A tale as old as time, the house located at 186 Summer Ave has been listed for sale. Depending on where your research leads you, this property has had a long unsettled history dating back well over 10 years. It survived a demolition permit being pulled in 2014 for the main and carriage houses which were going to become home to the new Criterion Early Intervention Program facility. The neighbors even raised $1,905 in a GoFundMe to “save the iconic historic home located at 186 Summer Avenue from demolition, as well as to preserve the character of the beautiful residential neighborhood where it has stood since 1853.”
Following the successful demolition delay, numerous meetings between Community Planning & Development Commission (CPDC) and Historic Districts Commission followed resulting in a 2016 site plan decision located here. Since that decision though, the Dover Amendment was invoked for the property. The Dover Amendment is a Massachusetts law that limits a municipality’s ability to restrict the use of land or structures for religious or educational purposes. Numerous legal challenges, promises, upkeep/maintenance and executive sessions followed and then Covid hit, which threw another curveball into this historical property. Only one thing survived through it all though, the chain-link fence surrounding the property that residents and Parker Middle School students would see on a daily basis.
That brings us to today, the house is now listed as a private sale for $1,200,000 and the property currently lies within the new MBTA communities region near the Haverhill line depot. Listed on the flyer is as follows:
This historic Victorian single-family home located within the town of Reading’s historic district sits on three parcels that make up the subject’s site. The dwelling features 12 rooms, 3,670 square feet of living area, a full stone basement, wrap around porch, two enclosed porches, three fireplaces and a detached carriage house. The site area is 49,864 square feet. This property has the potential to be a historic New England gem.
Style: Victorian, Year Built: 1848, Zoning: S15, Total Rooms: 12 Bedrooms: 8 Baths: 2.5 Basement: Full Fireplaces: 3 Deck/Porch: Lg & Sm porch Other: Detached Carriage House
Lot Size: 49,864 sq.ft. Stories: 2.75 Total Area: 7,609 sq ft Gross Living Area: 3,670 sq.ft.
Roof: Gable Heat Type: Forced Hot Water Fuel Type: Natural Gas Exterior: Wood Siding/Shingles.
Will this be the start of the next chapter for 186 Summer Ave or just a footnote years from now? One things for sure though, the chain-link fence surrounding the property will still be there tomorrow but perhaps it will have a different owner. Everyone in Reading would like nothing more than to see this historical building restored to it’s 1800’s look. We’ll be sure to update you if anything develops.