Old home gets new roof, windows on Parkman Street

One of Dorchester’s oldest existing homes is getting a major facelift this season thanks to a city fund that helps homeowners make major improvements to historic properties. The Federal-style yellow home at 6 Parkman Street has sat on its present site since 1887. But, it was actually built just after the Revolution on land closer to the site of the present-day Dorchester courthouse in Codman Square.

The current homeowners— Peter and Karen Power— have lived in the home since 1982. The couple raised their family there and are now empty-nesters, giving them the time they need to work on their labor of love. It helps that Peter runs his own painting company, New Hope Painting.

“It’s kind of like painting the Brooklyn Bridge: You never really finish,” explains Peter Power, a 65 year-old Dorchester native. “Every year you have to do maintenance. The gutters have to be maintained. It’s an adventure. When we first moved in, it had aluminum siding. We took it off and restored the exterior to clapboard.”

The roof started to go on the old home in recent years and the Powers clan turned to the experts at Duffy Roofing in Lower Mills for advice on making the necessary repairs.

“They told us that we might qualify for help from the city,” explained Peter Power. “You get good people to do quality work,” Power said of the Duffy workmanship.

The city funds helped to replace the roof— a job that the Duffy crews completed in one day last week. The funds were secured through a city-administered senior home repair program coordinated through the Kit Clark Senior Center in Fields Corner.

The home’s 28 original windows will be replaced in the coming days.

When the home was moved from its original site near Washington Street, it was likely the only structure on a newly laid out Parkman Street. According to a historic survey by the city of Boston’s Landmarks Commission, the sidestreet “was cut through from Dorchester Avenue to King Square by 1874 and it is along this east-west thoroughfare that the earliest houses in this area are located.”