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This blog is a place for dialogue on issues and actions relating to Boston's unique built environment and the preservation and continuing evolution of historic resources within it. My goal, as the Executive Director of the Boston Preservation Alliance, is to post timely, relevant and thought-provoking intelligence, ideas, and insights that will engage conversations, inform our actions, and broaden perspectives on preservation.

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Greg Galer, Executive Director, Boston Preservation Alliance

Executive Director

AllianceViews Blog

Holding on to History in Jamaica Plain

April 20th, 2012  |  Posted by: Boston Preservation Alliance

The Historic Home for Little Wanderers Building at 161 S. Huntington Ave. / Photo Credit: Boston Preservation Alliance

Boston Residential Group has proposed to demolish the 1914 Home for Little Wanderers building (Knight Children’s Center) at 161 S. Huntington Ave. to make way for a 196-unit apartment building. At last week’s community meeting, the Alliance joined many Jamaica Plain residents in saying that demolition is premature. We are calling for serious consideration of a plan that would rehabilitate and incorporate the historic building into the new development.

The building is located on a stretch of S. Huntington Ave. that is home to a number of institutional buildings from the early 20th century, several of which have been beautifully rehabilitated and added to with sensitive new construction, such as the AstraZeneca Hope Lodge, which the Alliance honored with a Preservation Achievement Award in 2009.

The Alliance is urging the developer to consider a scheme that would reconfigure the proposed housing on the sizable lot and to explore financing structures that would help cover the cost of retention of the historic building, such as using Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits.

We don’t think the community should have to decide between saving its history and building new housing. With a creative approach, this is a site that may very well be able to accommodate both.

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3 Responses

  1. With so many great examples of adaptive reuse along the South Huntington corridor, this project is just crazy. The street view should be preserved with the early 20th century institutional structures intact (adapted for 21st century needs)!

  2. Charlene Cote says:

    I wanted to look up the Nickerson home that my brother and I were placed,in 1960-61. This looks like it but not sure. It was in Boston, but don’t know the address.

Leave a Reply to Charlene Cote