Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Thanksgiving Dinner We Wish We Could Have

Welcome to HBI’s Virtual and Progressive Thanksgiving Dinner!

We won’t wait until year-end to express our gratitude for the professional guidance and good will of so many project partners and friends who helped us launch construction on several important preservation projects in 2010. Instead, the dedicated Staff and Board of Historic Boston Inc. will host the best dinner-you-wish-you-could-have so we can give thanks! Here’s the menu:


Parish of All Saints, Ashmont (1892), Dorchester
All Saints Vestry & Building Committee, Fr. Michael Godderz, John G. Waite Associates, Program Manager Jennifer Mecca, Julie L. Sloane Stained Glass Restoration and a very generous Anonymous friend.

Appetizer Course

Anna Clapp Harris Smith House (1804), 65 Pleasant Street, Dorchester
North Bennet Street School Preservation Carpentry Program, History Improved, Sara Chase, City of Boston (Inspectional Services Department, Boston Landmarks Commission, City of Boston Archeology Lab), the 1772 Foundation, Mrs. Dorothy Hudson, Dorchester Historical Society, Mohawk Masonry Services, Essex Restoration, Building Initiatives, Shawmut Construction and Structures North.

Main Course

Eustis Street Fire House (1859), Dudley Square, Roxbury
Building Initiatives, LLC, Bergmeyer Associates, Inc., Structures North, R. W. Sullivan Engineering, Fitzmeyer & Tocci, GEI Consultants, Inc., H.W. Moore, Lee Kennedy Company, North Bennet Street School, Tremont Preservation Services, MacRostie Historic Advisors, Boston Fire Historical Society, The Victorian Society in America, Goulston & Storrs, Appleby & Wyman Insurance, Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation, Nolan, Sheehan, Patten, City of Boston (Mayor Thomas M. Menino, the Department of Neighborhood Development, the Boston Landmarks Commission, the Boston Redevelopment Authority, the Boston Parks and Recreation Department, and the Boston Department of Public Works), Representative Byron Rushing, Dudley Square Main Streets, Massachusetts Historical Commission, Massachusetts Department of Revenue, UMASS Amherst Archaeological Services, Barbara Donohue Archaeology Services, George B. Henderson Foundation and the Edward Ingersoll Browne Fund.

Dessert Course

1510-1514 Dorchester Avenue (1890’s), Fields Corner
Stephen and Debbie Golden, Amory Architects, Kevin Piccinin and K&B Construction, Fields Corner Main Street, Inc., Viet-AID, Historic Neighborhood Centers Advisory Committee Members, Alan Issokson, Dorchester Historical Society, Boston Main Streets, City of Boston (Mayor Thomas M. Menino and the Department of Neighborhood Development) and the Massachusetts Architectural Access Board.

After Dinner Drinks & Conversation

Roslindale Substation (1911), Roslindale Village: Roslindale Village Main Streets, the Boston Redevelopment Authority; Alvah Kittredge House (1836), Roxbury: Structures North, Amory Architects, the Boston Redevelopment Authority, Tremont Preservation Services, Michael Mawn, AM Fogarty, the Boston Preservation Alliance; and the National Trust for Historic Preservation; Hayden Building (1875), Chinatown: CUBE Architects, Marc Truant and Associates, Structures North, and RW Sullivan. Everett Square Theater (1915), Hyde Park: Hyde Park Main Streets, Patricia Tierney, Bergmeyer Associates, and the Edward Ingersoll Browne Fund. Finally, for all of the above: Mayor Thomas M. Menino.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Getting a little bit closer to heaven?

Scaffolding pinned up against the exteriors of buildings is a pretty common sight around Boston, but on the inside? Sometimes that’s what it takes to get a close look at high-up architectural features inside soaring interior spaces like those found in many houses of worship.

Starting this summer, John G. Waite Associates Architects (JGWA) began working on completing a historic structures report for The Parish of All Saints, Ashmont, in Dorchester. This important church is the first religious building designed by Ralph Adams Cram and Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue, whose collective work greatly influenced church design in America in the first half of the 20th century by breathing new life into the Gothic Revival style. Funded by an anonymous foundation, HBI is helping the congregation manage the preparation of an historic structures report that will document the history and evolution of this building, which became a stylistic and literal model for many churches across the country.  The report will also include an existing conditions analysis and a prioritized scope of work that will lay the groundwork for critical repairs to this National Register listed building.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

At Last! Construction Begins at Eustis Street Fire House

On a sunny, spring-like day last week, men in hard hats with heavy equipment rolled up to the Eustis Street Fire House to begin the process of bringing new life (and light) to the long neglected historic building .

The first order of business: electricity! Like most people, the NStar personnel , there to dig the trench that will bring power to the structure, were intrigued by the history of the fire house and plans for its future. So when they discovered a layer of cobblestones in the street, which would make their work a lot more difficult, they cheerfully offered to stockpile them for us for future use - perhaps to incorporate into our new walkway. (To see how Eustis Street looked when it was paved with cobblestones, see the historic image at the bottom of this blog post).

It has taken much more time and effort to start rehabilitation of the fire house than anyone expected. But with the help of a committed and creative team that patiently helped us navigate through every unimaginable obstacle, we’ve arrived. We look forward to sharing lots of updates and photos on our progress in the months to come as we work our way toward a spring ribbon-cutting celebration.

Monday, November 1, 2010

New Life for an Old House in Dorchester

Historic Boston and the North Bennet Street School Preservation Carpentry program were thrilled to receive a visit from Boston Neighborhood Network (BNN) news last month at the Anna Clapp Harris Smith House at 65 Pleasant Street in Dorchester. Check out the video below for more information about the house and the goals of the project.