Another sign of spring in Needham is that you’ll be driving along and do a doubletake because suddenly, there’s an empty lot and a backhoe where there used to be an older house and a bunch of trees. Or depending on your timing, maybe they’re sawing all the trees down, or a big machine is biting the roof off of a little house.
One by one, the little houses are replaced by big ones. Sometimes the razed houses are ugly little houses and occasionally they’re charming, large, or architecturally significant. Sometimes it’s just a big estate of mostly woods carved into a subdivision. When we moved here I assumed all the woods was the happy result of zoning and conservation, but I was wrong.