Friday, July 18, 2014

Save August 11th to Dedicate the Restored Kittredge House!

 We’re planning a BIG party for a BIG project.  Restoration of the 1836 Alvah Kittredge House will be completed at the end of this month and we invite you to join with Mayor Martin J. Walsh and neighbors and friends to dedicate the rehabilitated structure on Monday, August 11th from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at 10 Linwood Street in Roxbury. 

Everyone is welcome to this celebration which includes an open house of the five new apartments in the Kittredge House, followed by a festive neighborhood barbeque in Alvah Kittredge Square Park across from the house. 

For HBI this is a chance to thank the many people – neighbors, funders, preservation friends, public officials and contractors – for making this project possible.  It’s time to celebrate!

A Summer of Discovery for Boston Teens


Karilyn Crockett, is a visiting scholar in MIT's Department of Urban Studies and Planning.  For the last two summers, she has brought Boston high school students to the archives of this city’s great institutions to discover the original documents that help to tell Boston’s story.  Crockett believes that encouraging young people to do archival research helps them to connect both to their families and their communities.  Last week, Karilyn’s 2014 summer students visited the 1630 Eliot Burying Ground next door to HBI in Roxbury, examining the early grave markers as primary sources for research about this neighborhood.  Two of the seven students involved shared some very thoughtful impressions of this unique place with us.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

The Columns Return to the Kittredge House

Not long after HBI acquired the Alvah Kittredge House in 2011, we gathered with Mayor Tom Menino, friends and neighbors for this photograph.   As you can see, there were only four of six ionic columns standing, and those that remained were rotting and covered with vines.  Scaffolding had been in place for several years to support the portico in place of the deficient columns. 

When the rehabilitation work began, the remaining columns were inspected to determine if any part of any of them were salvageable.  One was clearly a poorly made replacement column which was falling apart and didn’t match the others. Another was thoroughly rotted through with no hope of restoration.  But two of the existing column shafts were determined to be restorable.  None of the bases were intact enough to save. 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Kevin Lynch’s Drive Through Boston, 1958

Urban planner Kevin Lynch (1918-1984) is best remembered for his influential book The Image of the City from 1960, a study of how people perceive and pilot the landscape of the city. HBI board member Henry Moss recently sent us this remarkable video drive through Boston in 1958. Besides the cars, has our city changed much? What do you think?

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Southwest Boston CDC Honors HBI for Hyde Park Investments

At its annual meeting on June 18th, the Southwest Boston Community Development Corporation  (SWBCDC) honored HBI with a Community Recognition Award for its preservation work in the Hyde Park neighborhood. 

As the award states:  Southwest Boston CDC salutes and honors Historic Boston Inc for its vote of confidence in the future of downtown Hyde Park as evidenced by its acquisition and restoration of the Vertullo Building on Fairmount Avenue, its determination to fully rent the retail spaces at the Vertullo Building in short order, its painstaking research documenting higher density in the Hyde Park business district in earlier eras and for being a force in the revitalization and rejuvenation of Hyde Park’s downtown.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Breaking Throught the Glass Ceiling at The Kittredge House

One of the most striking features of the Alvah Kittredge House interior that was still mostly intact when Historic Boston acquired the building was the multi-colored glass ceiling in the main entry hall. Bordered by dark wood molding and bracketing, it is definitely not Greek Revival in style and was likely installed in the late nineteenth century, perhaps after the house was moved to its current location. Although it is not original to the 1836 house, it was determined by the National Park Service to be a significant feature that needed to be preserved and retained.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Amelia Peabody Charitable Fund Supports Preservation of the Roslindale Substation

HBI is proud to announce a $125,000 grant from the Amelia Peabody Charitable Trust for preservation of the 1911 Roslindale Substation.   The generous contribution will help restore the historic features of the building as part of its $6.1 million rehabilitation. 

A project of Historic Boston Inc., Roslindale Village Main Street, and Peregrine Group LLC, the Roslindale Substation will be transformed into a destination restaurant by Chris Douglass, the restaurateur behind the Ashmont Grill and Tavalo in the Ashmont neighborhood of Dorchester.  The historic building and its restaurant will anchor 43 new apartments at the corner of Washington Street and Cummins Highway.  

Artist, conservationist, preservationist and philanthropist, Amelia Peabody established the Amelia Peabody Charitable Trust to contribute to the causes that were most important to her during her long life (1890-1984).  The Trust supports non-profit organizations in Boston and New England with initiatives in the areas of health (human and animal), visual arts, land conservation and historic preservation.

Historic Boston is deeply honored to be recipient of support from the Amelia Peabody Charitable Fund.  Miss Peabody is renowned for her support of many things that strengthen our communities, including historic preservation.  We hope to emulate those qualities and the reach of her vision through the restoration of the Roslindale Substation.