Thursday, December 22, 2011

Getting to the Heart of the Matter in Fields Corner...

Parallel to the infrastructure improvements being completed as part of the Dorchester Avenue Project—the City of Boston and Mass DOT’s $15.6 million streetscape, pedestrian, and traffic upgrade to the 5-mile length of Dorchester Avenue—HBI has been working on a “Dot. Ave. Project” of its own through its Historic Neighborhood Centers program work in Fields Corner.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Changing Places; How the Kittredge House Was Moved

1895 Bromley Atlas (Before the move)
Many of the old buildings HBI encounters are not sitting in their original locations.  The Eustis Street Fire House sits where it was originally built, but the earlier, 1829 “Torrent Six” that preceded it was sold in 1859 to W.B. May for $128 and moved to nearby Pike Street, where it was used as a residence (Pike Street and the original “Torrent Six” no longer exist).

1899 Bromley Atlas (After the move)
The Alvah Kittredge House in Fort Hill, Roxbury, was also moved from its original location in the 1890s, roughly 50 years after it was built.  It was moved from Highland Street around the corner to Linwood Street, a very short distance, and reoriented 90 degrees.   At this time, the several wings attached to the left of the house were removed, and quite possibly and re-used elsewhere, but this information is lost to history.

Though moving building is rare today, it was fairly common in the 19th century.  The materials, and craftsmanship invested in buildings were valued more in earlier generations than today, and moving buildings made good economic sense.   Moving buildings today requires factoring in traffic, road restrictions, plumbing connections, and power lines, which were not considerations in the past.  Unless a building has architectural or historical significance, it is unlikely to be relocated since the cost to move often exceeds the cost to demolish and build anew.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Hi Neighbor!

Have a 'gansett!
HBI has had the pleasure of working in unison with a lot of great companies and organizations over the years. Now we have another name to add to that list. Narragansett Beer was kind enough to donate some of their famous Narragansett Lager to our HBI holiday party. The party was an opportunity for us to celebrate all the great work that has been accomplished at HBI this year, and it was made even better by Narragansett's generous gift. Narragansett has said for a while that they are the "official beer of the clam", but now they can claim to be a favorite among preservationists as well.

Save the Date! - "Greening the Older Home" - February 11,2012

Saturday the 11th of February, 2012
9:3o-11:oo am
The National Trust for Historic Preservation, The Massachusetts Historical Commission and Historic New England have come together to plan a fantastic event. "Greening the Older Home" will combine a speaking program as well as a tour of the nearby Pierce House. The speaking program will be held at the Adams Street Branch library in Dorchester, and the tour will follow directly after the speakers. 
The Event is free. However, they would like for people to sign up online.
Mark your calendars!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

HBI's Newest Acquisition, The Vertullo Building in Hyde Park, Highlighted on

Check out the article by Jeremy C. Fox, Town Correspondent
Historic Boston to Restore 150-year-old Hyde Park building
74-84 Fairmount Ave.

A new owner plans an old look for a historic Hyde Park building. 
Earlier this fall the Vertullo Building at 74 — 84 Fairmount Ave. was purchased by Historic Boston Inc., a non-profit historic preservation advocate and developer that plans to return the building to its past appearance, before the original clapboards were covered with cedar shakes and large storefront windows were partially covered.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Three Cheers for the Boston Landmarks Commission

Please carve away a little time for the Boston Landmarks Commission this holiday season.  Commission staff will celebrate 2011’s accomplishments and plans for 2012 with a presentation to the public and the Commission at its last hearing of the year on Tuesday, December 13th from 5:30 -6:30 p.m.  in the BRA Boardroom, 9th Floor, City Hall. 

There’s little more satisfying than to look back over a successful year, and the BLC should be praised for a job well done in an era of fewer public resources.    We all know how important this agency is to preserving and protecting Boston’s rich sense of place.  Let’s be there to pat them on the back.
Call 617 635-3850 for more information or see