WORCESTER – The proposed demolition of a multi-family home in Worcester’s Crown Hill historic district will be reviewed by the city’s Historical Commission on Dec. 1.
The property at 114 Austin St. was constructed in 1863. Today, the building is vacant and marked unsafe with a red and white “X” near its entrance on Austin Street.
The property owners – Austin Lending Trust – are petitioning the historical commission for approval to tear the house down and construct a new building.
The house, known as the Rufus H. Chase house, is listed on the Massachusetts Cultural Resource Information System (MACRIS) and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
According to the state records, Chase bought the lot at 114 Austin St. for $2,000 in 1862 from Josiah P. Houghton, who lived next door at 8 Quincy St. The home was built in 1863 and Chase lived there with his wife, Adeline, and two daughters. Chase, originally from Hubbardston, worked in Worcester as a painter.
According to MACRIS, “(Chase) was a widow by 1880, living with his two daughters, Abbie, age 25 years, and Della, age 23. In that year, there was a second household living in the house. Cabinetmaker Benjamin C. Moore and his family rented a dwelling in the house in 1890.”
The property was deeded to Chase’s daughters in 1890. It’s believed Chase died that year. In 1905, the daughters sold the home to pool table manufacturer Warren Alexander.
A barn was built on the property around 1876 and the building still stands near the rear of the home.
The building’s artichectural design is described by MACRIS as: “The Rufus H. & Adeline E. Chase House is a distinctive example of the persistence of the Greek Revival style in the design of better mid-19th-century domestic architecture in the Crown Hill neighborhood. With the exception of window sash, this house retains its original exterior materials and decorative features.”
For more information on the Chase house and the Crown Hill historic district, click here. (To download the property’s full history, click the icon next to “Inventory.”)