On August 31, 2012, Historic Boston submitted an application to the Massachusetts Historical Commission for an allocation of Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits to help subsidize the comprehensive rehab of the building at 74-84 Fairmount Avenue in Hyde Park. This was the culmination of almost a year’s worth of research and planning, following HBI’s purchase of the building in late September of 2011. Along the way, we uncovered many interesting and unexpected things about the building. More importantly, we learned how assembling this knowledge—both historic and physical—into a coherent story not only sheds light on community history and guides a historically sensitive rehab, but can become a powerful tool to build a case for critical tax credit support. This is the first in a series of two posts that describes some of what we uncovered, and how this relates to planning for and funding the rehabilitation of this important building.
Part I: What’s in a name?
|Pasquale Vertullo, 1930|
The Vertullo family was a good steward of the property, and the fact that they ran family businesses there and lived above the shop since the early 1930s is largely responsible for the building’s survival. Many of Hyde Park’s early wooden commercial buildings were of the same age and style as this structure, but most were either replaced by masonry structures as the town grew and prospered in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, while others were taken down in the mid 20th century during a wave of demolition and de-densification that took place as the district succumbed to pressures of the larger trend in suburbanizing shopping.
|Carmela Pearce, 2011|
While this is the formal name that will appear on all official documents with the Massachusetts Historical Commission and other entities, it is likely that the informal name of the Vertullo Building will persist here at HBI, given our close connection with Carmela Vertullo Pearce (pictured here with a photo of her father, Pasquale), who continues to live in an upper floor apartment.
Next up: How detective work in historic archives and on the building itself provided clues on restoring its lost architectural character.