Town Takes Historic Nobscot Chapel

The town took ownership of the chapel in Nobscot and plans to put the property up for auction.

 The future of the long-neglected Nobscot Union Chapel seems brighter today as the town has taken over the 19th century meeting house and plans to put the chapel up for auction.

The town gained possession of the chapel through foreclosure on August 2 because there was an outstanding balance of at least $15,000 in water and utility charges. The town started moving against the property in 2004, said Town treasurer Steve Price.

The chapel is located at the intersection of Water Street and Edgell Road in Nobscot and was built around 1885.

Laurie Lee, a town Selectman, and a resident of the neighborhood, said determining ownership of the property was complicated because it was owned by trustees, many of whom are deceased, that created the Nobscot Chapel Association.

“If there was a clear line of owner responsibility, the town wouldn’t do this (taking the property). But the town had no choice,” said Lee, who emphasized she was speaking solely as a resident and not as a Selectman. The topic of the Nobscot Chapel has not officially been brought before the Board of Selectmen.

In Framingham, the Town Manager is tax title custodian and will work with the Board of Selectmen to establish a date for an auction, according to Price.

Stephen Meltzer, a Framingham attorney and founder of the Framingham-based Land Conservation and Advocacy Trust, had investigated the chapel situation and was beginning work on ways to conserve the property. “I had talked to some of the trustees and they were amiable to the idea of saving the chapel,” said Meltzer. “But it was too little, too late. The town had already started the process (of taking the property).”

“If it goes to auction, who knows what will happen,” he said. 

Meltzer said he may try and raise funds and bid on the chapel at an auction, but he wasn’t sure if he could pull together enough funds to even meet the property’s assessed value of about $283,000.

“An alternative would be if the town is willing, it could dispose of the property below market value if there was enough public interest,” said Meltzer. “It would have to demonstrate public support for that.”

Meltzer said he had the building evaluated and found that it is structurally sound and with some cosmetic and minor work could be put in use.

“My vision would be to place the building under preservation and have it available for community use. It could be a meeting place for neighborhood groups.”


Ray Salemi August 20, 2011 at 12:13 PM
When was the last time the chapel was used. I remember it being busy on Sunday mornings, but that must have been a long time ago.
Donna Moy-Bruno, Metrowest Realtor/Marketing August 20, 2011 at 12:20 PM
Ray or Steve,do you know about parking spots for the Chapel? Is there deeded parking behind it in the empty supermarket lot, if so, how many spaces?
Teresa Morris August 20, 2011 at 12:29 PM
Something should be done with it. Either occupy it or sell it. Nobscot has become such an eye sore that I try at all costs not to drive through it. Too many unoccupied properties.
Jim Rizoli August 20, 2011 at 03:03 PM
Jim Rizoli CCFIILE.COM I find it hard to believe this side of town looks the way it does. Kinda embarrassing if you ask me. Considering that it's the wealthiest part of town you would think the people living up there would be more concerned with what it going on in their back yards. I would also think there would be some organized group activist with money and clout willing and wanting to make this side of town more curb appealing. What's happening here is what is called the Broken Windows Syndrome but not as severe. When things are left alone like they are here in Nobscot you're just asking for more problems. Time to take a little pride on what is happening in your backyard. How about inviting the Brazilians up your way there, they seem to have taken over the South side of town, maybe they will occupy your empty storefronts there. Not that this would be a good thing but from the outside you wouldn't have vacant properties. Of course the problems associated with them up there will create another whole set of problems for you, which I will refrain from mentioning....LOL
Joe Rizoli August 21, 2011 at 01:07 AM
Joe Rizoli CCFIILE.com It's amazing how long buildings can sit and be unoccupied. Another set of buildings that have set for a while looking like a Favala mansion are the buildings across form the Callahan Center to the right of the RCN building on the Union Ave side right across from that mini-market. Just sitting there. Of course the Franklin St Shopping center another eye blight just a hop, skip, jump and a two hundred yard dash around the corner. Really, when you think of Framingham you would wonder why anyone would chose it. The Downtown is one of the worse examples of a lively, diverse downtown you can get. DIVERSITY means OPPOSITE, different,. Downtown looks like A Brazilian nightmare. Some time back on our cable show we did a spot on Waltham MA and its Moody St stores. THAT was diversity, DIFFERENT stores, eateries,everything imaginable. Framingham is Brazilian soccer balls and soccer shirts. It's really an embarrassment. I drive through other towns with their older buildings and a drive through Framingham makes you want to either cry of throw up. I know, I know our North PATCHERS are going to say, "why don't you move out". Are you kidding,... Watching Framingham implode is better than watching Cable. Patch articles like this just keep us all looking forward to worse to come. Our older CCFIILE shows archived here. We don't sit at our computers complaining, we take you there. http://www.ccfiile.org/ Joe Rizoli
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Jim Rizoli August 21, 2011 at 05:18 PM
Jim Rizoli CCFIILE Rebecca.......Thanks for the commercial....LOL If you don't have a SS number then what are you doing here? So your telling me your an illegal alien taking advantage of unscrupulous mortgage lenders who have no conscience lending to people like yourself.
Joe Rizoli August 21, 2011 at 09:53 PM
Joe Rizoli CCFIILE.com Rebeccachavez133, is that your real name or the one they gave you at the MCI? Did you have to take finger prints. Did they put you in any particular garb to walk around in and shoes? Do you get three phone calls a week and visits every other Saturday while guards frisk you and the visitors? IF that is you Rebecachavez133, then WLCOME to Framingham. You should feel at home..... Joe Rizoli
Leo Massey August 22, 2011 at 01:55 PM
Christ on a crutch. Gimme a break. A story about an abandoned chapel in Nobscot has nothing to do with immigration. Will you shut up for once about Brazilians. They have nothing to do with this.
Jim Rizoli August 22, 2011 at 02:46 PM
Jim Rizoli CCFIILE.COM Refinancing your mortgage has nothing to do with it either but your not complaining about that.
Leo Massey August 22, 2011 at 03:29 PM
What? You jerks are ruining this board for everyone else. It ought to be a nice place for people to discuss things going on around town. Instead you're using it as your pulpit to lecture us all on one issue. When immigration comes up in an article, fine, discuss it. Otherwise, can you just stick to the content of the article?
kylon August 22, 2011 at 04:00 PM
What has been explained to me about my area ( nobscot ) is the owners are holding out for "anchor developments" not the small bakery, coffee, gift shops. Which is sad considering the space is prefect for families to walk to. And the new retirement community around the corner would I'm sure appreciate a some type of produce store. I would love to see a farmers market and pre-school play ground...
Jim Rizoli August 22, 2011 at 04:44 PM
Jim Rizoli CCFIILE.COM Leo.....We happened to enjoy our freedom of speech on this forum and happily give our opinions on this site. You also have the option to do so, but I guess your capability of you having an honest and reasonable discussion is lacking as is with the hundreds of others that daily visit the site. So you want to stop guys like us that have a different opinion than you. Maybe you should educate yourself on the issues and then contribute to the conversation and maybe, just maybe the town will take some action to solve some of it worst problems facing us. As it is now Law and Order is much lacking in this and other towns and sad to say people are dieing because of it.
Leo Massey August 22, 2011 at 05:23 PM
Have whatever opionion you want ... ABOUT THE SUBJECT AT HAND. We're talking about the Chapel in Nobscot. My opinion on the plaza is that being sandwiched between retail areas on Route 20 and Route 9 eliminates the need for retail space in Nobscot. There's demand for convenience stores, donut shops and pizzarias but not much more. A decade of disuse and empty store fronts supports my position. I'd like to see the area rezoned.
Jim Rizoli August 22, 2011 at 08:36 PM
Jim Rizoli CCFIILE.COM Leo...I agree with you, something has to be done. What type of rezoning are you talking about.


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