Friday, September 14, 2012

Grants to Malcolm X House Support Restoration Planning and Projects

Historic Boston Inc. is pleased to announce that it has received three grants for restoration planning and projects at the Malcolm X-Ella Little Collins House in Roxbury.  Two grants, totaling $79,000, are contributions from the 1772 Foundation of Connecticut and a third grant of $8,250 is from the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Johanna Favrot Fund forHistoric Preservation.  The contributions are helping to complete comprehensive planning and undertake initial preservation projects at the severely distressed historic building.

Named by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as one of the nation’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places in June, the Malcolm X House at 72 Dale Street is the only remaining residential building associated with the youth of Malcolm Little, the young man who became the 20th century human rights leader Malcolm X.  

Before converting to Islam and changing his name to Malcolm X, young Malcolm Little spent about ten years in Boston.  During much of that time, he lived in this house belonging to his sister, Ella and her husband Kenneth Collins.  Ella Collins was a Roxbury businesswoman and civil rights activist, who mentored the young Malcolm, financed his life-changing trip to Mecca, and picked up his civil right mantle when was slain in 1965.

The firm of Stull and Lee, under David Lee, has been chosen to lead a team of professionals to assess the building’s structure and conditions, and configure the house’s interior for new uses. While designated a Boston Landmark in 1997, this house has fallen into disrepair and requires considerable investment to support a new use. 

The 1772 Foundation of Connecticut supports historic preservation through several different funding programs.  It has particular focus on the preservation of African American historic places and has been working in partnership with the National Trust on identifying places of historical and architectural significance nation-wide for attention. 

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