Aug. 1895 - March 1910 moved to ARCO Bldg. ), then Andover News - Andover News LeRoy and “Pops” Wilson;, The Paper Store- Kenneth P. Thompson (1957-1968) Thompson’s Office Products - Charles Caperonis, (1968-1993), (Loring, Short & Harmon (1993-1995)

Daher’s Shoe Store for adults was the next tenant when then moved down from 89 Main St. in Old Andover Village. This began the return of a shoe business at this location since 1953. Daher originally opened in 1980’s at #27 Main Street, then opened a second store in Old Andover Village in May 1992 converting their former store into a children’s shoe store where it remains today as Stride Right. Daher sold out in 2009. The J. L. Coombs Co. shoe store (2009-2012) then occupied the store. The Greater Boston Running Company operates a shoe store in 2012.


Northern Essex Registry of Deeds, Lawrence MA
Essex County Registry of Deeds, Salem, MA
Andover Historical Society Archives
Andover Resident Street Directories
Andover Evaluation Reports, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1900, 1910, 1920.
Andover Town Maps, 1852, 1855, 1872, 1888, Sanborn Maps, 1896, 1906
Andover Advertiser & Andover Townsman newspapers

Nathaniel Swift (1778-1840)
Nathaniel Swift Jr. (1805-1878) Estate-
George, Martha, & Charlotte Swift - April 16, 1878 - probate, estate.
Martha & Charlotte Swift - July 10, 1886 - b. 87 p. 98 -101
Martha E. Swift, et alii.,George F. Swift - Aug. 29, 1904 - b. 214 pg. 85
Edward F. Searles - Aug. 23, 1904 - b. 437 p.308
Arthur T. Walker Extr. Searles - Nov. 26, 1920 - b.
Trustees of Andover Associates - March 22, 1922 - b. 457 p 86
Edwena M. Miller - June 16, 1927 - b. 533 p. 345 lot #3
William Rodney Hill - June 22, 1951 - b. 749 p. 434
Ownaji Realty Trust - April 10, 1969 - b. 1128 b. 124
Scanlon Realty Company - Nov. 16, 1971 - b. 1183 p. 343
William J. Scanlon - Dec. 31, 1976 - b. 1299 p.517 deed exchange
Andover Savings Bank - July 25, 1984 - b. 1841 p. 243
Banknorth NA of Portland Maine - 2001
TD Bank. -

Inventory Data:

StreetMain St
PlaceAndover Center
Historic DistrictNot Applicable
Historic NameMiller Block
Present UseStationary store, Thompson's (1992)
Architectural StyleOther
Foundationstone and brick
Major Alterations1927 - Built 1935 - renovated to two stores 1953 - renovated to one store 1985 - gutted and second floor added
Acreageless than one acre
Settingcommercial business district
Map and parcel55-92
Recorded byBrian Lee (cwo), James Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Historical Society - Andover Preservation Commission
Date enteredJuly 1992, 4/2014