This Is Framingham

This Is Framingham
Life in the ‘ham

Hindenburg Over Framingham

April 19th, 2010

I was away for a week so I hope to get some more frequent posting on here this week.   I thought this was neat find.  My friend found this photo in her dad’s collection dated 1936 of the Hindenburg flying over Framingham, near the school that is now the Danforth Museum.
 

A look back

April 5th, 2010

There is an office building next door to our house that I don’t usually think much of.  It’s big and has a parking lot all around it.  For the most part it’s ugly, but harmless, on occasion the people coming out of the parking lot take a left instead of a right and go down our one-way street in the wrong direction (which is dangerous considering it’s only one of two streets for ambulances to use that are leaving the hospital) but that’s another post.  There are two entrances: the front, facing Myrtle St. and the back, facing Thurber (and Marian High School). 
I walk by the back of this building all the time and just assumed it had always been a place just to store the trash cans and for the tenant that lives above the offices to park.

I didn’t know if this building was built as an office or what but one day a very nice reader whose grandparents lived in this building wrote to me and sent me a photo of her grandmother standing outside and I was amazed by how different it looked.  It has a much more pleasant appearance as a home before converting it into a big white block of office space surrounded by a moat of pavement.

It made me realise what a crime renovation can be.  I would love to live next door the building in the second photo. 
I know people buy properties and have to make them rentable and they can do whatever they want, but I’m so curious as to what a lot of places downtown would look like if they hadn’t fallen victim to vinyl siding and the landlords cared a little more about maintaining the character of a building.
Thank you Judith for the photo!

*I’m noticing from the comments that I might offend people by my mention of vinyl siding.  but I just wanted to point out that it’s common when the siding is installed over wood, that decorative woodwork is often just sawed right off.  And I agree vinyl siding has come a long way but unfortunately, sometimes the end results take away from the building’s original style.  So it’s more than just the siding itself, but the ornamental details used in older architecture that end up getting destroyed because of that process. These are just a couple pictures I took on my walk this morning:

These buildings are across the street from my house:

I don’t know how, but from what the person who sent me this photo, the building in the background of this photo is one of the two buildings above:

Stirring up…

February 5th, 2010


Any title I had for this post was going to be tacky so I didn’t even bother finishing it.
As part of my job at the History Center I get to look through lots of boxes with all sorts of artifacts in them.  I recently came across a box that had a bunch of old cocktail stirrers from old restaurants.  I got a kick out them and thought some of you might too. 

From left to right is Ken’s Steakhouse, Finnerty’s (Wayland), Maridor, Timothy’s Too, Framingham Motor Inn, Framingham Liquors and the Knaughty Knights Lounge- whatever that was.   It must have been where Molly Mallone’s is now at the Sheraton Tara.  Not sure if it was a regular restaurant or more of a “gentlemens” bar but anyone remembers that place, I’d love to hear what it was like.

History Roundtable Discussion: Shoppers World

December 2nd, 2009


It’s finally here!  My work, the Framingham History Center, is holding their monthly History Roundtable discussion and this month we’re discussing the sorely missed original Shoppers World.

Saturday, December 5
Time: 10:00 a.m.
Location: Edgell Memorial Library (3 Oak St.)

Tell you own stories or listen to others and check out the display of photos and artifacts, including the old route 30 sign which was “fun” for my gracious volunteer crew to move into the display area:

We’ll be serving “Jordan Marsh” blueberry muffins provided by the culinary students at Keefe Tech and Panache coffee will graciously be supplying the joe.  So before you go to battle route 9 to do holiday shopping at the current stupid “Shoppers World”, stop by and remember the original!

The Awesome Artwork of Brandon Schaefer

November 20th, 2009


A thoughtful reader wrote to me about an artist she follows Flickr who created some designs based on our sorely missed Shoppers World.
Brandon Schaefer makes insanely creative images that are mostly retro-inspired re-designs of movie posters, book covers and miscellaneous subjects, like Shoppers World and made these fantastic designs:


Of course I had to write to Brandon and ask him how he got to making these, what inspires him when designing images and what his background is.   Being the nice guy that he is, he answered all my questions and told me about his work.  Brandon is a 25 year freelance graphic designer who has been designing since high school.  While various subjects inspire him, he has an appreciation for American Modernism during the 40’s and 50’s which clearly comes through in his style.  He has a special place in a his heart (like most of us do) for the old Shoppers World, which I think is great for someone so young.  If you like what you see, you can buy it by clicking here. And if you like these, be sure to check out the rest of his work at http://www.seekandspeak.com, it’s just fantastic stuff- enjoy!

Shopper’s World event

October 18th, 2009


Last month I started my awesome new job at the Framingham History Center and we recently began a monthly event called “History Roundtable Discussion”.  I suggested having one about the old Shopper’s World and my boss was very supportive of the idea.  So now I’m looking for any old photos and artifacts to display (I love my job!).

We’d love it if people would loan or donate anything for this event, a few people have already submitted some great old photos and items but there’s always room for more.  We’ll also be showing the old neon sign that was on route 30 and serving Jordan Marsh blueberry muffins!  The event will be December 5th so I’ll be posting again as we get closer, but if anyone wants to contribute you can email me at: michelle@framinghamhistory.org

He’s still alive!

August 14th, 2009

A while back someone gave me some video footage of a ride down route 9 which featured a blurry shot of Mister Donut.
 I haven’t seen or heard from Mister Donut since I last saw him in Framingham but a few days ago I was in in New York and came across thiscup left in a potted plant:

Who knew he was still around.  Nice to see he’s kept the hat and bowtie too!  I know this post isn’t exactly Framingham based but I thought any other former fans of Mister Donut might be interested to know he’s alive and living in Manhattan now.

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