Rita Walsh, Senior Preservation
Planner, with VHB is assisting HBI with state and federal historic tax credit
applications to support the rehabilitation of the Fowler Clark Epstein Farm
property for its new uses. She is also preparing a nomination of the property
to the National Register of Historic Places. Although the property is already a
Boston Landmark, the property must be officially listed in the National
Register to receive the federal historic tax credits.
Agricultural Schedule, showing the details of Henry Clark’s farming activities
The 2005 Boston Landmarks Commission study report for theFowler Clark Epstein farm (which is the document that presents the reasons for
the property’s significance and eligibility as a local landmark) contains an
incredible amount of detail about the farm’s ownership history. The house and
barn were part of an 11.25-acre parcel bounded by Norfolk Street and Blue Hill
Avenue (originally known as Brush Hill Turnpike) that remained the same size
from 1806 until 1895, when it was finally subdivided for building parcels by
James Clark and his mother, Mary.
Noah Hicks and The Sip & Spoke Bike Kitchen wrapped up
their Indie Go Go fundraising campaign this week. With over 200 donors, Noah
and his team were able to raise $18,732 in start-up capital for the new
business in the historic Upham’s Corner Comfort Station.
Their Indie Go Go campaign not only drew in funders but has generated
a great deal of excitement throughout Boston. Noah Hicks and The Sip & Spoke
Bike Kitchen have been featured in The
Dorchester Reporter, Boston Biker and
Boston Eater to name a few and earlier
this month Noah Hicks sat down for an interview with Chris Lovett on local TV station
BNN News. During his interview, Noah presented his vision for The Sip &
Spoke Bike Kitchen and highlighted his team’s continued fundraising efforts. Check
out his interview here:
Ayres, Vicar of the Boston’s venerable Old North Church in the North End,
reached out recently to tell HBI about paint analyses that are just beginning
inside the sanctuary of the historic building.The church’s plans, outlined below, could very well change our
perception of the colonial interior and shed light on how Bostonians deployed
color and decoration in the early 18th century.
If you drop in to
visit Old North Church between now and early March, you will notice scaffolding
in the rear of the sanctuary. Brian Powell and Melissa McGrew from
Building Conservations Associates, a leading historic preservation consultant, will
be crawling all over the sanctuary, taking paint samples and peeling back
centuries of paint, in order to determine the history of decorating the
interior of the church.
The Old North Foundation is conducting ahistoric
paint analysis this winter to research the rich colonial color schemes used to
decorate the church.Recently featured in the Globe, this project will be the second visit by Building
Conservation Associates to Old North.Twelve years ago, senior analyst Brian Powell, surveyed Old North’s
windows prior to their complete restoration.The buff colored paint now adorning the windows reflects the original
color used in 1723.
With buildings dating to the early 1800s, the Fowler Clark
Epstein Farm (FCE Farm) itself is testimony to the agrarian history of
Mattapan.The more recent history of
Mattapan as an urban neighborhood is no less intriguing.In the 1960s, the neighborhood surrounding
the farm transformed dramatically, as Jewish residents moved out, and African-American
families moved in to Mattapan.Such
transitions happened in many US cities during this time; in fact, in the fall
of 1971, when Michigan senator Philip Hart convened three days of subcommittee
hearings in Boston to investigate the causes and consequences of neighborhood
transition in Mattapan, a subcommittee staff member told the New York Times
that “We believe that the set of events in Boston illustrates what is going on
all over America” (in Gamm 1999:13).The
specifics of neighborhood change in Mattapan have been the subject of
remarkable legislative and scholarly attention (Levine
and Harmon 1992; Gamm
very little scholarly attention has been paid to Mattapan in the years since it
became a center of the African-American, Haitian, and Caribbean immigrant
communities of Boston.As one community
partner commented, there is “almost nothing written” about the history of
people of color in the neighborhood.Related, we have been told that more recent popular narratives about the
neighborhood tend to focus much more on its challenges than its many strengths.
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