Fall River home celebrated during National Preservation Month

In honor of National Preservation Month, the Preservation Society of Fall River is pleased to recognize the work of Marta Oliveira and her family in restoring the c. 1890 John Grouard House.

The Grouard House is located at 670 High Street in Fall River’s Local 40C Highlands Historic District. John W. Grouard was partner of the Fall River paint firm Grouard, Smith & Co. He painted the home of Andrew J. Borden in May 1892 and gave testimony during the trial of Lizzie Borden.

Preservation Society of Fall River Vice President James Souza, State Representative Carole Fiola, Mayor Paul Coogan, homeowner Marta Oliveira, her father Manuel Oliveira, Preservation Society of Fall River President James Soule, and Fall River Historic District Commission Chair Kristen Cantara.

Fall River’s Local 40C Highlands Historic District includes stricter guidelines for exterior work on historic homes to preserve the character of the neighborhood. When purchasing the home, Oliveira and her family were not aware the property was located within the Local Historic District and were surprised when the city’s building inspector referred them to Fall River’s Local Historic District Committee.

“The house already had some major modifications, so it wasn’t a complete preservation project, but the work was done sensitively,” said James Soule, President of the Preservation Society’s Board of Directors. “It really enhanced some of the original character again and we were very proud to be able to spotlight her and the outstanding restoration work her father did on the home, which really came out quite beautifully.”

The family saved the original windows and added new storm windows, according to Soule, and stained the original shingles rather than wrapping the house with vinyl siding.

“They rebuilt the porch and, although not to the way it was originally, it’s a huge improvement from the alterations that had been made,” Soule said.

Mayor Paul Coogan, State Representative Carole Fiola, members of Fall River’s Local Historic District Committee, and the Preservation Society’s Board of Directors attended a brief ceremony at Oliveira’s home to present the award on May 17.

“I think she did a great job with this piece of property,” Mayor Coogan said of Marta, a former student of his. “I’m very happy for her and her family.”

State Representative Carole Fiola also presented Oliveira with a citation from the Massachusetts House of Representatives. “I want to thank Marta and her family and the Preservation Society for together making sure Fall River is preserved and its history told,” said State Rep. Fiola.

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