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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

Triple Deckers Redux

April 12th, 2012  |  Posted by: Boston Preservation Alliance

Triple Deckers in East Boston / Photo credit: Boston Preservation Alliance

The three-decker is democratic architecture. It was built to give the average family the benefits of suburban life while living closely to city jobs. It was neither tenement nor mansion, but rather good solid housing. It was large enough to raise a host of children around a dining room table, but small enough to keep a pot of flowers on the back porch.

–  The Three-deckers of Dorchester, A report for the Boston Redevelopment Authority and Boston Landmarks Commission by Robert Krim, 1977

Mayor Menino has unveiled his new 3-D Program. The initiative offers financial and technical assistance to current and potential owners of triple decker homes in the city. It promises to assist in reducing blight in many of Boston’s neighborhoods, making homeownership possible to more families, and fostering pride in our communities. The program also represents a commitment to an architectural style that has long been under-appreciated.

Boston has almost 9,000 triple deckers, many dating back to the late-19th century. With a long history of housing the city’s newest immigrants, triple deckers promote affordability and density that are associated tight-knit, vibrant neighborhoods. From East Boston to Dorchester, triple deckers lend themselves to housing family arrangements beyond the nuclear, accommodating grandparents a they age and children as they grow. With efficiently stacked floors helping to retain heat in the winter and keep interiors cool in the summer, triple deckers may also be Boston’s “greenest” housing type.

The Mayor should be commended for this initiative. Through it, Boston residents will invest in our triple deckers, building on the city’s commitment to sustainability, community character, and affordable housing for all.



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