The Boston Landmarks Commission is scheduled to vote next week whether or not to designate the house at 24 Grampian Way in Savin Hill as a local landmark. The home, also known as the Kehew-Wright House, is owned by the family of the late Ray Tomasini, which is seeking a permit to tear down the deserted structure.
The 14-member commission will meet at 5:45 p.m. next Tuesday (Nov. 26) on the ninth floor of City Hall.
The property, which spans three-quarters of an acre, is widely viewed as an eyesore with the dilapidated house on it, but for many its value is derived from its perch on Savin Hill overlooking Dorchester Bay between Morrissey Boulevard and I-93. The home was built sometime in the 1870s and is associated primarily with three people: the industrialist William Prescott Hunt; the whale oil merchant John Kehew, and the sports celebrity George Wright, a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame who sold sporting goods and has a municipal golf course in Hyde Park named after him.
The Tomasini family has argued the house should not be designated a landmark because it would make it, and the property, harder to sell and redevelop. The value of the land is pegged at $278,190, while the main building is worth $117,000, according to city documents.
The Dorchester Historical Society’s Earl Taylor is among the supporters of landmark status, pointing to the home’s associations with local historical figures and the commission’s own report, which notes some of its historical ties.
“While the house is not an extraordinary example of its type, it represents a high style house on a large lot for a prosperous upper middle class family,” the commission said in a response this month to public comments on the home. “At the time of its construction, the Second Empire style of architecture was very fashionable. The exterior ornamentation that has remained intact, such as the pierced rickrack edging and stick-style cross bracing, shows the builder’s attention to detail. While it is true that additions and alterations have been made over the years according to the tastes and needs of the various occupants, they have not detracted from the original form and massing of the building.”