This is an update of a post that ran earlier.
This is an update of a post that ran earlier.
One of the great pleasures of summer in Wellesley is the Wellesley College Davis Museum‘s family-friendly Outdoor Summer Film series. Picture you and your family, outside on the Davis Plaza on a warm summer evening in a relaxed atmosphere where nobody raises and eyebrow if the little ones get antsy. Sounds like summer heaven to me. Included in the festivities will be art activities, tours of the galleries, and extended museum hours. There’s free popcorn for the kids, and free beer for parents, so there’s just no way you can go wrong here.
Thursday, July 13, Song of the Sea — Ben, a young Irish boy, and his little sister Saoirse, a girl who can turn into a seal, go on an adventure to free the fairies and save the spirit world.
Driving on Brook Street in Wellesley recently, I was surprised to see a major project taking place at the 47-acre, Woodlawn Cemetery, privately owned by the Woodland Cemetery Board of Trustees. The usual cemetery stillness was being shattered by earth-moving equipment, and a once-thick buffer zone of trees and vegetation between the grounds and Brook Street was looking mighty thin, indeed. I stopped by and found Thomas Doherty, Superintendent of the cemetery, and Sam Sicchio, construction manager, and they told me that the reason for these major topographical changes is simple: the cemetery is running out of space to lay people to rest and is therefore adding approximately 2,500 new grave sites.
According to Phillip Rolph, Clerk & Director of Woodlawn Cemetery, at a Wellesley Zoning Board of Appeals meeting earlier this year, by making use of the outfit’s 5,000 square feet along the north side of Brook Street, the cemetery will be able to continue to serve its purpose for 25 – 30 more years, given that it inters about 80 people per year.
The project, which went before the Zoning Board of Appeals in early 2017 and was approved, involves preparation for additional grave sites through clearing existing wooded areas followed by filling, and regrading at those locations. Paved drives will be installed for access to these new grave sites. To get a visual perspective, the cemetery as a whole is bounded by Brook Street to the south, Fuller Brook to the east, the residential properties of Swarthmore Road to the north, and the residential properties of Radcliffe Road and Hobart Road to the west.
According to Attorney David Himmelberger, who represented the Proprietors of Woodlawn Cemetery and went before the Zoning Board of Appeals in January with a request for Site Plan Approval, the project was being pursued because the cemetery was running out of grave sites, with an inventory that would probably last less than a year.
The cemetery project is not considered an expansion because there has been no purchase of additional land by Woodlawn’s Board of Trustees. The scope of the changes is considered that of doing internal improvements on land already owned. According to Town property records, the last time the cemetery acquired land was 1967, when it obtained eight acres. The project will be contained to the 5,000 square feet, and there will be no change or enlargement to the maintenance area, and no lighting.
Big concerns for neighbors and the Town have been stormwater management. The nearby Fuller Brook is considered a riverfront area, and surrounding areas are considered wetland resource areas. According Jim White, Civil Engineer at H.M. Moore, the firm contracted to conduct the stormwater run-off analysis and other environmental impacts, the project will not alter any areas or disturb any land within the 100-foot wetland buffer zone or the 200-foot riverfront buffer zone, as required to be in compliance with Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Stormwater Management Standards. Moore said that the project will include a water quality basin in the southerly portion of the site and a water quality swale along the eastern side, and that almost all the water flows east toward Fuller Brook, which is over 200 feet from the project.
Neighbors are also concerned about the loss of trees and vegetation, the overriding concern being the dramatic change in the visuals. One neighbor said that the cemetery operations were already fairly intolerable because of the perpetual care that goes on. Another neighbor commented that because of the need for access to the new grave sites, a road will be literally be added to her backyard.
Neighbors’ requests that new trees be planted as soon as possible were on one hand addressed, but no guarantees on a timeframe were offered. To a large extent, the neighbors are just going to have to wait for the kind of mature trees that grace the rest of the property because of the way things work with cemeteries. First the graves in an area get filled up. Then the trees get planted. It can’t be done the other way around because the interring process would jeopardize a tree’s root system if the trees go in before the deceased.
In an effort to maintain good neighborly relations, however, Woodlawn agreed to install and maintain a vegetative buffer zone between the cemetery and four Swarthmore Road abutters, and to consult with the Wellesley Natural Resources Commission to determine what would be most appropriate for this purpose.
It’s with surprise and dismay that we find we must say goodbye to Lyn Evans, that Wellesley landmark that has kept fashion-forward women clad in contemporary clothing and accessories for the past 30 years at its 8 Church St. location. Business owner Stan Shotkus cites in a letter (see its entirety below) the challenges of carrying on the family-owned business after the sudden death last year of his wife Linda, and thanks the community for its decades-long support. The six Lyn Evans locations, all in New England, are expected to close within the next several weeks. The company’s support of local charities will be sorely missed, especially by the Wellesley Service League at its annual May fashion show.
There will be a blow-out of a sale, of course, and it starts Wednesday, June 28, 9am – 6pm. Better shop early if you want to scoop up all the best stuff.
Lyn Evans’ upcoming closure is one of a few recent changes in the business landscape in town. In Church Square, Blue Ginger closed its doors earlier this month, and the rumor is that steakhouse Smith & Wollensky might take over that space, though we’ve not been able to confirm this. Meanwhile, across the street at one of the long-empty storefronts at the Bel Clare, Agnes Vision is moving in as a relocation from its base of operations within DePrisco Jewelers in Wellesley Square. Adjacent to Bel Clare, Second Time Around has closed its doors, causing a fuss among some consigners who learned that they might not get paid for their gently-worn designer duds sold through the chain, according to Boston Globe reports.
Over at Linden Square, things look like they could be getting juicy. Pressed Juicery, a Santa Monica-based seller of cold-pressed juices ranging from those steeped in roots and fruits to citrus and greens, has gone before a Wellesley board to get permission for signs for a shop in Linden Square that appears to be in the space occupied by Pinkberry since the summer of 2011 (Pinkberry is still very much open for business).
Meanwhile, in Wellesley Hills, CrepeBerry, a new Wellesley eatery that owner Amelia Childs says specializes in “accessibly vegetarian” fare, has opened in the space at 325 Washington St. that Dorset Cafe previously occupied for 10 years. You can see our review of CrepeBerry here.
In Wellesley Square, last month Jarbo, a “lifestyle clothing collection with European designer sensibility,” according to the company’s website, brought its edgy and modern sophisticated fashions to Wellesley in the former Optical Designs location at 72 Central St. (Optical Designs is still in town, located just a couple doors down at 68 Central St.). Also, Ella Pava Footwear took over the Wellesley Square space at 85 Central St. occupied by Salon Danilo since 2013.
Here in Wellesley, the retail landscape shifts almost as capriciously as the sands of Cape Cod, where so many Wellesley families are right now. They’ll barely recognize the place when, sun-kissed and feeling the benefits of all that salt air, they wander back into town, gaping like tourists at the changes their absence has wrought.
Here’s the Lyn Evans letter: