It's been awhile since we reported on the status of HBI’s progress toward rehabilitating the 1836 Alvah Kittredge House, so an update is in order. From the outside of the building it might appear that nothing is happening, but solid progress in the quiet phase of predevelopment is being made.
Over the last several months, HBI has worked closely with Amory Architects to design five new apartments that combine the elegance of the original Greek Revival design with modern amenities. We are very excited by the plans and are eager to begin construction. However, cost estimates for the work are sobering. What began as a project that had a manageable financing gap, has turned into a considerably more expensive project that will require a lot of fundraising by Historic Boston to preserve.
The house’s deteriorated state from years of weather exposure and neglect is considerably more significant than originally understood. The monumental columns that still exist will all need significant restoration work, and two columns are missing entirely so will need to be recreated to match the originals. This work alone is expected to cost well over $100,000. There are no mechanical, electrical or plumbing systems in the building, and the floors and plaster are damaged beyond repair, so will require replacement. Lead paint covers the surfaces of the historic woodwork, so will need to be removed. And this week we have begun to abate the building of asbestos materials.