August 11, 2017 Trees and Trenches, Doors and Windows: The Fowler Clark Epstein Farming Center Takes Shape
Visitors the Fowler Clark Epstein Farm in mid-August will find a dramatically different place. A massive trench was dug in the front yard to accommodate new electrical service that which will now come from Norfolk Street to both house and barn. Electricity is currently delivered from overhead lines but, because these overhead wires were a distraction from the Boston Landmarked buildings, they are being removed.
There is more excavation at the rear of both buildings. The lower story’s door at the rear of the barn was not tall enough to allow easy access into the basement which will be the space where the Urban Farming Institute’s (UFI) farmers will wash and store harvested produce before distribution. New basement steps will be built along with a removable ramp for rolling carts full of fresh vegetables for processing.
The new apartment that will be home to UFI’s Bobby Walker and Nataka Clayton Walker is in the 1967 addition to the house is starting to shape up. Cast iron industrial windows along the Hosmer Street facade were recently removed for restoration. New clear glass blocks will replace the original opaque block glass to create better visibility for the new residents while retaining the character of the windows.
On the courtyard facade of the apartment are new window openings where there were previously faux window surrounds filled with cement block. These will provide even more light and fresh air into the new apartment unit.
While MJ Mawn continues rehabilitation of the buildings, Hurst Landscaping will begin site work in the next few weeks, including tree removal and demolition of some landscape structures that are not being retained. While we are sad to lose the large maple tree in front of the house, it is suffering from severe rot in the core of the trunk and cannot be saved. Its removal clears the way for the farm?s new planting beds and small grove of new fruit trees that will eventually be installed along Hosmer Street.
The Fowler Clark Epstein Farm project is about 35% complete. Stay tuned for more updates as we moved to completion in late fall 2018.