Melrose boasts countless examples of well-maintained, original Victorian architecture, with approximately 40%of our homes built before 1900. Many of the houses belonging to the first citizens of Melrose still stand today, such as the historic Phineas Upham House, Phineas Sprague House, and Lynde House. Another historic building, the Beebe Estate, was built in 1828 by Boston merchant William Foster and his wife Hortense. Located at 235 West Foster Street, it functions today as headquarters for the Melrose Council on Aging, while the front rooms host cultural and social events such as art exhibits. The Beebe Estate is open to the public for rental.
A preservation committee and a historical district commission exist to safeguard this local history. Our downtown area is an example of Victorian style also. Each year, Melrosians celebrate their past, present, and future with the popular Victorian Fair. In the Victorian Fair, local businesses, schools, organizations, and politicians each have their own information booth. Melrose’s dance studios and karate studios perform for viewers’ entertainment.