March 14, 2018 The 1772 Foundation Awards Grant to Historic Boston for Upham’s Corner
Grant supports restoration of the Upham’s Corner Comfort Station
Historic Boston Inc. is pleased to announce the receipt of a $100,000 grant from The 1772 Foundation of Newport, Rhode Island for capital costs associated with rehabilitation of the 1912 Upham’s Corner Comfort Station.
The 1772 Foundation is a long-time, nationally recognized proponent of historic properties redevelopment programs, sometimes called revolving funds. B. Danforth Ely, president of The 1772 Foundation, commented, “1772 regards its mission to preserve historic properties with a real sense of urgency. For this reason, a key granting priority is support for historic properties redevelopment programs. HBI has received several grants from us in the past and has a track record of successful, transformative projects.”
HBI and its partners, Noah De Amor of Bowdoin Bike School, and the American City Coalition, were designated by the City of Boston in 2014 to redevelop the long vacant Comfort Station for a new coffee and bike repair shop called “Sip & Spoke Bike Kitchen” to be operated by De Amor. The development team has gradually assembled various sources of conventional financing and charitable support to preserve and reactivate the building.
Built in 1912, the Upham’s Corner Comfort Station supported Upham’s Corner as a hub for Boston’s streetcar and public transportation system through most of the 20th century. It remained open into the 1980s as public restrooms but has been vacant and distressed for the last 40 years. Designed by Dorchester architect William Besarick and, with its distinctive red terracotta tile roof, it is an unusual example of early 20th century Arts and Crafts design in Boston.
The 1772 Foundation’s mission is to provide safe passage of historic buildings and farmland to future generations. The Foundation was named in honor of its first restoration project, Liberty Hall in Union, NJ, which was built in 1772 and is the ancestral home of the Livingston and Kean families. The late Stewart B. Kean was the original benefactor of The 1772 Foundation.
HBI is very grateful to The 1772 Foundation for its confidence in the organization’s mission, and for its critical support for endangered historic buildings that can support broader neighborhood renewal. With its help, HBI is planning a summertime construction start at the Upham’s Corner Comfort Station.