Monday, December 30, 2013

Celebrating the Roxbury Russet

This fall Discover Roxbury hosted a talk by apple authority John Bunker, founder of Fedco, a Maine seed, tree, and garden supply company with a focus on organic growing.  The topic of the evening was America’s oldest apple variety, the Roxbury Russet, which was developed right here in Roxbury by Joseph Warren, father of patriot Dr. Joseph Warren.  The elder Warren was a successful farmer in Roxbury until he fell from a tree in his orchard, receiving injuries that resulted in his death.

John Bunker seems to know everything there is to know about apples – far too much to repeat here. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

APTNE 2014 Annual Meeting and Symposium: Innovative Adaptive Reuse of Historic Structures

 This coming year on Friday, February 7, 2014, APTNE will be holding our Annual Meeting and Symposium at New Old South Church in Boston's Back Bay.  The symposium will focus on the topic of Innovative Adaptive Reuse of Historic Structures.  The symposium will begin with longtime preservation engineer Robert Silman as our keynote, along with nine additional lecture presentations on diverse aspects of adaptive reuse in preservation. APTNE, the Northeast Chapter of the Association for Preservation Technology, encompasses the areas of New England, New York State, and Northern New Jersey.  As the local chapter, APTNE North East is committed to supporting professional engagement within this large geographic community with regional and local preservation events.

Register for the event here.

Winter Conditions No Matter for Hyde Park Project Team

After many months of planning, we are pleased to announce that the Vertullo Building storefront rehabilitation has at last begun.  Try as we might to have all of the pieces into place so that we could begin the work in the warm weather,  it didn’t work out that way and our contractor, MJ Mawn and his team had to bundle up to begin demolition this week in the snow.  Fortunately, we anticipate the work to only take a couple of months, barring any unforeseen complications.

The attached rendering shows the storefronts returning to an appearance similar to their original 19th century look.  More glass, restored transoms, and elegant lighting and hardware are all part of the plan, as well as improved heating and air conditioning.  We look forward to sharing our progress in the weeks to come and a final unveiling for all, perhaps in the spring after exterior painting can be completed.  Three of the five “new” storefronts will be available to rent in March.  Please contact us if you or a business you know might be interested in moving in!

Friday, December 13, 2013

HBI Welcomes Elizabeth Bronshteyn

I’d like to say hello to all the readers of the HBI blog.  My name is Elizabeth Bronshteyn. I’m a resident of Brighton and  I am a new intern at the HBI. I am working on ways to quantify the social and economic impacts of HBI’s pipeline of ongoing and completed projects.

My background is in history of architecture. I recently graduated Harvard and wanted to gain experience in urban planning before embarking on a journey towards graduate school. An internship with HBI is a dream coming true. Not only do I get to employ my research skills and education in art history, but I also get to be a part of a vital revitalization process in Boston.

The first week at HBI was full of exciting experiences. Kathy Kottaridis invited me to the December Board meeting, where I met many passionate members of the Board and its Advisory Council. I have also invited to meetings with architects and contractors, and had a tour of the Alvah Kittredge House in construction.

I’m looking forward to working at HBI. Stay tuned for more updates! 

Video Tour of the Kittredge House!

The Kittredge House is now 25% complete, and the apartments are getting framed out, which is an exciting step in the construction process.  The renovated Kittredge House will have five apartments. There will be two on the first floor, two on the second floor, and a garden apartment on the bottom floor. On this video tour, we took a look at one of the second floor apartments (the apartment in yellow on the plan). I am filming from the center hall on the second floor, and then panning from the entry way into the apartment (see the red indicator on the plans). Towards the end of the video, take note of the woodwork around the windows. That woodwork is original, and has been stripped of paint. The original shutters that folded up on the sides of the windows, as well as many other wooden details are being stripped down offsite, and will be returned to the Kittredge House soon.

Those who have been by the Kittredge house recently might have noticed some other changes to the exterior of the house. Notably, the columns are gone! Don't worry. They will return. Two of the columns are being restored, and four new replica columns are being created to replace the columns that had deteriorated too much to be used.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Eastern Bank Approves Partnership Grant to HBI’s Trilogy Fund

HBI is pleased to announce that the Eastern Bank Charitable Fund presented Historic Boston Inc. with a generous $20,000 grant toward rehabilitation of the historic Alvah Kittredge House in Roxbury for five mixed income housing units. 

Committed to contributing meaningfully to the health and vitality of Massachusetts communities, the Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation’s grant to HBI helps to advance the organization’s Trilogy Fund, HBI’s $1 million capital campaign for three buildings, and specifically helps to complete the Kittredge House’s preservation and its conversion to mixed-income housing.

“We are delighted to have the Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation’s support for our work.” said HBI Executive Director Kathy Kottaridis.  “This is a financial institution that understands the needs of Boston’s neighborhoods and makes investments that make a difference there.”

The Kittredge House’s rehabilitation will be completed in June 2014.  The third of three “Trilogy Fund” projects, the 1868 Vertullo Building in Hyde Park, begins construction this month.