$3.5m from CPA eyed for Dot, Mattapan

The sign atop the Walter Baker administration building in Lower Mills would be refurbished and illuminated for the first time in decades using $56,000 in CPA funding. Daniel Sheehan photo

In the latest round of the city’s Community Preservation Act (CPA) funding, Mayor Martin Walsh and the Community Preservation Committee have itemized more than $25.5 million in grants, including nearly $3.5 million set aside for projects in Dorchester and Mattapan. 

Walsh’s recommendations were approved by the committee this month and will next be reviewed by the city council, which is expected to vote on the overall allocation in the coming weeks.

Projects supported with CPA funding com with the obligation to create or preserve affordable housing, historic sites, or open space and recreation. 

These projects “are a reflection of the needs and voices of the residents in our neighborhoods. Because they are developed and created by Bostonians, each project directly serves each of our communities,” Walsh said in a statement.

More than $3 million in CPA funding would support nine historic preservation and six open space projects in Dorchester. The historic grouping would account for $1,921,669 to deal with the following:

• $488,000 for rehabilitation and restoration repairs to The Great Hall at Codman Square’s historic 1904 building, originally a branch library and now part of the Codman Square Health Center.

• $378,969 to the 1941 Pleasant Hill Baptist Church building on Humboldt Avenue for capital improvements and repairs to the steeple and entrance stairs, character-defining exterior architectural features, and fencing. 

• $321,500 to the 922 Greater Love Tabernacle Church building on Nightingale Street for capital improvements and repairs, including design and reconstruction of the entrance stairs and fixing masonry on the chimney and parapet. 

• $250,000 to the 1910 Pierce Building in Uphams Corner for capital and accessibility improvements to the building’s exterior envelope.

• $250,000 to the 806 Second Church in Codman Square for repairs to character-defining elements of the steeple.

• $100,000 to the 1889 Global Ministries Christian Church on Washington Street near Ashmont Hill for critical repairs to exterior elements, including damaged trim, sheathing, and roofing. 

• $56,000 in Lower Mills for the rehabilitation and restoration of the “Walter Baker” illuminated sign on the 1919 Administration Building— also called Baker Lofts. 

Walsh and the CPA committee also earmarked $77,200 to preserve the 1720 Lemuel Clap and 1806 William Clapp Houses that are owned by the Dorchester Historical Society. The funds would be used to make capital improvements to the property, including masonry and related repairs of damaged foundations at both houses, stabilization of the William Clapp House chimney, repairs to the collections storage structure, and restoration and repair of exterior trim and fencing.

Earl Taylor, president of Dorchester Historical Society, said the group is “thrilled to have made it onto the proposed list for funding.

“The work is important to the preservation of our historical buildings at 195 Boston Street, and the Society does not have the funds to do this work without the funding,” Taylor told the Reporter. “We feel that this is important for the continued existence of these historic houses, which showcase Dorchester’s past.” 

A total of $1,175,000 has been earmarked for Open Space & Recreation in Dorchester, including:

• $700,000 for site improvements to an under-maintained 31,000 square foot parcel to preserve land and create an urban forest for active recreational use at the Washington Street Urban Forest.

• $150,000 for the design and construction of a distressed lot to create a commercial community farm at Westville Urban Farm. 

• $150,000 to fund the design and construction of a new performance stage for community events, permanent sculptural seating, granite blocks, and grading for lawn mounds to rehabilitate active recreational space at Codman Square Park.

• $100,000 for water and utility installation, site improvements, and furnishings to transform vacant land into an urban food forest at Olmec 2 - Aspinwall Food Forest.

• $50,000 for the removal of unhealthy trees and planting of new trees in Cedar Grove Cemetery. 

• $25,000 to resurface an actively used playground to provide quality and healthy outdoor space at Dudley Village.

In Mattapan, $400,000 was allocated for one historic preservation and two open space projects.

$200,000 to the 1928 Berea Seventh-day Adventist Academy building for roof repairs and stabilization of urgent water infiltration locations at the exterior. 

• $100,000 to fund the site work to redesign, expand, and rehabilitate the multi-purpose recreational space behind the Brooke Charter School and Lena Park Community Center for active use.  

$100,000 for water and utility installation, site improvements, and furnishings to transform a vacant land into an urban food forest at Olmec 1 - Morton St. Food Forest. 

The largest commitment of CPA funding would subsidize affordable housing projects citywide. A $5 million allotment would fund the ONE+Boston First-Time Homebuyer Program, helping income-eligible prospective home buyers get down payment assistance and payment reduction in the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. 

A matching commitment of $5 million would go to the Acquisition Opportunity Program (AOP), an anti-displacement program by providing funding to responsible developers to acquire occupied market-rate rental units and convert them to deed-restricted housing for low-and moderate-income Bostonians.

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