Gustare to leave gap in one part of Wellesley Square, to fill another


A big “For Lease” sign hanging over The Gap in Wellesley Square has Swellesley Report readers wondering if the clothing retailer is on its way out. But according to property owner Linear Retail’s website, the available space within its Central Plaza portfolio is actually that of Gustare Oils & Vinegars, which sits between Alta Strada and Citibank.

Gustare, which expanded beyond Cape Code into Wellesley more than 2 years ago, is looking to relocate to another spot on Central Street after its current lease expires at the start of 2015.

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Wellesley Historic District Commission seeks new member

From the Wellesley Historic District Commission:

The Board of Selectmen is seeking one candidate for a vacant position as a member on the Historic District Commission. The candidate must be a Wellesley resident. Preferred candidates shall be a member of the Wellesley Historical Society, American Institute of Architects, Board of Realtors, or a resident or property owner in the Historic District. The Board of Selectmen may appoint any Wellesley resident who expresses interest in volunteering should a candidate with these membership qualifications be unavailable. Regular members shall serve for a term of three years.

The Historic District Commission reviews alterations to buildings and structures within a historic district. Wellesley has a historic district in the vicinity of Cottage and Abbott Streets as well as four single building historic districts located at 377 Weston Road, 38 Lowell Road, 26 Elmwood Road, and 126 Woodlawn Avenue. Meetings are held on Tuesday evenings when an application has been received. During these meetings, the Commission reviews applications for alterations to buildings and structures within the historic districts.

Persons interested in this position should submit a written statement of their interest and a resume to the Board of Selectmen, Town Hall, Wellesley, MA 02482 at their earliest convenience. For further information, please call the Planning Board Office 781-431-1019 ext. 2230.

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Screening of Girl Rising at Dana Hall

Girl Rising is a film created by the social action organization, 10 x 10 and is part of a global campaign for girls’ education. The film tells the story of 6 young girls around the world who have overcome adversity in their quest for education.

The event is free, however the school asks that you consider giving a $5 donation for the Girl Rising Fund.

Saturday, April 26 7:30 p.m.
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Seriously old Wellesley money

wellesley bank note

I recently stumbled across this picture of  a 1929 Wellesley National Bank note on eBay, where someone is trying to sell it for a lot more than the $5 on the note itself (it was at $225 as of this writing).

I’m no financial or history whiz, and first emailed Wellesley Bank to see if they had any background on this sort of bank note, which Wikipedia says were issued by national banks chartered by the U.S. government.  I never heard back from Wellesley Bank, though realized right after I messaged them that the note actually says Wellesley National Bank and perhaps wasn’t from what we now know as Wellesley Bank.

Indeed,  local historian Josh Dorin confirmed that those are separate banks: “The Wellesley National Bank (the first official bank in Wellesley) opened in 1904 in the newly constructed Taylor Block on the south side of Washington Street in Wellesley Square. Charles N. Taylor was its first president and constructed that building specifically to house the bank (with apartments and offices above). The bank moved around Wellesley Square over the years and merged with South Shore National Bank in 1966 (and took on the South Shore name)…. Wellesley Bank was until recently the Wellesley Cooperative Bank. It was founded in 1910 (and opened the following year) and was also located in the main part of Wellesley Square.”


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Revving up for Wellesley’s car shows

babson olin auto showBabson College’s Auto Group and Olin College’s REVO group co-host their Spring 2014 Auto Show this coming Sunday, April 27, from noon-3pm at Babson’s Trim parking lot. It’s free to show off your wheels, though donations are welcomed.

In addition to traditional show cars (exotics, muscle cars, tuner cars, etc.) a portion of the show will be dedicated to electric vehicles.

Also around the corner is the 2nd annual Wheels of Wellesley show to be held at the Wellesley Community Center during Wellesley’s Wonderful weekend on May 17. The show runs from 10am-2pm that day.

Finally, on June 22, the annual Elm Bank Estate car show will take place from 9:30am-33opm.


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Earth Day clean-up along Charles River in Wellesley: April 26

Wellesley earth day trashThe Wellesley Natural Resources Commission will hold its 14th Annual Earth Day Clean-Up along the Charles River on Saturday, April 26th from 10 AM – 12 PM and volunteers of all ages are asked to come help keep Wellesley clean and green. Meet in the Town parking lot at the intersection of Rt. 16 (Washington Street) and River Street near the Newton line.Free Earth Day T-shirts and refreshments will be provided to all volunteers. Volunteers should wear appropriate clothing and shoes and bring a reusable water bottle. For more information please contact Janet Hartke Bowser, NRC Director at 781-431-1019 ext. 2294 or by email at [email protected].

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A student’s take on Wellesley High teacher’s “You Are Not Special” book

Wellesley High School English teacher David McCullough, Jr.’s You Are Not Special… and Other Encouragements book launches today, April 22. Wellesley High senior Chris Ulian, who hasn’t had McCullough as a teacher but is well aware of his good reputation as an instructor, kindly volunteered to review it for us:

mccullough bookTo a cynic, David McCullough, Jr.’s new book might look like little more than an unashamed bid to make money off of whatever fluke of the Internet brought his WHS graduation speech to international attention two years ago. Of course he was going to write a book after that — just like the band behind ‘What Does the Fox Say?’ is writing a book, Mr. McCullough wrote a book.

But to open You Are Not Special…and Other Encouragements is to enter a deeply intellectual and thought-out analysis of the forces that shape modern teenage life, both at home and in the classroom. Writing informally, with commas and paragraph-long sentences galore (as well as extensive use of words like “galore”), McCullough delves into everything from athletics, college admissions, and parent-teenager relations to race, grades, and economic status. Throughout, he focuses on the problem of “conspicuous achievement,” a term he uses to refer to resume-oriented “achievement” — the proverbial service trip to Ecuador, the token membership in Key Club.

While McCullough’s tone of dire urgency can seem slightly unnecessary (at times there’s a sense that he might just be nostalgic for a “simpler age”), his ideas are well-supported by anecdotes, near-constant references to works from the high school literary canon (Hamlet, The Great Gatsby, Walden), and the unmistakable authority lent by nearly 30 years of teaching. Unsurprisingly, the book is strongest when McCullough focuses on teachers and classroom dynamics. In all, You Are Not Special is a wide-ranging commentary on the way children grow up today. It is a work that ought to hold special relevance in the Wellesley community — here we have unadulterated input from a man who knows our schools and kids better than almost anyone else. Even if you didn’t agree with McCullough’s speech, this is essential reading.

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    Upcoming Wellesley Fundraisers