Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Chrystal Kornegay Appointed Chief of DHCD by Governor-Elect Charlie Baker

Former HBI Board Member and current CEO and President of Urban Edge CDC, Chrystal Kornegay was named Undersecretary of the Department of Housing and Community Development for the Commonweath of Massachusetts in Governor-elect Charlie Baker’s administration.

Kornegay, who continues as a member of HBI’s Council of Advisors, will direct DHCD and its housing and community development policies and programs in partnership with municipalities across the state.

HBI congratulates Chrystal on her appointment.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

A Vessel for Joyful Singing; All Saints Ashmont Nears Complete Restoration

On Sunday, December 21st at 4 p.m. the Parish of All Saints Ashmont holds its annual Service of Nine Lessons & Carols for the Christmas season, an opportunity to hear the beautiful music of the parish’s 125-year-old Choir of Men & Boys. Guest blogger Jeffrey Gonyeau, former HBI staffer, member of the Men and Boys Choir, All Saints preservation project team member and resident of the Ashmont neighborhood, updates us on the restoration of Ralph Adams Cram’s 1892 masterpiece.

The 18-month construction project at All Saints, Ashmont, in Dorchester is hurtling toward completion. The frenzy of activity by the Consigli Construction team working toward the goal of completing as much work as possible by Christmas juxtaposes elements of work as diverse as touch-up painting, light-aiming, and kneeler reupholstering in the church, with installing bathroom fixtures, laying new quarry tile and reclaimed wood flooring in the Parish House addition, and striping the reconfigured parking lot.

On the one hand, it is easy at this point in a project to get bogged down with punchlists, last-minute problems, and delays caused by uncooperative weather—not to mention the fatigue induced by 18 months of noise, dust, and disruption.

UMass Boston archaeologists look below the surface at the oldest farmsteads in Mattapan and Iceland

The Fiske Center for Archeological Research at UMass Boston is performing a geophysical survey to identify any hidden and buried archaeological remains on the Fowler-Clark farmstead in Mattapan, potentially the oldest surviving farmstead in Boston. Our guest blogger is Dr. John Steinberg, who is leading the survey team.

Historic Boston Inc. commissioned the Mattapan geophysical survey as part of their vision to restore the two historic structures and maintain the pastoral setting of the Fowler-Clark farm. Today the 200-year-old farmstead sits on half an acre at Hosmer and Norfolk streets. It is not known exactly when the main farmhouse was built, but it appears on maps drawn between 1786 & 1806. The current stable dates from 1860, but there were potentially earlier versions. The UMass Boston team is hoping to find evidence of earlier stables and other outbuildings. We are using both ground penetrating radar and conductivity to attempt to identify any preserved deposits from the earlier phases of the farm, helping Historic Boston plan for preservation of the property.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

HBI Featured in Documentary on Preservation Revolving Funds

HBI was featured in a new documentary on non profit preservation revolving funds that premiered in November at the National Preservation Conference in Savannah.

Prepared in 2014 by graduate students at the Savannah College of Art and Design, for the 1772 Foundation and the National Trustfor Historic Preservation, the documentary flows from an economic impact study of twenty of the nation’s revolving funds. Click here to learn more.

New Pathways and Public Amenities in 1630 Eliot Burying Ground

Even as the cold sets in, the Boston Parks and Recreation Department’s Historic Burying Grounds Initiative has been proceeding with a important upgrades to the 17th century Eliot Burying Ground. Over the last several days, workers have been pulling up slabs and pieces of asphalt that are as much as forty years old.

This effort comes from a significant grant from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs Signature Urban Parks Program to the City of Boston to make the historic site more accessible to the public. With these funds, the walkways will be replaced, the perimeter fence restored, and the puddingstone wall surrounding the site re-pointed.

The project also includes interpretive signage that will tell visitors the story of this site, its monuments and gravestone carvings, and the Roxbury families represented there since 1630. Both the pathways and signage designs are the work of KyleZick Landscape Architecture Inc.