The 1772 Foundation spends a day on the Farm

The 1772 Foundation spends a day on the Farm

The historic Fowler Clark Epstein Farm in Mattapan received a distinguished visit from the 1772 Foundation during the foundation’s quarterly meetings in Boston on April 25th. The Foundation, which played a crucial role in funding a portion of Historic Boston Inc.’s 2018 rehabilitation of the formerly distressed farm, eagerly anticipated witnessing the completed property and the flourishing urban farming operations of the Urban Farming Institute (UFI) there.

Led by UFI CEO Pat Spence, the trustees of the 1772 Foundation were given a comprehensive tour of the farm, providing them with firsthand insight into its transformation. Additionally, they received a presentation on the planning for Historic Boston’s Old Corner Bookstore project in downtown Boston. Kathy Kottaridis, HBI’s Executive Director, along with Chris Scovel and Chris Hardy from MASS Design Group, shared insights into the preservation strategies and challenges involved in renewing the Old Corner Bookstore.

After engaging in morning discussions about local preservation efforts and enjoying a lunch courtesy of Fresh Food Generation, the 1772 Foundation remained at the Fowler Clark Epstein Farm conference center in the property’s 1860s barn to conduct its own quarterly meetings.

Executive Director of the 1772 Foundation, Ethiel Garlington, expressed profound admiration for the farm’s evolution, stating, “We are so impressed with what has transpired here — that the Fowler Clark Epstein Farm continues to present its history as a farm while supporting a new generation of community and food uses. This is exactly what the 1772 Foundation aims to catalyze with its grants.” Garlington emphasized the broader significance of the project, noting its meaningful impact on the entire neighborhood.

The $3.8 million restoration of the Fowler Clark Epstein Farm, completed by Historic Boston Inc. in 2018, in partnership with UFI, the Trust for Public Land and North Bennet Street School.  Originally built in 1786 for the Fowler family of Dorchester, the farm stands as a rare surviving historic farmstead, having been inhabited by only three families over nearly 240 years. In 2024, the property was sold to UFI, marking a new chapter in the historic farm’s ownership and use.

The 1772 Foundation works to ensure the safe passage of our historic assets to future generations.  Named in honor of its first restoration project, Liberty Hall in Union, New Jersey. Built in 1772 by William Livingston, New Jersey’s first elected governor, the residence was home to generations of the Livingston and Kean families, including Stewart Barney Kean, who founded the 1772 Foundation in 1984. Upon Mr. Kean’s death, in 2002, the Foundation grew from a $2.1 million private foundation to one with over $80 million in assets. In the twenty years since then, the foundation has granted more than $50 million for historic preservation work throughout the United States. After learning of the Kean Family’s ties to slavery, the 1772 Foundation has committed to increased funding to racial justice and African American history funding.