Brick and marble exterior is consistent with other brick structures along Main Street. Local newspapers reported that the federal government provided architects to study the locally prevailing style to insure that the new building would be appropriate to its setting. For example, two large windows mirror the design of the Andover Bank building located nearby on Main Street.
Other features: are marble trim on the exterior, an entrance flanked by two marble columns, grill work to ceiling, a glass vestibule entrance into the lobby and a slate roof. Paul E. Walz was the constructing engineer; Stephen Durso & Sons of Lawrence, contractors. The structure was built at a cost of $115,000.
Cornerstone: Andrew W. Mellon, Secretary of the Treasury
James A. Wetmore, Acting Supervising Architect, 1931
Present owner: Nicolas Aznoian (1977)
Themes: Architectural, Community development
As one of a number of federally funded post office buildings constructed during this period, this structure reflects the needs of a growing community and expanding Main Street commercial area in the 20th century.
Congresswoman Edith Nourse Rogers performed her last official act as Andover's representative when she, on October 17, 1932 presented the keys of the post office to Postmaster Fred Cheever at the formal dedication. A congratulatory message adressed to the Town of Andover was received from the then president, Herbert Hoover.
May 3, 1995 Presented Historic Preservation Certificate for adaptive reuse. The First Essex Bank is a representative of good taste, fine restoration and careful reuse of the former Post Office building.
71 Main Street – former Andover Post Office – Sovereign Bank - former site of the Edwards – Andrews House - Built 1932
The former Post Office building was built on the site of the Rev. Edwards – M. C. Andrews House. The last occupant was Frederick A. Andrews the son of M. Christopher Andrews. Frederick A. married Ella Olive Stocking in 1882 and shared the house with his parents for 17 years. His mother Martha Andrews died Jan. 18, 1901 and his father M. C. on May 3, 1907 at age 91. Frederick also lost his wife Ella three months later on Aug. 17, 1907. Frederick continued to reside in the house but rented a portion of the home to other residents. In 1911 the Andover Historical Society was established and rooms were later rented from Andrews to house donated Andover artifacts and hold monthly meetings. The Society remained at this location for several years. Frederick Andrews sold the property on April 18, 1928 to William J. Burns, owner of the Burns Clothing Store at 13 Main Street and several other real estate properties in town. Mr. Andrews then moved back to Lawrence, where he was born, and died on October 23, 1932. The Andrews family is interred at South Cemetery.
William J. Burns sold the property for $20,000 to the United States Government on March 26, 1931 for the site of a new post office building. Government bids were opened on November 20, 1931 and the building cost was $95,000, total project cost $115,000.
December 17, 1931 AT - Work started on Thursday on the demolition dwelling that now stands on the site of the new Andover Post Office. The building is being stripped and will be razed in preparation of foundation for the new government building on Main Street. The construction engineer was Paul E. Waltz and the general contractors Stephen Durso & Sons of Lawrence. The Post Office was dedicated on October 15, 1932 and opened for service on Monday October 24th. It remained at this central business location until January 1989 when it relocated to Stevens Street. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The exterior facade remains as built except for a few minor changes to the decorative white marble banding at the top of the front of the building. The roof was of slate. The building is 64 feet wide and 75 feet deep with a height of 36 feet. The foundation is built of Quincy granite. When opened the interior layout included an oak wood and glass vestibule entrance with doors on both sides leading to the main lobby which ran the entire width of the front of the building and was 14 feet deep. The floor was white and green marble with matching wainscoting to the height of the counter windows. Grill-work extended to the ceiling. Two large walnut glass top desks were placed in front of the windows for patrons. The service counter included windows for general delivery, stamp and parcel post and a special section for money orders and registered mail. A large number of lock boxes were located on the left as one entered and on the north end of the lobby was the postmaster office. In the basement were three large offices of which one was used by the civil service for examinations and registering for draft cards when boys turned eighteen.
When the post office moved to the present site, this building remained vacant for about four years before being purchased by Nicholas Aznoian on December 22, 1992. In 1993 renovations began on the interior with the exterior façade being preserved. The new tenant was the First Essex Bank of Lawrence, who announced plans to locate a branch office here in January 26, 1994. The bank was later acquired by the Sovereign Bank.
There have been several locations for the central post office in Andover since the formation of the postal service in 1789.
The first site was 70 Elm Street at the Abbot Tavern on January 1, 1795 with Isaac Abbot as our first Postmaster. The second was the home of Jonathan Swift at 25 Central Street. The third location is stated to have been at the corner of Main Street and Chestnut Street. An article in the Andover Advertiser Sat. July 24, 1858 – “Recollections of Old Andover as It Was Fifty Years Ago” - "The post office was kept in a one story building on the corner of Main and Chestnut streets, in what is now the beautiful yard of N. Swift, Esq. This building was also occupied for a year or two as a printing-office, by Galen Ware.” A Mr. Damon noted on the article margin “Eventually the building was moved to the rear of Swift-Clark-Newman house and used by S. Newman, cabinet-maker, as a shop.”
#13 Main Street became the fourth site as the property deeds at this location refer to this as the post office lot. The fifth location by the 1850’s was in the Federal Brick block owned by Henry Abbott at the corner of Main and Central Streets facing Elm Square. It remained here until moving to the sixth location in new Town House from 1859-1897. Seventh site was in the Musgrove building in 1897 - 1917. The space was larger and one could enter through the main entrance on Elm Square or in the rear side door on the lane that would become known as Post Office Avenue. The office moved an eighth time to 27 Essex Street, into the new McDonald Building from 1917-1932. This move however was not popular with many town residents. The steep grade of the street made it difficult to negotiate in bad weather for pedestrians and the building was built and owned by the McDonald family, of which John McDonald was the town postmaster.
The Postal Service finally built a building of their own at 71 Main Street during the Depression now its ninth location 1932-1989. By the mid 1980s, as the volume of mail increased, the Main Street building could no longer handle the current postal needs. A plan to consolidate the Andover’s office with the Lawrence station was presented to the community. The residents rallied to “Save Our Post Office!” and a new site was found on Stevens Street which opened in January 1989. A branch station was re-opened in the old Town House in August 26, 1990, a return to the same location that the post office had occupied in 1859. It was dedicated on February 2, 1991.
Two other sub-stations were located in Ballardvale which continues today, and in 1923 in Shawsheen Village.
Andover Postmasters appointed;
Isaac Abbott - Jan. 1, 1795 - 1822; Nathaniel Swift - April 1, 1822 – 1825; James Stevens, III - April 9, 1825 - 1827; Nathaniel Swift - May 2, 1827 - 1840; Joseph T. Abbott - Dec. 31, 1840 – 1841; William Pierce - May 18, 1841 - 1843; Samuel Phillips - Aug. 24, 1843 – 1849; Amos Abbott - May 14, 1849 – 1853; Edward S. Merrill - Apr. 30, 1853 – 1853; Hobart Clark - Nov. 7, 1853 – 1861; Samuel Raymond - July 16, 1861 – 1869; William Marland - May 11, 1869 – 1886; William G. Goldsmith - Feb. 10, 1886 – 1890; Abraham Marland - Feb. 14, 1890 - 1893; William G. Goldsmith - May 23, 1893 – 1898; Arthur Bliss - Jan. 10, 1898 – 1914; John H. McDonald - Apr. 6, 1914 – 1923; John C. Angus - Feb. 8, 1923 - 1931; Frederick E. Cheever* - 1931 – 1934; John H. McDonald - Jan. 30, 1934 – 1945; Stephen A. Boland - Apr. 25, 1945 - 1963; Francis J. Mooney - June 19, 1963 – 1974; Louis F. Scwenke - Apr. 13, 1974 - 1979; Edward Morrissey - Apr. 7, 1979 – 1984; Antonio Mendonza - May 12, 1984 - 1993; George Selfridge Jr. - Jan. 9, 1993 – 1996; Barry P. Begley - Oct. 26, 1996 - ?; Michael A. Sullivan
Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem, MA
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA
Andover Historical Society files
Lawrence Telegram; October 17, 1932; October 15, 1931
Andover Townsman; October 14, 1932
Massachusetts Historical Commission; letter of 25 March 1992
National Register Criteria Statement:
The Massachusetts Historical commission, in a letter dated 25 March 1992, states that this Georgian Revival building constructed in 1931 meets National Register criteria A and C at the local level.
(Major Abbot Walker - b. 1770 d. Aug. 2, 1831 age 61)
Davis Foster - 1801
Abbot Walker - Apr. 18, 1801 - b. 167 leaf 244 - $600 three parcels w/blds
Abbot Walker, wife Lydia - May 3, 1814 - b. 209 leaf 9
Thomas C. Foster - Feb. 4, 1816 - b. 209 leaf 9 & 10
Elijah L. Herrick - Apr. 5, 1816 rec. Oct. 30, 1817 - b. 209 leaf 290
Rev. Justin Edwards, Apr. 11, 1816 - rec. Aug. 11, 1820 - b. 224 leaf 93 - $2000
Rev. Justin Edwards - d. July 23, 1853 age 66
Lydia B. Edwards - d. Feb. 4, 1868 age 78
Edwards heirs - Dec. 9, 1868 - b. 3 p. 288-291- probate petition
Elizabeth & Lydia Edwards - Feb. 14, 1870 - b. 3 p. 288
Rev. Jonathan Edwards - April 27 1872 - b. 14 p. 125
George F. Swift - April 27 1872 - b. 14 p. 127
Menzies Christopher Andrews - May 19, 1873 - b. 21 p. 425 d. May 3, 1907
Ellen M. Minor & Frederick A. Andrews - Sept. 12, 1907 - b. 629 p. 21 probate will
William J. Burns - April 18, 1928 - b. 539 p. 141
U. S. Government Postal Service - March 26, 1931 - b. 557 p. 162
71 Main Street Realty Trust, Nicholas Aznoian - Dec. 22, 1992 - b. 3628 p. 351
|Historic District||Individual National Register Listing|
|Historic Name||U. S. Post Office - Andover Main Branch|
|Present Use||First Essex Bank (1995)|
|Original Use||Post Office|
|Construction Date||1931 (dedicated Oct. 1932)|
|Architectural Style||Georgian Revival|
|Architect/Builder||James A. Wetmore (supervising Architect)r)|
|Wall/Trim||brick and stone|
|Roof||slate & asphalt|
|Outbuildings / Secondary Structures||none|
|Major Alterations||1995 renovated into a Bank|
|Demolition Details||Edwars-Andrews House 1931|
|Acreage||less than one acre; Lot size: 19,950 sq. ft.; Approx. frontage: 118'|
|Setting||commercial business district|
|Map and parcel||55-129|
|Recorded by||Stack/Mofford/Herman (cwo), J. Batchelder|
|Organization||Andover Preservation Commission|
|Date entered||1976 - 1977, 1992, 4/2014|