Upham's Corner Online

BPA Report on Rich Architectural History of Upham's Corner

Posted: August 31, 2011     Nancy J Conrad

The Boston Preservation Alliance under the leadership of Erica Lindamood held a workshop on June 9, 2011 entitled "Upham's Corner: Places Worth Preserving, Stories Worth Telling" at St. Mary's church on Jone's Hill.  She later thanked those who attended, citing a few of the evening's highlights: 
  • Discussion of the historical role of the railroad in the neighborhood, historical landscaping along Columbia Road, and old houses of note in surrounding residential districts
  • Advocacy for creation of a neighborhood map with easy-to-read explanation of various types of districts and designations, including Neighborhood Design Overlay Districts, National Register listing, and local landmarking
  • Discussion of special places and neighborhood history
View draft report distributed at meeting
The Dorchester Reporter covered the meeting: 


Excerpts from article:

Preservation group targets Uphams Corner sites for review

By Pat Tarantino, Reporter Staff
Jun. 16, 2011

During an open workshop titled “Uphams Corner: Places worth preserving, stories worth telling,” held on Thursday (June 9) at St. Mary’s Church, a small group of local history enthusiasts met with BPA’s lead researchers, combing through a preliminary report that highlights 28 residential and commercial properties that have been brought to the Alliance’s attention over the course of a two-year survey.

Once completed, the BPA hopes to use this report to guide their own advocacy for the protection of historic landmarks, as well as inform elected officials, developers and residents of often overlooked historical sites that may otherwise face demolition with untold stories. Sarah Kelly BPA executive director said the process serves a dual role of giving residents pause for thought as they consider what makes their corner of the city unique.

In it’s current state, the report is a collection of images and brief entries about notable locations around the Uphams Corner neighborhood, ranging from historical mainstays like the Strand Theatre and the Pilgrim Church, to more obscure attractions like a small mission-style comfort station found in the Old North Burial Ground and the Uphams Corner Market Building, which housed Boston’s first one-stop supermarket in the 1920’s.

Lindamood said the project’s reliance on local input will help preserve the buildings most important to the people who experience them on a daily basis: “What we’re trying to do is capture what we hear from members of the community, rather than saying ‘this building is important, this building isn’t.’”

Some concerns were raised.
  • The report lacked “an editorial voice, something that could tell a story of how Uphams Corner has evolved.”
  • Why particular homes were singled out for the report while residences of similar styles and ages were omitted
Currently there are 10 city-mandated historic landmark districts, which receive additional protection when new development projects could potentially alter the historical character of the area, none of these regions fall within Dorchester or Mattapan.

The final report is due out in September 2011.     Read letter from Erica Lindamood:

August 29, 2011

Dear Friends of Upham's Corner,

As many of you know, the Boston Preservation Alliance has recently held several workshops and discussion sessions to teach and learn about the rich architectural history of Upham's Corner and surrounding residential neighborhoods, and to gain an understanding of community members' priorities for the care and preservation of these resources.

This work has been done in partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Historic Boston Incorporated, and in collaboration with Upham's Corner Main Street and many others in the community.

In early September, we will distribute via email a draft report that summarizes this process and our findings. We have delayed release of this draft report in order to ensure that it is as complete and accurate as possible.

Please contact us (see below) to get on the mailing list.

Erica B. Lindamood
Education Coordinator
Boston Preservation Alliance

ph: (617) 367-2458
f: (617) 227-1886
Erica Lindamood <elindamood@bostonpreservation.org>

View complete email

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