48 - 56 Balmoral Street

Architectural Description: 

Colonial Revival

Historical Narrative: 

This building was constructed in 1922 - 1923 as the Shawsheen Cafeteria and was part of the Shawsheen Village development 1918 – 1924 by William M. Wood, President of the American Woolen Company. Wood hired about eight different architects to design the homes and structures for the village. The homes were sold or leased through the Homestead Association who had offices in the Post Office building on the corner of North Main & Poor Streets.

The Cafeteria was built as a restaurant to service the mill workers in the Shawsheen Mills across the street. The building also served a an entertainment center as the cafeteria could be used for movies and in the basement were bowling alleys. It is not clear if this annex building was built to house staff at the restaurant or built as apartments for workers in the mill. The current configuration holds six apartment units, with 8 bedrooms, 6 baths, a total 27 rooms.

After the death of William M. Wood in Feb. 1926 most of the residential and commercial buildings were then sold. Some were held by the Wood family in the "Arden Trust" and others with the American Woolen Company, which had been deeded the properties in December 1920. The A.W.Co. Board of Directors authorized its then President, Lionel J. Noah, to deliver all deeds, as deemed necessary to the Textile Realty for sale on Dec. 29, 1931.

The Textile Realty then transferred ownership to the Andover Shawsheen Realty Company on June 30, 1932, holding the mortgage on the properties. T. Edwin Andrew, treasurer, was authorized to sell or rent the properties. With the Great Depression sales were sluggish and many homes were rented until the economy rebounded.

The entire building was sold to Benjamin Babb, wife Annie on July 1, 1941. Babb then created The Chrystal Ballroom, Inc. Benjamin Babb, pres. & treas. on Aug. 1, 1941. in 1943 Benjamin Babb worked as a shipper for the American Woolen Co. Shawsheen Mill. He and wife Annie lived at 5 Princeton Rd. in Shawsheen Heights. There are four families renting apartments in 1943. At #50 Balmoral is John N. & Jennie Phillips. John is a carpenter in the Shawsheen Mill, a daughter Ellen is a mender. #52 Is Charles H. & Helen T O'Connell. Charles is a plumber. - #54 - Jennie A. MacNeill widow of Hugh MacNeill and in #56 is Daniel H. Roach who works a Gillespie & Roach in Lawrence.

Frederick A. Higgins & John F. Higgins purchased the building on Aug. 12, 1957 and sold nine years later to Donald I. & Barbara L. Richmond on Feb. 9, 1966. The Richmond family continue as owners of record under the ARCO Properties LLC. as of June 26, 2007, now 49 years.


Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem, MA
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA
Andover Maps, 1852, 1872, 1888, 1906, 1926
Andover Street Directories
Mills, Mergers and Mansions, by Edward Roddy 1982
See Map plan #704 - American Woolen Company - Sept. 1927
#878 - June 1932 - Textile Realty Company - Lot B
Plan = Dec. 1965 - Cafeteria

Cornelius A. Wood -
American Woolen Company -Apr. 2, 1932 - b. 464 p. 357
American Woolen Company - Dec. 30, 1931 - b. 563 p. 334, p. 387
American Woolen Company - Oct. 1, 1937 - b. 611 p. 176 - confm. deed
Andover Shawsheen Realty Co. - Oct. 30, 1937 - b. 611 p. 177 (p. 185) 18th parcel
Benjamin Babb, wife Annie - July 1, 1941 - b. 642 p. 277 - 278
The Chrystal Ballroom, Inc. Benjamin Babb, pres. & treas. - Aug. 1, 1941 - b. 644 p. 192
Frederick A. Higgins & John F. Higgins - Aug. 12, 1957 - b. 859 p. 304
Donald I. & Barbara L. Richmond - Feb. 9, 1966 - b. 1054 p. 185
Arco Properties, LLC, Richmond - June 26, 2007 - b. 10810 p. 155
Jan. 12, 1923 Andover Townsman p8. Photo of Shawsheen Cafeteria

Inventory Data:

StreetBalmoral St
PlaceShawsheen Village - Frye Village
Historic DistrictShawsheen Village NRH District
Present Useapartment building
Original Usebording house apartments
Construction Date1922
Architectural StyleColonial Revival
Wall/Trimbrick veneer/wood
Roofasphalt - hip
Outbuildings / Secondary StructuresAttached to Shawsheen Cafeteria - Chrystal Ballroom building
Settingresidential/professional offices
Map and parcel36-88
Recorded byJames S. Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date entered1980, 7/5/2015