12 Aug Historic Boston Inc. And Mayor Walsh Cut Ribbon On Alvah Kittredge House
Hundreds Attend as Restored Greek Revival Home in Roxbury Open as Five Apartments
ROXBURY, MA, August 12, 2014 – Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, Historic Boston Inc., City and State officials, and hundreds of friends and neighbors yesterday evening celebrated the dedication of the renovation of the historic Greek Revival-style Alvah Kittredge House into five new residential apartments.
At opening, four of the five units are leased to tenants. The formerly dilapidated building with peeling white paint is fully restored on the exterior and transformed into modern and fully appointed residences inside. It is now painted in a rich off-white tone that recalls an important period in the structure’s proud past.
Mayor Walsh and Historic Boston Executive Director Kathy Kottaridis joined neighbors in the Highland Park community of Roxbury, elected officials, Historic Boston staff and board members, and scores of friends for the ribbon-cutting and barbeque at the stately columned structure, amid brick rowhouses and across from a recently renewed Alvah Kittredge Park, at 10 Linwood St.
“I’m proud that the rehabilitation of this iconic but long vacant property is an investment that creates housing for the future while respecting the building’s storied past,” Mayor Walsh said. “I want to thank Historic Boston for their vision and commitment to persevering the Alvah Kittredge House and many other historic gems across our city.”
Kottaridis stressed “the role that historic preservation plays in strengthening neighborhoods,” which is a tenet of Historic Boston Inc. behind all of its many projects. She thanked her small staff, the Boston Redevelopment Authority, Department of Neighborhood Development, Boston Landmarks Commission, Inspectional Services Department, Eastern Bank, and many others who had a part in bringing the Kittredge House back to life.
Kottaridis credited Geoffrey Caraboolad and Metric Construction Corporation of Brighton, MA, which renovated, restored, and reconstructed major portions of the building, and beyond its work contract generously contributed to the completion.
Kottaridis lent “a special shoutout to Mayor Walsh” for his recent early support of the extension of federal historic tax credits, without which she said this and many other projects across the country would not be possible. “He signed on as one of the first big-city mayors in the country,” she said, designating a beaming Walsh as “Chief Preservation Officer” for the event.
“It’s great to see a house with historic value come back to life,” said Walsh. “This is a beautiful project behind us. Boston residents just keep your foot on the gas. The preservation and restoration of an iconic building with affordable unites is done in a sustainable way.”
“We’re using the past to build the future,” he said.
Matthew Kiefer, President of the Board of Historic Boston Inc. and a Director at the law firm Goulston & Storrs P.C., said, “We’ve been dreaming about this day for 25 years. It took 25 years and the right mix of public and private resources.”
He said Historic Boston is unique in taking on seemingly hopeless projects. “We restore the pride of place of the neighborhoods they’re in.”
Ronald Druker, President of the Druker Co., who with then-Mayor Thomas M. Menino cochaired the Trilogy Fund, which raised money necessary to complete the Kittredge project, credited Kottaridis for making it happen. “It preserves, creates, and ensures affordability,” Druker said. “Boston is richer for it. The neighborhood is richer for it. The people who live in this building are richer for it.”
Felicia Jacques, a Historic Boston Board member, a resident of the Kittredge House neighborhood, and a Vice President at Maloney Properties, Inc., said she and others for years walked by the building, thinking, “It’s such a beautiful building – when will something happen to it?” Now, she said Kittredge House is “back on line, in all its former glory.”
Vacant since the early 1990s, the Alvah Kittredge House has undergone rehabilitation by Historic Boston Incorporated into five two-bedroom residential units, two of which will be affordable housing.
Built as a single-family residence, later reduced in size and reoriented to face a different street on the site, Kittredge House now has more than 6,000 square feet of living space.
The work was done to high standards, using historic tax credits and consequently being subject to federal review. The project is sustainable, scheduled to be completed with the equivalent of LEED Gold certification.
Built for Roxbury alderman, furniture maker and Eliot Congregational Church deacon Alvah Kittredge (1798-1876), the Kittredge House is one of a handful of high style Greek Revival period houses remaining in Boston. Originally part of a large estate in the Roxbury Highlands, the Kittredge House was also home to prominent 19th century architect Nathaniel Bradlee. In the 1970s and 1980s it was headquarters for the Roxbury Action Program (RAP), an advancement organization for Roxbury’s African American community.
The Boston Redevelopment Authority turned ownership of the property over to Historic Boston after taking the house by eminent domain in 2011 to save it from further deterioration. The city has contributed several hundred thousand dollars to the project to help preserve the landmark and aid in the construction of affordable housing. Money was also raised through fundraising and Historic Boston’s Trilogy Fund.
The total development cost was $3.8 million.
The architect for the Kittredge House renovation is Amory Architects PC. Preservation consultant is Tremont Preservation Services, LLC. Sustainability consultant is Conservation Services Group.
ABOUT HISTORIC BOSTON INC.
Historic Boston Incorporated is a nonprofit preservation and real estate organization that rehabilitates historic and culturally significant properties in Boston’s neighborhoods so they are a useable part of the city’s present and future. HBI works with local partners to identify and invest in historic buildings and cultural resources whose re-use will catalyze neighborhood renewal. HBI acquires and redevelops historic structures and provides technical expertise, planning services and financing for rehabilitation projects. HBI projects demonstrate that preserving historic properties is economically viable and that they can be useable and functioning assets in a community. For more information, please see www.historicboston.org.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
Kathy Kottaridis, Executive Director
Historic Boston Incorporated
Tom Palmer Communication