Three properties with ties to Jewish settlement nominated for historic designation

Jeanette Origel, Special to the Reporter
Jul. 3, 2014

The Massachusetts Historical Commission has approved three structures— one in Mattapan and two in Dorchester— for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). All three buildings have a connection to the early 20th century settlement of Jewish immigrants, many of them from eastern Europe.

One of these locations is 825-829 Blue Hill Avenue in Mattapan, which includes two three-story brick buildings that were constructed in 1924.

The Almont Apartments, located at 1439-1443 and 1447-1451 Blue Hill Avenue have also been approved for nomination. They include two three-story, U-shaped, yellow brick buildings that were constructed in 1926. Also approved is The Home for Destitute Jewish Children, located at 150 American Legion Highway across from Franklin Park in Dorchester. It is a three-story, red- brick building, which opened in 1911 as an orphanage that cared for Jewish children in the city. It housed about 200 boys and girls annually, ages six to eighteen. In 1934, The Home for Destitute Jewish Children moved to a new location in Brighton.

In 1936 The Hecht House, a Jewish community service organization, moved into the building. In 1959, the Hecht House merged with the Young Men’s Hebrew Association. It was not until 1970 that Lena Park Community Development Corporation (CDC) bought the building. Lena Park occupied the building until 2006. The building is presently undergoing rehabilitation to convert most of it into the Edward W. Brooke Charter School. The building will still be providing Lena Park CDC with space and will follow its history of serving the young people in our community.

The National Register is the nation’s official listing of significant historic resources. There are now over 70,000 properties listed with the agency. These three properties will next be submitted to the National Park Service for final consideration.