Archive for December, 2013

December 11, 2013

An unholy noise

Adam at Universal Hub lists  blaring music from the outdoor speakers at Our Lady of Fatima Shrine in Brighton as “Citizen Complaint of the Day.”  The chapel is located on the former St. Gabriel’s Monastery property on Washington Street.  It must be pretty loud, or someone has sensitive ears, since it is set well back from the street and not near any homes.

December 11, 2013

The mayor and me



This website does not come with a lot of perks.  Actually none, until tonight.  Thanks to Emilee Ellison of the mayor’s office, I received an invitation to Mayor Menino’s annual, and final, holiday press party at the Parkman House.  Years ago, I landed in city hall as an aide to newly elected councilor Brian McLaughlin (District 9, Allston Brighton), the same moment Tom Menino became councilor for District 5 (Hyde Park Roslindale) and Ray Flynn took over as mayor from Kevin White.  City hall was entertaining, lots of characters.  I will never forget Dapper O’Neil dropping a Lugar pistol on my desk as he explicated his heroics during WWII.  Menino was lucky, in those days we referred to his district as Sleepy Hollow.

The party was fun, free drinks, great food, had fun schmoozing with the bartenders (another one of my jobs) and people I hadn’t seen since my city hall days.  And wow, the Parkman House looks amazing.

Above all, thanks to Mayor Menino.  Public service takes a toll, especially when you are responsible for a major city like Boston.  You cannot get away from the daily tough stuff, whether it is a shooting or a snow storm or the missed school bus pickup.  It is just there, and the mayor is there, and people look at him to blame, or fix it.  So thanks, and good luck to him and his wife Angela.


December 10, 2013

What’s in a name: Barry’s Corner vs. Allston Square

Should Harvard’s development for the corner of North Harvard Street and Western Avenue in Allston be designated “Allston Square” rather than “Barry’s Corner,” which is how that section was generally known before it was demolished in the 1960’s?  That suggestion, made by a local resident, has provoked a lively discussion on Google groups community forum.  Does the neighborhood need a re-branding?  How should the history of the fight that led to the forced removal of 71 families be honored?  For a history of the area, check out this excellent article by Bill Marchione.

December 10, 2013

Retaining wall collapses on Bellvista Road

The retaining wall in front of 15 Bellvista Road, Brighton collapsed last evening, forcing residents to relocate for at least the night.  The Boston Fire Department posted a pic here.  You can find some interesting history of the buildings in the comments at Universal Hub.

December 10, 2013

80 apartments for Braintree Street in Allston

A proposed 80 unit apartment building for 61-83 Braintree Street will be discussed on Thursday, December 12 at 6PM at a meeting hosted by the BRA.  It will be held at the Jackson Mann School, 500 Cambridge Street, Allston.  In addition to 80 apartments, it will also include commercial space and parking for 67 vehicles.

December 8, 2013

128 Newton Street: Four single-families, plus a five story building in the middle

Plans presented at last week’s meeting on possible construction at 128 Newton Street, Brighton did not go over well, based on what I heard from people who attended.  The plan involves two single-family homes at 128 Newton Street, two more singles on Bigelow Street at the foot of Hardwick Street, and smack in the middle, a five-story, twenty unit condominium building.  So far as I know, the developer, Nartan Valbandian, has yet to submit any plans or letter of intent to any city agency.  It’s too much crammed into an odd site.  Not every corner of every lot is buildable.  Keep the single families, maybe add a couple more, but get rid of the condo building.

December 5, 2013

392 Cambridge Street: 36 apartments plus retail proposed

The BAIA will host a presentation for a 36 unit apartment building that would also have retail space on the first floor.  The plan calls for 19 commercial and 44 residential parking spaces.  The meeting will be Thursday, December 5 at 7PM, Brighton Elks, 326 Washington Street, Brighton Center.  Full agenda here.  March 2013 Boston Globe article here, site map here.

December 4, 2013

Former Presentation church vandalized

The former Presentation church at 680 Washington Street in Brighton was vandalized sometime between the afternoon of November 23 and the morning of November 25.  Three teens who were caught on tape are responsible.  The property is now used a library and lecture hall by St. John’s Seminary.

December 3, 2013

Four story building with 60 apartments proposed for Brighton Center

“Parsons Crossing,” known as “where Minihane’s used to be” to everyone else, is the potential site of 60 apartments, retail use and parking. The proposed development, at the corner of Washington and Parsons Street, includes the former Minihane’s, the Commerce Bank building, and an adjacent house on Parsons Street which would be preserved. All told, we’re talking four stories, 60 housing units, 139 parking spaces and commercial space dedicated to the bank and some kind of “urban” grocery store. The BRA is hosting a meeting on Wednesday, December 4 at 6:30PM. It will be held at the Brighton Marine Hospital on Warren Street.  You can find the submission to the city here, which includes a rendition of a quite substantial building.


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