Friday, October 2, 2015

Early Donors Step Up for Fowler Clark Epstein Urban Farm

HBI is honored to announce early financial support from the City of Boston and several area charitable foundations for transformation of the Fowler ClarkEpstein Farm in Mattapan  into an urban farming training and education center. 

Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced a contribution from the City of Boston of $150,000  when he helped unveil new plans for the historic property on September 28th. “We’re going to deliver something great to you, but we will need your support,” Walsh told the crowd of more than 300 friends and supporters. 

Three additional foundations have also made very generous contributions to the costs of rehabilitating historic buildings and renewing the site’s landscape for urban farming.  They are

The 1772 Foundation                                                $50,000

The Cabot Family Charitable Trust                            $50,000

The EasternBank Charitable Foundation                    $10,000

The partnership of  Historic Boston Inc., Urban Farming Institute of Boston, The Trust for Public Land,and  North Bennet Street School, expects to begin construction on the $3.2 million project in the spring of 2016 after the partners conclude a campaign to raise $1.5 million for the project.   With these public and charitable contributions, commitments total $560,000 of the $1.5 million goal.

All donations – large and small – matter in this effort.  To support the Fowler Clark Epstein Farm’s rehabilitation, clickhere.

Thank you to our very generous friends and civic supporters!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Mayor Walsh Announces Plans for Historic Fowler Clark Epstein Farm in Mattapan

On Monday evening Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh joined Historic Boston Inc., The Trust for Public Land, the Urban Farming Institute of Boston, North Bennet Street School, city officials and the Mattapan community to announce the $3.2 million historic restoration of the 18th-century Fowler Clark Epstein Farm into a working urban farm, farmer housing  and  educational training center.

The fervor of excitement that has ignited over the past few weeks attracted a crowd of around 250 people to the farm site on 487 Norfolk Street in Mattapan. Members of the Trust for Public Land and the Urban Farming Institute of Boston welcomed guests to the harvest-themed celebration and invited them to explore the historic farmhouse, drink hot apple cider, and enjoy delicious sandwiches made by City Feed of Jamaica Plain.  

Monday, September 28, 2015

Historic Fowler Clark Epstein Farm Featured in The Boston Globe

 The historic Fowler Clark Epstein Farm has caught the attention of Boston and today is featured in the Boston Globe. To read the full story click here.

...And tonight Mayor Martin Walsh joins Historic Boston Incorporated, The Trust for Public Land, Urban Farming Institute, and North Bennet Street School to announce plans to transform the historic Fowler Clark Farm in Mattapan to an urban farm and training center. Please join us tonight from 5-7 for behind the scene tours, refreshments, and a community photograph with Mayor Walsh.

If you are interested in making a tax deductible contribution to the project visit our site.Thank you for your continued support!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Hint of Historic Upham's Corner Comfort Station in Olmsted Plan for Final Jewel in the Emerald Necklace

Sometimes a bit of serendipity helps in historic preservation work. While in the early stages of researching the historic significance of the Upham’s Corner Comfort Station in Dorchester, an article in the Boston Globe came out about resurrecting the plan for redeveloping ColumbiaRoad in Dorchester, once envisioned as the “final jewel in the Emerald Necklace”, as part of the Boston 2024 bid for the Summer Olympics.  

In 1897, Boston’s Emerald Necklace designer, Frederick Law Olmsted, laid out a plan for a grand boulevard connecting Franklin Park to Marine Park. Olmstead sought to connect Roxbury to the ocean in South Boston with as gracious and grand a parkway as his design for the Back Bay Fens and Arborway. His proposal renamed Columbia Road to “Dorchesterway” and established a coastal road named “Strandway” (now known as William Jay Day Boulevard). This would have completed his vision for a contiguous parkway transportation and recreation system through the neighborhoods of Boston.  

This got us thinking. Could there have been any indication in the 1897 Olmstead plan for Columbia Road that anticipated the 1912 Comfort Station? A relatively quick search for the Columbia Road plan on the internet unearthed gold. Not only did we find the plan but sure enough, and to our great delight, we found a subtle yet distinct hint of a landscaped node where the Comfort Station now sits, along the boundary of the Dorchester North Burying Ground, now a Designated Boston Landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Henry Moss to Receive 2015 Codman Award for Lifetime Achievement in Preservation board member Henry Moss will receive the Boston Preservation Alliance’s Codman Award for Lifetime Achievement in Historic Preservation at the organization’s annual awards ceremony in October.

The Hayden Building
The award acknowledges Henry’s many years of professional and volunteer work in Boston’s preservation community through research, technical expertise and practice.  Henry is a principal at the architectural firm Bruner/Cott, planning and designing adaptive reuse projects and restoration of historic structures.   He previously worked in historic preservation and public housing renovation in England, and worked for HBI on a variety of projects, most notably the restoration of HH Richardson’s Hayden Building in Chinatown. 

Henry has organized intensive technical workshops for architects and contractors on historic building subjects through the Boston Society of Architects since 1986 and was for many years chair of the BSA's Historic Resources Committee.  Since 1997, he has been studying and advocating for preservation of post-World War II buildings and landscapes. 

Henry has been a valued member of HBI’s Board of Directors for 17 years and chairs the board’s Project Review Committee.  He has also served on the Preservation Alliance’s board and on the board of the Old South Meetinghouse where he was Architect of the Fabric.

“It’s wonderful to see someone with Henry’s commitment to preservation and achievements in the field given the highest honor in Boston’s preservation community,” said Kathy Kottaridis, HBI’s Executive Director.  “No one expects it less or deserves it more.  We’re very proud of Henry Moss and very grateful for the collegiality and contributions he has brought to preservation in Boston.”

The Codman Lifetime Achievement Award is particularly meaningful to HBI because it is named for the founder of Historic Boston Inc., John Codman, who brought together a distinguished group of Bostonians in 1960 as Historic Boston Incorporated to save and restore the Old Corner Bookstore.

Congratulations Henry!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Kathy MacNeil Elected President of HBI

Historic Boston welcomed its new president Kathleen MacNeil at the September meeting of its Board of Directors.  Kathy has served on the HBI Board of Directors for five years and was most recently its Vice President.

Kathy is currently a principal at MDA Partners LLC, a joint venture of Boston-based MDA Partners and Millennium Partners of New York. Kathy is real estate development manager has included several complex urban projects in Boston including the redevelopment of the Filene’s department store into a 1.4 million square foot mixed use, office, retail and luxury condominium tower called Millennium Tower/ Burnham Building. 

“As HBI completes a new five-year strategic plan, Kathy’s leadership and experience will be integral to advancing the new agenda,” said HBI’s Executive Director Kathy Kottaridis.  “Kathy brings fresh perspective and enthusiasm to HBI’s preservation mission."

Kathy is a LEED Accredited Professional and has her Massachusetts Construction Supervisor’s License. She received a Master of Science in Real Estate Development from MIT’s Center for Real Estate and holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Wentworth Institute of Technology in Architectural Engineering.  In addition to her service with HBI, Kathy is a Corporator for Wentworth Institute of Technology.

Friday, September 11, 2015

A Toast to Matthew Kiefer

Historic Boston honored Matt Kiefer’s twenty-five years of board service and leadership at a celebration at the Union Club in Boston on September 9th.

Matt Kiefer has served on HBI’s Board of Directors for 25 years and has been president for 12. During Matt’s presidency, HBI has amassed an impressive project portfolio throughout Boston neighborhoods, such as the Alvah Kittredge House, the Hayden Building, and the Eustis Street Fire House. Matt played not only a pivotal role in HBI preservation projects but proved integral to the success of HBI’s Trilogy Fund Capital Campaign.