Sunday, July 27, 2014

They're Going Fast...Get an Apartment at the Kittredge House

The Alvah Kittredge House (read- Mansion) atop Boston's Fort Hill was originally built in 1836! It took several years to finish completely renovating this architectural masterpiece, and construction is wrapping up now. Be the first residents to live in these state of the art apartments with endless character and period detail.

Your unit features high ceilings and floor to ceiling windows that flood the living room and kitchen with sunlight. The new kitchen is the place to cook, entertain and dine though there is ample room for a formal dining room set up.

The Cobbler Gets New Shoes

The important work of preserving historic neighborhood business centers continues as HBI takes on the next phase of work on the oldest remaining structure from Hyde Park’s settlement, the Bonnie-Keith Block (1868). Home to an immigrant cobbler and his family for the last 68 years and now more commonly known as the Vertullo Building, this property is undergoing phase two restoration by HBI, that addresses important maintenance issues and the rehabilitation of the exterior of the upper portions of the building. 

The work involves new roofing including the Mansard and historically appropriate windows, siding, and trim. Possibly the most important change will be from the shake shingle siding back to the original clapboard siding which was discovered mostly intact under the siding of east elevation of the building. As with the recently completed storefront renovation, this additional work will significantly transform the character of the building and bring greater distinction to this end of Cleary Square.  

Is Hyde Park the Next JP or Roslindale?

Are you up to the rafters with your home-based business and need more space? Is the food truck getting just a bit too small and you want to plant some retail roots? Have you been wondering where the next hot and hip neighborhood will be for your next coffee shop location?

Well, consider the charming historic neighborhood of Hyde Park.

HBI has just completed the storefront renovation work on the oldest remaining structure from Hyde Park’s settlement, the Bonnie-Keith Block (1868) commonly known as the Vertullo Building. As part of the revitalization of Cleary Square, the Vertullo Building offers great opportunity for storefront exposure for micro retail businesses. It would be a perfect location for a coffee shop, specialty food shop, wine store, small grocery, specialty retail, or convenience store.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Save August 11th to Dedicate the Restored Kittredge House!

 We’re planning a BIG party for a BIG project.  Restoration of the 1836 Alvah Kittredge House will be completed at the end of this month and we invite you to join with Mayor Martin J. Walsh and neighbors and friends to dedicate the rehabilitated structure on Monday, August 11th from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at 10 Linwood Street in Roxbury. 

Everyone is welcome to this celebration which includes an open house of the five new apartments in the Kittredge House, followed by a festive neighborhood barbeque in Alvah Kittredge Square Park across from the house. 

For HBI this is a chance to thank the many people – neighbors, funders, preservation friends, public officials and contractors – for making this project possible.  It’s time to celebrate!

A Summer of Discovery for Boston Teens


Over the course of six weeks this summer seven Boston young people are researching the history of the Dillaway-Thomas House and the Roxbury Heritage State Park and its immediate surrounding areas.   Sponsored by MYTOWN (Multicultural Youth Tour of What’s Now) and the Commonwealth’s Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), the students are also investigating the archives of the city’s great institutions to explore the original documents that tell the story of Roxbury and Boston.  Last week, they visited the 1630 Eliot Burying Ground next door to HBI in Roxbury, examining the early grave markers as primary sources for research about this neighborhood. Two of the seven students shared some very thoughtful impressions of this unique place.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

The Columns Return to the Kittredge House

Not long after HBI acquired the Alvah Kittredge House in 2011, we gathered with Mayor Tom Menino, friends and neighbors for this photograph.   As you can see, there were only four of six ionic columns standing, and those that remained were rotting and covered with vines.  Scaffolding had been in place for several years to support the portico in place of the deficient columns. 

When the rehabilitation work began, the remaining columns were inspected to determine if any part of any of them were salvageable.  One was clearly a poorly made replacement column which was falling apart and didn’t match the others. Another was thoroughly rotted through with no hope of restoration.  But two of the existing column shafts were determined to be restorable.  None of the bases were intact enough to save. 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Kevin Lynch’s Drive Through Boston, 1958

Urban planner Kevin Lynch (1918-1984) is best remembered for his influential book The Image of the City from 1960, a study of how people perceive and pilot the landscape of the city. HBI board member Henry Moss recently sent us this remarkable video drive through Boston in 1958. Besides the cars, has our city changed much? What do you think?

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Southwest Boston CDC Honors HBI for Hyde Park Investments

At its annual meeting on June 18th, the Southwest Boston Community Development Corporation  (SWBCDC) honored HBI with a Community Recognition Award for its preservation work in the Hyde Park neighborhood. 

As the award states:  Southwest Boston CDC salutes and honors Historic Boston Inc for its vote of confidence in the future of downtown Hyde Park as evidenced by its acquisition and restoration of the Vertullo Building on Fairmount Avenue, its determination to fully rent the retail spaces at the Vertullo Building in short order, its painstaking research documenting higher density in the Hyde Park business district in earlier eras and for being a force in the revitalization and rejuvenation of Hyde Park’s downtown.