Friday, November 30, 2012

B.U. Preservation Masters Thesis Jump-Starts Everett Square Theatre Feasibility Study

HBI has been benefitted in recent years from a strong relationship with students in Boston University’s graduate program in historic preservation. HBI has provided internship opportunities for several students with the intent of giving the students a taste of “real world” preservation that is focused on real estate development. In return, students have provided much useful support to HBI and its projects.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Golden Building Shop Featured in Boston Globe

A Sweet New Business in Dorchester's Fields Corner
Yvonne Abraham 
The Boston Globe 
November 22, 2012

There is blind optimism, and then there is insanity.

Beverly Hilaire cops to the latter, but with a qualification. “I call it calculated insanity,” she says. “I do know I’m going against the odds in every direction. But it’s what I want to do.”

What she wants to do is make a good living operating an old-fashioned candy store in Dorchester. This past April, in the midst of this dismal economy, she opened A Sweet Place in Fields Corner.

Ellen Lipsey 2012 Shattuck Award Winner

Among the 10 recipients of the 2012 Henry L. Shattuck Public Service Awards was Ellen Lipsey, director of the City of Boston’s Landmarks Commission.  Lipsey, who has been the BLC’s director since 1993, is the first member of the City’s preservation staff to receive the award, presented to high performing employees of the City of Boston for distinguished service.
More than 400 people attended a gala dinner at the World Trade Center Boston on October 23rd.   Since 1985, 207 City of Boston employees have been awarded the Shattuck prize, a program of the non-profit Boston Municipal Research Bureau. Named for Henry L. Shattuck, attorney, Boston City Councilor and Massachusetts State Representative, this award reflects Mr. Shattuck’s view that “one person of conviction can make a difference.”

Historic Boston Inc. is delighted to celebrate what we already knew – that Ellen is a person of great conviction for Boston and preservation.  Congratulations!  

Regenerating Neighborhoods with Cultural Heritage: TEDxDesMoines City 2.0

Jeffrey Morgan, HBI's new Director of Real Estate Development was an invited speaker at TEDxDesMoines, part of TED's "City 2.0". Jeff was one of several experts from many different areas of practice to present their perspectives on the future of Urbanism in October. We are pleased to present a summary of his presentation, "Capitalizing on Cultural Heritage to Regenerate Neighborhoods", and a link to the live presentation on YouTube. 

The regeneration of inner city historic business centers involves more than simply fixing up old buildings. It requires consideration of both the cultural and capital resources needed to successfully regenerate a particular building or commercial center.  

Guest Blogger and Roxbury Latin student, Devin Quinlin, tells about Service Day at the Eliot Burying Grounds

Fourteen year old Devin Quinlin is an eighth grader at Roxbury Latin. Devin is a scholar athelete, who plays three sports for RL, and is particularly interested in English and French. He recently took part in the annual service day at the Eliot Burying Grounds, next door to HBI’s headquarters at the Eustis Street Fire House. We are are pleased that he agreed to share his experience with us as a guest blogger.

On Monday, October 22, a group of thirteen Roxbury Latin 8th graders, along with two parents and two teachers, went to the Eliot Burying Ground as part of RL’s service day. John Eliot, for whom the cemetery is named, is the founder of our school and as part of our work we tended to his tomb.

We worked for about two hours, raking and bagging all the leaves in the site and picking up small pieces of trash, mainly wrappers, bottles, and cans. We then dug about eight to ten wide holes around the inside of the fence, and planted about 20 daffodil bulbs in each hole.  The flowers should bloom nicely next spring.

At RL, we learn a lot about the importance of history and specifically Boston’s role in American history. John Eliot himself was an important historical figure.  He was known as “The Apostle to the Indians” and translated the Bible into Algonquin. His tomb is sacred ground to Boston and to The Roxbury Latin School.  We were very happy to be there and we hope our modest efforts help preserve this important piece of Boston’s history. 

See more images of the trip here

Friday, November 16, 2012

Eustis Street Harvest Fest, A Big Success

Last Saturday, November 10th brought crowds to the Eustis Street Fire House, for the first annual Eustis Street Harvest Fest, an event presented by the Common Thread Coalition, and hosted by Historic Boston Inc. Common Thread is a coalition made up of Dudley Square based organizations, which is devoted to bringing people back into Dudley by coordinating cultural activities. All of their events have been exceptionally successful, and this was no different. A beautiful fall day set the scene for crafts, snacks and games on Eustis Street and in the Eliot Burying Grounds. In the burying grounds, a historical scavenger hunt took place, and historians young and old learned about Roxbury's former residents. Those with the keenest eyes were rewarded with some great prizes, courtesy of Haley House Bakery and Cafe, The Boston Police Department, B2 and Discover Roxbury. Out in front of the Fire House, on Eustis Street, children and adults gathered to take part in pumpkin painting, lantern making, and dancing, as well as eating some delicious caramel apples, hot cider, and fresh popcorn. All in all, the day was a great success, and we look forward to celebrating fall on Eustis Street for years to come. However, we would not have been able to do it had it not been for all the work put in by all the Common Thread members. Also, we would like to give special thanks to the Design Studio for Social Intervention for letting us use their Public Kitchen, and Gallery Basquiat for supplying the art supplies, as well as to our wonderful group of volunteers from Boston University.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Common Thread Presents Eustis Street Harvest Fest-Tomorrow - Saturday, November 10th

Common Thread's next big event is here! Eustis Street Harvest Fest is going to be held TOMORROW-SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 10TH from 2-6. Come celebrate fall with your whole family on Eustis Street, at the corner of Washington and Eustis. There will be caramel apple making, popcorn popping, lantern making, pumpkin painting, and much more. The Eliot Burying Ground will also be open for exploring. The event is free, but any donations to common thread would be much appreciated. We hope to see you there!

Learn more here!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Digital Documentation at Dale Street

Screen shot of laser scans of 72 Dale Street (courtesy of Harry R. Feldman Inc.)

This week we are happy to have a talented group of guest bloggers tell us about the archaeological work being done at the Malcolm X House. U Mass Archaeological Services has been working on the house since last spring. However, this is not the dusty archaeological work that we see in movies. The work being done at the Malcolm X House is state of the art, and is going to lead to a better understanding of the house and it's history, without physically disrupting it at all.

Boston is the only American city that can claim a house where Malcolm X actually lived. Other than a small bronze plaque in its front yard, there is little to distinguish the house at 72 Dale Street from its neighbors.  During his repeated and extended stays between the 1940s and 1960s at the home owned by his half-sister Ella Little-Collins, Malcolm X moved into and out of a life of petty crime; over time he converted to Islam and assumed a leadership role in the Nation of Islam. Since May 2012, U Mass Archaeological Services has worked with the house owner and with Historic Boston, Inc., to explore how portions of the house and property may be rapidly and accurately documented to preserve existing  architectural information before a planned rehabilitation occurs. Our group is also interested in exploring how the documentation may be used as a public interpretive tool.

RL Students Celebrate their Founder

Every year, students from the Roxbury Latin School visit the Eliot Burying Ground, and pay tribute to their school’s founder, John Eliot. Eliot arrived in Roxbury in 1631 after having crossed the Atlantic aboard The Lyon, the same boat that carried the wife and children of Governor Winthrop. Eliot was the first minister of Roxbury, the founder of the First Church of Roxbury, commonly known as the Eliot Church, and the first person to translate the Bible into the Algonquin language, among many other noteworthy accomplishments. In 1645 Eliot founded the Roxbury Latin School, an all boys, independent school, now located in West Roxbury.

In the fall, fifth graders at Roxbury Latin, visit the Eliot Burial Ground as part of their service learning day, and plant bulbs in tribute to Eliot, who is buried in the Parish Tomb. We witnessed this tradition this past week, when this year’s class stopped by. However, we are reminded of this custom once more in the spring, when the Burial Ground comes alive with hundreds and hundreds of daffodils.