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Preserving a Savin Hill landmark

24 Grampian Way : Landmark Commission should vote to keep Dorchester history intact.24 Grampian Way : Landmark Commission should vote to keep Dorchester history intact.

The Boston Landmarks Commission will make a decision next week on whether a house at 24 Grampian Way should be preserved as a city landmark. The property has become run-down in recent years and the present owners, heirs of the last occupant, Ray Tomasini, are seeking approval to tear it down. They’ve already razed – with the city’s permission – a barn that stood nearby.

The Tomasini family argues that the restoration of the house would be cost-prohibitive and make it more difficult to find a developer who’d be willing to buy the land. Other neighbors would like to see the old home, which dates to the 1870s, preserved for its architectural and historical significance. It was once home to a whale oil baron and early sports celebrity George Wright.

We favor landmark status for the Kehew-Wright House because it is an important link to Dorchester’s 19th century past, a time when prosperous families sought out Savin Hill in particular. The property’s prominence atop the hill itself makes it a standout example of our town-turned-neighborhood’s roots as a distinct part of Boston. To sanction its imminent destruction would send a chilling message to those currently in possession of older homes of significance.

This community values its connection to past generations and centuries.

Dorchester is home to many significant homes — including Boston’s oldest structure, the Blake House in Edward Everett Square. It is a credit to our forebears that they recognized the significance of buildings like the Blake House, the Clapp House on Boston Street, and the Pierce House on Oakton Avenue. Our present leaders –civic and political – should strive, whenever possible, to show the same foresight.

We hope that the city’s Landmarks Commission will look favorably on its own report that lays out the Kehew-Wright’s significance in Dorchester’s past and present. We hope that the panel will do its part to make sure this Savin Hill landmark will be preserved for future residents of our community.

– Bill Forry

Great deal at the Strand

Dorchester folks who want to catch a great new musical at a rock-bottom price should plan to take themselves to the Strand Theatre starting tonight when Fiddlehead Theatre Company’s production of “A Little Princess” begins its run of 14 shows—including a few weekend matinees. And this weekend’s shows come with a special offer: Fiddlehead is offering tickets for just $10 a piece for Dot residents.

The Strand Theatre has become a more viable destination in recent years, thanks in the main to a multi-million dollar makeover by the Menino administration. Mayor-elect Marty Walsh has sent a strong message about his belief in the theatre: The Strand was the scene of his campaign’s kick-off last spring. It was altogether fitting, then, that Walsh’s high-energy election eve rally was also staged at the Uphams Corner landmark.

But for the Strand to really soar, Dot folks in particular need to show that we’ll turn out for ticketed events like this one— a show that is billed as a “heart-felt musical for the whole family.” Let’s turn out in force this weekend to take advantage of a great deal right in our backyard.
– BF