Saturday, April 28, 2012

DYC Founder—and Golden Building tenant—Emmett Folgert Honored at White House

Fields Corner—one of HBI’s two Historic Neighborhood Centers districts—is lucky to be home to the Dorchester Youth Collaborative, an important center of programming for at-risk teens from Dorchester and beyond. For over 30 years the DYC has provided mentoring, job training, and crisis intervention for local teenagers. The organization’s founder and director, Emmett Folgert was one of twelve people recently honored by the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention with a “Champion of Change” award at a ceremony held at the White House.

 As part of the Golden Building rehabilitation project last year, HBI worked closely with DYC to install a new HVAC system that not only made its space more comfortable and energy efficient, but allowed for the removal of several defunct and unsightly window air conditioning units from the front of the building. Supported by a grant from the City of Boston’s Partners with Non-profits Program and by a small loan from building owner Stephen Golden, these building system improvements have significantly reduced DYC’s utility expenses, allowing more money to be spent on the organization’s important mission.

Congratulations to Emmett, and to the ongoing work of this important Dorchester organization!

Click HERE to read a story on and watch a video of Emmett receiving his award.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Don't Miss Preservation Month in Boston!

May is National Preservation Month and Boston will be celebrating with a host of activities throughout the city.  The month kicks-off here in Dudley Square on Saturday, April 28th with OurDudley Square, a day of tours, scavenger hunts and oral histories.  The BostonLandmarks Commission has put together a city-wide calendar of events for the entire month of May that are your chance to learn about Boston's great history and architecture, and show your support for historic places that make this city unique.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

HBI Sells Pleasant Street Landmark to First-Time Homebuyer

Pop the champagne, another almost-Boston Landmark is in the hands of a happy new owner!  Last week 65 Pleasant Street in Dorchester, also known as the Anna Clapp Harris Smith House, was sold to first time homebuyer Stacey Cordeiro.   For two years, Historic Boston and the North Bennet Street School have been working together to stabilize the structure and rehabilitate the most public facades of the house through a partnership called “Handmade Houses.”  This endeavor was funded by a grant from the 1772 Foundation.

Save April 28th for Our Dudley Square!

Five local organizations are collaborating with the City of Boston on Saturday April 28th, 2012 to host Our Dudley Square, a day of special activities that celebrate the rich history of Dudley Square and its people.  The special day is planned to coincide with the beginning of National Historic Preservation Month. 

A scavenger hunt, developed by DiscoverRoxbury, will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for teams of participants. Visitors wanting a more leisurely visit can pick up a self-guided walking tour of Dudley Square that highlights 300 years of extraordinary history and architecture.

Perhaps the most important event of the day will be Memory Day, an opportunity for present and former residents of Roxbury to share their memories, photographs and documents with historians and archivists from UMass/Boston who will be on hand to record personal stories and scan photographs and documents that will be added to the school’s archive of Boston.  Participants will take home their original materials.

A celebration of Roxbury history and presentation of prizes to scavenger hunt winners will take place at 3 p.m. with Mayor Thomas M. Menino.

The event takes place rain or shine and refreshments will be available.  All activities begin and end at Hibernian Hall at 184 Dudley Street.

For more information, contact Nicole Flynt Thomas at or 617 989 1219; or visit

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Eustis Street Fire House Wins Tsongas Award

Historic Boston Inc.'s rehabilitation of Roxbury’s Eustis Street Fire House will be honored with one of this year’s Paul E. Tsongas Awards from Preservation Massachusetts. The award, established in 1987 and named for the late Massachusetts senator, is presented each year to exemplary preservation projects in Massachusetts. 

In 2012, Preservation Massachusetts has chosen to highlight projects that utilized the Massachusetts Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit, an incentive of the Massachusetts Historical Commission and Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin.  The credits, which can total up to 20% of eligible redevelopment costs, helped make possible the $2.5 million transformation of the 1859 fire house into HBI’s new headquarters.

HBI is proud to be presented with this award and looks forward to Preservation Massachusetts’ annual dinner celebration on May 2nd.  

Friday, April 6, 2012

Fold it up, and bring the Roslindale substation home with you!

Local Roslindale artist and designer Brad Harris has done it again! Harris, a Roslindale resident and active volunteer for Roslindale Village Main Streets, has designed another fun and creative marketing item to promote and educate people on the importance of the historic MBTA substation. He designed a template, which can be cut out, and folded up, to become a mini substation. The little fold up building also helps to tell people a little about the substation's history, and how its repurposing will help to meet community goals. Recently,  HBI and Roslindale Village Main Streets were designated by the BRA to develope a plan that brings the substation back to life.

Harris' work is already well known in Roslindale, for the posters that he has created to publicize different places and events in the community. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Two HBI Projects Receive State Tax Credit Allocations

HBI is pleased to report that projects at the Hayden Building and the Alvah KittredgeHouse each received $300,000 in the latest round of Massachusetts Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit allocations.  This is the first allocation to the Kittredge House, which may qualify for as much as $800,000 in State Credits.  The Hayden Building’s tax credits are the second allocation to that project bringing the current total to $600,000 of the roughly $1 million in State credits for which that project may be eligible. 

The State’s Historic Rehabilitation TaxCredit is an invaluable source of financing for HBI’s preservation projects.  Credits are issued competitively for up to 20% of qualified rehabilitation costs.  Once allocated, the credits are sold to investors at a slight discount, providing a much-needed source of cash for projects that abide by the US Secretaryof the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation.  If combined with the similar Federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits – also issued for 20% of eligible costs and also sold to investors -- these funds often make or break the feasibility of challenging projects like those undertaken by HBI.

Historic Boston is very grateful to Secretary William Galvin and the Massachusetts Historical Commission for choosing to support these two very worthy projects.  Without their help, challenging historic preservation projects could not happen.