Sold in Belmont: Condo on Former One-Family Site Sells for Nearly 7 Figures

Here is the weekly recap of residential properties bought in the “Town of Homes.”

37 Statler Rd. Center-entrance Colonial (1938), Sold for: $710,000. Listed at $599,900. Living area: 1,340 sq.-ft. 6 rooms; 3 bedrooms, 1.5 baths. On the market: 47 days.

44 Marlboro St. Condominium, Sold for: $406,000. Listed at $389,000. Living area: 1,288 sq.-ft. 6 rooms; 3 bedrooms, 1 bath. On the market: 47 days.

109 Waverley St. Condominium new construction (2013), Sold for: $943,000. Listed at $939,000. Living area: 2,650 sq.-ft. 8 rooms; 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths. On the market: 84 days.

519 Belmont St. Multi-family structure (1923), Sold for: $799,000. Listed at $815,000. Living area: 3,125 sq.-ft. 14 rooms; 6 bedrooms, 3 baths. On the market: 99 days.

105 Longmeadow Rd. Two-story modified Colonial (1959), Sold for: $1,150,000. Listed at $1,195,000. Living area: 3,773 sq.-ft. 9 rooms; 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths. On the market: 69 days.

14 Hough Rd. Split-level ranch (1954), Sold for: $899,000. Listed at $899,900. Living area: 1,945 sq.-ft. 10 rooms; 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths. On the market: 111 days.

Belmont High Baseball Makes Playoffs Behind Shea’s Arm, Bat

Belmont High School Baseball’s Brendan Shea is best known for this pitching – he is heading to UMass-Lowell to join Head Coach Ken Harring’s River Hawks – but on Tuesday, May 20, the southpaw showed he can wield a bat in a game against Salem (NH) High School.

The senior sent a 0-1 pitch over the fence for a three-run home run to put Belmont High into the Division 2 North Sectional playoffs with a 7-4 victory over the visiting Blue Devils at Brendan Grant Field.

Shea once again showed his prowess on the mound as he struck out 10 batters and gave up one bloop hit over five innings while giving up four unearned runs. Kevin Arria relieved Shea with two scoreless innings to earn the save and end a three-game losing streak where Belmont left 34 players on base over that stretch. 

Making the post-season for the 12th season in a row turned out to be tougher than Belmont Head Coach Jim Brown had anticipated.

“Finally. It was a battle making [the playoffs] this time,” said Brown. “We finally got timely hitting today.”

The big blow came in the bottom of the fifth when Shea cranked the dinger out of the park bringing in outfielder Matt Rocha (hit by a pitch) and shortstop Cole Bartels (double) to give Belmont a 5-4 lead.

Belmont played small ball in the first when Rocha reached first on a single, stole second and came in on freshman catcher Cal Christofori’s single. 

Belmont will next play on Friday, May 22, at 4 p.m. at Grant Field against Reading High during the annual Brendan Grant Tournament.

What to Do Today: Warrant Briefing at the Beech, Chenery Concert, K-12 Art Show

• The Warrant Committee and the Belmont League of Women Voters Education Fund invites Town Meeting members and the public to a warrant briefing on financial and budgetary articles (both town and schools) prior to the reconvening of the annual Town Meeting on June 2. Town officials and department heads will be present to provide information at the meeting, starting at 7 p.m. at the Beech Street Center, 266 Beech St. Michael Libenson, chairman of the Warrant Committee, will lead the discussion.

 The 7th & 8th Grade Chorus and Orchestra Concert will take place at 7 p.m. in the Chenery Middle School’s auditorium.

• In its first combined kindergarten through 12th grade show, the annual Belmont Public Schools Art Show gets underway today at the Belmont Gallery of Art located on the third floor of the Homer Municipal Building in the Town Hall complex.

Infant Lapsit Storytime at the Belmont Public Library is for infants and pre-walkers. Come enjoy songs, finger plays and rhymes chosen especially for our littlest readers. The fun starts in the Flett Room at 10:30 a.m.

Fundraising Site Established for Victims of the Marlboro Street Fire

A Fundly account (that is an online fundraising site) has been established for the victims of the Marlboro Street fire who were left homeless and without belongings from the blaze that took place just after midnight, Wednesday, May 21.

“Please donate to help our neighbors get back on their feet,” reads the message on the web site.

According to a message on the web page which was created by Daniel Parmer:

“The 9 (sic) residents escaped without injury, with nothing but the clothes on their back and no insurance to help recover what was lost. We are reaching out to our neighbors and the Greater Boston community to request your generous contribution to this fund. Donations will be distributed solely and equally amongst the displaced tenants to help them purchase essentials, find a new place to live, and begin to restore their lives.”

“We are the Belmont Corner Neighborhood Association and we believe it is our responsibility to help the members of our community. Please join us in supporting our neighbors.”

What to Do Today: Early Release Wednesday, Discuss ‘Blindness’, Historical Society Meeting

• It’s an Early Release Wednesday for all of Belmont’s six schools. 10:30 a.m. for High School, 11 a.m. for Chenery Middle School and 11:40 a.m. for the elementary schools with the exception of the Winn Brook which releases at 10 minutes until noon.

• The Belmont Book Discussion Group will discuss “Blindness” by Jose Saramago at its meeting at 3 p.m. in the Belmont Public Library’s Flett Room. Everyone is welcome to attend. Copies of the book can be requested through the library catalog or call the library Reference staff at 617-993-2870.

• The Belmont Historical Society is holding its monthly meeting from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Claflin Room at the Belmont Public Library.

• Belmont’s financial “watchdog”, the Warrant Committee, will be discussing the Capital Budget Committee’s budget (those long-range “big” ticket items) as well as the proposed new Minuteman Career and Technical High School regional agreement with the town and proposed changes to the town’s bylaws in response to a citizens petitioned moratorium on the demolition of single-family homes which would be replaced with two-family homes within the General Residence Zoning Districts at its 7:30 p.m. meeting at the Chenery Middle School. 

• On this day in 1927,  Charles Lindbergh landed the Spirit of St. Louis near Paris, completing the first solo airplane flight across the Atlantic Ocean. Here is the New York Times report:

Paris, May 21 — Lindbergh did it. Twenty minutes after 10 o’clock tonight suddenly and softly there slipped out of the darkness a gray-white airplane as 25,000 pairs of eyes strained toward it. At 10:24 the Spirit of St. Louis landed and lines of soldiers, ranks of policemen and stout steel fences went down before a mad rush as irresistible as the tides of ocean.

“Well, I made it,” smiled Lindbergh, as the little white monoplane came to a halt in the middle of the field and the first vanguard reached the plane. Lindbergh made a move to jump out. Twenty hands reached for him and lifted him out as if he were a baby. Several thousands in a minute were around the plane. Thousands more broke the barriers of iron, rails round the field, cheering wildly.

Marlboro Street Triple-Decker Destroyed in Three-Alarm Blaze

A three-alarm fire that began just after midnight in a triple-decker at 58 Marlboro St. destroyed the century-old structure leaving the owner and two sets of tenants homeless, according to Belmont Fire Chief David Frizzell.

The nine residents of the building escaped the blaze uninjured.

The cause of the fire is unknown at this time and is under investigation, said Frizzell.

A 911 call came into BFD headquarters at 12:30 a.m., Wednesday, May 21, for a fire at the address near the Cambridge town line and Belmont Cemetery, Frizzell told the Belmontonian at the scene.

The blaze quickly turned into a inferno in the rear of the 3,850 square-foot building built in 1900 with heat so hot it melted the vinyl-siding of the house with the adjoining backyard and started fires in the adjacent structures.

At the height of the incident, seven engines and three ladder trucks fought the fire that was finally under control at 2:45 a.m.

“And we are still chasing hot spots now,” said Frizzell at 5:45 a.m.

The structure, in which the rear section has essentially burned away, “is a complete loss. There’s nothing that can be salvaged,” he noted.

Mutual aid in the form of fire apparatus from Cambridge and Watertown helped fight the blaze while Newton, Winchester and Somerville fire departments covered Belmont during the fire.

In addition, five private vehicles were destroyed in the flames.

“This was a pretty big fire,” said Frizzell who was still at the site this morning.

Membership to the Historic Underwood Pool’s Final Season Now on Sale

It opened only months after both the sinking of the Titanic and the very first opening day at Fenway Park. It survived wars, polio epidemics and years of underfunding.

But finally, Belmont’s 102-year-old Underwood Pool, which some believe is the oldest outdoor municipal pool in the US, is preparing for its final season after voters and Town Meeting approved funding to build a new $5.2 million pool complex on the site to open in June 2015.

This summer will be residents last chance to experience the Underwood Pool of years past with summer memberships for residents and non-residents, children, adults and families now on sale at the Recreation Department’s website

The season lasts from June 21 to Sept. 1.

Memberships for residents are $100 for children, $140 for adults and $225 for families.

A membership allows swimming at both Underwood and the Higginbottom pool which is located in the Wenner Field House at Belmont High School. 

The Underwood Pool will open Saturday,  June 21.  The annual ‘summer Blast Off’ at the pool is scheduled for Sunday, June 22 with swimming lessons begin Tuesday, June 24.

‘Top Chef’ Makes Reservation in Belmont Center

Belmont Center is packed full of lights, cameras and … chefs as the popular Bravo reality cooking show, Top Chef, is filming an episode of its Season 12 at Belmont’s standout restaurant il Casale on Leonard Street today, Tuesday, May 20.

Current Productions, the production company for Bravo, has taken over Leonard Street from Rancatore’s Ice Cream to the Bank of America branch office, narrowing the roadway with trucks and other vehicles as Belmont Police officers directed traffic. The production crew also required Belmont Light to take down the “Belmont Town Day” banner to the displeasure of the Light crew who had spent yesterday repairing it.

Across the street a growing number of fans of the show sat on benches or stood by to see the busy work taking place.

“We love Top Chef!” said Dawn Perry of Gilbert Road who watched the “action” with some of the show’s local groupies.

Periodically, groups of young, hip-looking white-clad contestant cooks are led in and out of the restaurant as darkly-dressed servers along with il Casale’s chef Dante de Magistris – who owns the award-winning eatery with his brothers Damian and Filippo – were being instructed by a production crew member.

Around 11 a.m., the contestants boarded four SUVs and were taken to Belmont Town Hall where the production company rented out rooms for catering.

By 12:30 p.m., the talent showed up as show host Padma Lakshmi (who waved to fans), head judge Tom Colicchio – who had a great write up in this past Sunday New York Times on feeding the poor – and judge Gail Simmons were ushered into the restaurant.

Not that il Casale or Belmont is unfamiliar with the film-making process. Last year, Robert Downey Jr. and his production company filmed on Belmont Hill and a Dane Cook movie was shot in the Center. And il Casale recently hosted Starbuck’s CEO Howard Schultz, it is the favorite restaurant of former governor and presidential candidate Mitt Romney and one night the Boston Bruins caused a near riot among a slew of teenage girls when the team held their “break-up” dinner there.  

Top Chef is a competition show on since 2006, in which chefs compete against each other in culinary challenges. The contestants are judged by a panel of professional chefs and guest judges such as Anthony Bourdain and Wolfgang Puck with one or more contestants eliminated in each episode. 

It was announced last month that Boston was selected to be the host city for the new season which will broadcast in the fall.

Things to Do Today: Tear-Down Moratorium Meeting, Loving Relationships, Rugby Rumble

• The Planning Board will hold a community meeting at 7 p.m. at the Chenery Middle School concerning a zoning amendment it is presenting to Town Meeting in June that attempts to address citizen’s concerns raised by the one-year moratorium passed at last year’s Town Meeting that prevents tearing down single-family structures in the general residence sections of town to replace them with multi-family buildings.

• The Belmont High School Club Rugby team will host Boston College High School in the Massachusetts Youth Rugby Organization’s Division 1 state championship semi-finals at 7 p.m. at Harris Field on Concord Avenue. If the team is victorious, they will defend their title at Fort Devens on Saturday.

• Examine live caterpillars, see butterfly wings under a microscope and learn which common butterflies are likely to be spotted in Belmont over the summer as Habitat naturalist Barbara Brown will give a free talk about Caterpillars, Butterflies & Moths” from 1:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. at the Beech Street Center. 

• Adult development expert Paul Kampas comes to the Beech Street Center, 266 Beech St. at 5 p.m. to discuss “Love Relationships Across the Generations: A Community Conversation” presenting an adult development model of healthy love relationships and to co-facilitate a conversation about how younger and older generations may have differing perspectives.

• Pre-School Storytime will be held at the Benton Library, Belmont’s independent and volunteer run library, at 10:30 a.m. Stories and crafts for children age 3 to 5. Parents or caregivers must attend. Siblings may attend with adults. Registration is not required. The Benton Library is located at the intersection of Oakley and Old Middlesex.

• The Belmont Public Library’s Children’s Room is holding Storytime for 2’s and 3’s.  Due to overwhelming popularity, this storytime is offered both at 9:30 and 10:30 a.m. Bring your little ones for stories, songs, and more. Both programs will take place in the Flett Room, across from the Children’s Room. 

PHOTOS: Amidst a Little Rain, Belmont High Holds Its Promenade

Things began going wrong on Friday morning, May 16, when the sun was obscured by clouds with the anticipation that the last day of school for graduating seniors at Belmont High School would be a wet one.

And when the clouds opened and the rain did come around 2:30 p.m., it was a harbinger of things to come for those preparing to attend the annual pre-Prom Promenade at Belmont High later that afternoon.

The Promenade, which began in the past decade, allows parents, relatives, siblings and friends to see the congregation of students and guests dressed in tuxes, gowns, dresses and suits, duded up for a night of fun and frivolity at the Westin Copley Place Hotel in Boston.

Wearing a pair of two-tone derby dress shoes to go along with a walking stick and a classic tux, senior JD Niles said he obtained them at “Men’s Wearhouse, of course.”

One young lady – who asked that her “real” name not be used – said the toughest choice was “whether to go long or short” in terms of her dress and not the stock market. She went long for prom.

It also allows the school administration to make sure those attending the prom are able to attend a school event.

Due to traffic causing many of the prom attendees to be delayed, the start of the promenade was pushed back by nearly 15 minutes as the students waited in the wings of the auditorium.

“It’s a little hot in here,” said Olivia Kearns who, along with her date, Brian Cleary, would be the first couple on the stage.

As for the humidity and heat being generated in the hallway, “I’ll get over it. The photos are all done,” said Kearns about photos at home.

“It will all be worth it when we get there,” she said.

But just after the promenade began, the music went “on the fritz” before being righted by a member of the Physical Education Department.

Soon, the couples and groups were being corralled into the school’s cafeteria for a quick overview by staff before being placed on the buses.

But at the appointed 5 p.m. arrival time for the buses to show … nothing. As staff began calling Crystal Transportation, the lunch room resembled a well-dressed steam room with hairdos frizzing out and jackets removed.

Nearly 15 minutes late, the first buses came and the kids got to embark for Boston.

The, as the fourth bus pulled up, the heaven’s opened once again, as some couples did a quick trot to the transport while some of the young men took off their jackets – again – to shield their dates from the rain. Sir Walter Raleigh had nothing on these gentlemen. 

And while most of the students and their guests made it to the Westin by 6:15 p.m, the final group of student, 33 in number, where stranded at Belmont High School until just before 6:45 p.m. for a bus to finally arrive.

When they began arriving back to the school around 11:20 p.m., the majority of prom goers – several young women walking barefoot with their shoes in their hands, many young men sans ties (some without their shirts) – said they had a good time.