Historic Boston Inc. Begins Restoration Of Alvah Kittredge House

Historic Boston Inc. Begins Restoration Of Alvah Kittredge House

Mayor Menino Joins Celebration of New Homes Planned for Roxbury


BOSTON, June 19, 2013 – Historic Boston Inc., joined by Mayor Thomas M. Menino, other public officials, friends of historic buildings, and neighbors of the Alvah Kittredge House, yesterday officially began construction on the restoration and transformation of the 19th Century mansion into five residences.

?Historic Boston?s sustained effort to save the Kittredge House — with the support of many friends and neighbors — has resulted in a project that will put it back into active use as housing and restore it to a place of great pride for the Highland Park community,? said Kathy Kottaridis, Executive Director of the nonprofit Historic Boston Inc.

Kottaridis and the Historic Boston staff celebrated the beginning of interior and exterior construction work with embossed-handled hammers and a cookout, following an afternoon shower that conveniently halted before the early-evening program began.

Mayor Menino praised Historic Boston?s mission of preserving important old buildings in Boston and finding new purposes for them, while also targeting neighborhoods where new economic activity is likely to stimulate and attract further growth.

?Kittredge House is a special building in a special neighborhood,? said Menino. ?It is a great example of the magic that Historic Boston works with our old treasures in the City of Boston. We are happy to have helped them get to a groundbreaking and in sight of a ribbon-cutting for new homes for Boston residents.?

The 6,400-square-foot structure will include five units of housing, two of them affordable as rental units for first five years and then for ownership thereafter.

Because the project employs state and federal tax historic credits, Historic Boston must rent the units for five years before it puts them up for sale.

The City took possession of Kittredge House, at 10 Linwood St., when it was in danger of deteriorating beyond repair, turning it over to Historic Boston, which stabilized the structure while developing a plan for reuse.

Kottaridis and Menino were joined at the site, large banners waving in the wind from the columned fa?ade, by Boston City Councilors Tito Jackson and Felix Arroyo, Historic Boston President Matthew J. Kiefer, and Rev. Evan Hines, senior pastor of the Eliot Congregational Church.

The grand mansion, once with extensive grounds and an additional wing, was built in 1836 for furniture maker, Roxbury alderman and Eliot Congregational Church deacon Alvah Kittredge, who lived from 1798 to 1876. It was later home to prominent Boston architect Nathaniel Bradlee.

Once a grand estate symbolic of Roxbury and Boston?s growth following the America Revolution, the Greek Revival style Kittredge House is a rare surviving example of this period and architecture in Boston.

Long in disrepair and deteriorated almost beyond recovery, the building was chosen for restoration and reuse as much-needed housing in the neighborhood.

Funding of $200,000 from the Boston Redevelopment Authority helped significantly to close a financing gap in the $3.8 million project, the cost of which grew considerably greater because of more structural decay than had been previously discovered.

The funding is tied to the two affordable units. If the project goes as planned and the condos are sold in a few years, the BRA will recover about $260,000 in exchange for taking the property and turning it over to Historic Boston. The project includes a $150,000 Department of Neighborhood Development contribution for affordable housing.

Historic Boston Inc. still needs to raise several hundred thousand dollars to complete the Kittredge project. There was a funding gap of about $1 million, but that has been reduced through the Trilogy Fund, a $1 million campaign to help fund the Hayden Building in Chinatown, the Vertullo Building in Hyde Park, and Kittredge House.

Metric Construction, under the leadership of CEO Geoff Caraboolad, who attended yesterday?s ?groundbreaking,? has generously donated funding and services to reach a cost-effective construction project at the Kittredge House.

Kittredge House was built on the site of a fort used in the Revolutionary War. At the beginning of the 20th century it was moved to another part of the two-acre property. It now faces a different direction, across from what is called Alvah Kittredge Park.

The neighborhood filled in, and its grandeur is now sandwiched in between homes of a later era. In the 1970s it was home of the Roxbury Action Program, a social services group.

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 of Historic Boston, Inc., 617.442.1859, kathy@historicboston.org
Tom Palmer, Tom Palmer Communication, 617.755.7250, tompalmer@rcn.com