Historic Boston Inc. Receives $200,000 For Alvah Kittredge House

Historic Boston Inc. Receives $200,000 For Alvah Kittredge House

Deteriorated 1800s Roxbury Treasure Will Become Market, Affordable Housing


ROXBURY, MA, October 18, 2012 – The Boston Redevelopment Authority Board today voted a $200,000 to assist the nonprofit Historic Boston Inc. in turning the historic Alvah Kittredge House in Roxbury into market and affordable homes.

Once a grand estate symbolic of Roxbury and Boston?s growth following the America Revolution, the Greek Revival style Kittredge House, at 10 Linwood St., was built by furniture maker Alvah Kittredge in 1836. It is a rare surviving example of this period and architecture in Boston.

Long in disrepair and deteriorated almost beyond recovery, the grand home was targeted by Historic Boston Inc. for restoration and reuse for much-needed housing in the neighborhood.

The funding voted today helps significantly to close a financing gap in the $4.7 million project, the cost of which has grown considerably greater because of more structural decay than had been previously discovered.

“The restoration of the Alvah Kittredge House is a wonderful investment that will bring even more energy to this part of Roxbury,” said Mayor Thomas M. Menino. “I applaud the efforts of Historic Boston, an important ally in the effort to preserve irreplaceable properties in our City.”

Said Kathy Kottaridis, Executive Director of Historic Boston: ?The BRA?s support for restoration and re-use of the Kittredge House saves a very threatened historic property and brings it back into the life of the Highland Park community. HBI is grateful for the BRA?s support for this project and the value it places on preservation as a tool for neighborhood investment.?

Historic Boston Inc. still needs to raise several hundred thousand dollars to complete the Kittredge project, but the nonprofit, which targets at-risk historic buildings in Boston for rehabilitation, has recently launched The Trilogy Fund, a campaign to raise the financing gap for three of its current projects, including Kittredge.

The Kittredge House, the 1875 Hayden Building on Washington Street in Chinatown, and the 1860s Vertullo Building in Hyde Park all will be beneficiaries of the Trilogy Fund, an effort to close restoration funding gaps of all three. The Hayden Building was designed by the revered H.H. Richardson, and the Vertullo Building is the earliest surviving commercial structure in Hyde Park?s Cleary Square.

Kittredge house will be transformed into five units of housing, three of them market-rate and two affordable at 80 percent of area median income. The BRA?s funding will not only help reverse severe blight but also ensure that the two units will be affordable.

The current schedule is to raise the necessary funds by early next year and to begin construction work in the spring. The cost of restoring Kittredge House was originally thought to be about $2.8 million.

Historic Boston Inc. is a nonprofit group that preserves historically significant buildings in neighborhoods across the city. In July 2011, Historic Boston held an open house at the building and a tour joined by Mayor Menino, whose administration took the property by eminent domain in 2011 after it fell into disrepair.

Historic Boston will divide the 6,400-square-foot home into five residential units, two of which will be designated as affordable housing. Because it is also using state and federal tax historic credits for the project, the organization must rent the units for five years before it puts them up for sale. The renovations are scheduled to start next spring.

Kottaridis said the structure, one of the few remaining high-style Greek revivals left in the city, will require extensive structural repairs as well as detailed restoration of its finish work.

?We want to show the rest of the world that this is a house that matters to Roxbury and this neighborhood,?? said Kottaridis said in 2011.

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 where it was built, now facing 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