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Beacon Hill Sidewalk Wars

Boston Condos- Beacon Hill

Beacon Hill pundits Karen Cord Taylor and Stephen Quigley are not impressed with Mayor Walsh’s argument for concrete handicapped-accessible sidewalk ramps in the neighborhood.

Karen: “What the mayor hasn’t learned is that this matter is barely about bricks. Instead it is about a dictatorial public works department that decided to destroy a city’s historic fabric with no consultation with a neighborhood. It is about a mayor who heard only one side of a story.”

Stephen: “On Thursday night, Mayor Martin Walsh went before the residents of Beacon Hill to deliver his decision on the handicap accessible ramps that need to be installed in the sidewalks. He knew that his decision was not going to be well received, but he went to deliver the message himself rather than send his department chief. He deserves credit for that action. However, his decision, while motivated by the highest of principles, is wrong.”

Photo above via Erik’s post at Erik makes some excellent points.

File under: Sidewalk Wars

Suffolk University sells Fenton Building on Beacon Hill for $15M

From Banker & Tradesman:

Suffolk University has sold its six-story Fenton Building on Beacon Hill for $15 million.

The buyer was 32 Derne Street LLC, an affiliate of Brookline-based Derne Street Partners.

The university plans to move classrooms and administrative offices that were located in the 47,480-square-foot Derne Street building to other parts of campus this summer and eventually to the new $62 million 20 Somerset building under construction.

No word on what the new owners plan to do. But we have a two-word suggestion: Condos, please.

Here’s our past post on the Fenton Building.

Beacon Hill’s famous $450K ‘hole in the ground’ will become a garden

Beacon Hill Condos

Boston Beacon Hill Condos

One of the craziest stories from last decade’s housing boom – before it all came crashing down – was the purchase of a literal hole in the ground for $450,00 at the corner of David G. Mugar and Beaver Place on Beacon Hill.

If you recall, a former Delta Airlines pilot bought the state property — the site of a former MDC work shed that had been torn down, leaving only a sad cement foundation that was often filled with broken glass and trash, not to mention the occasional rat or two – and planned to build a residential building on the super-tiny plot. Some neighbors didn’t like the plan.

The Herald had an absolute field day with the controversy (“Hole Sweet Hole”).

But it turns out the house was never built (as anyone walking near there has noticed) and today its new owners plan to turn it into a small garden, eliminating one of the city’s truly oddest eyesores.

File under: Eden

For 74 Beacon Street, it was the kitchen, stupid

Boston condos

Boston condos

After a major renovation, the townhouse mansion at 74 Beacon Street, overlooking the Public Garden, is back on the market for $13.95 million.

The big change: The kitchen has been moved from the basement to the first floor.

None of that old Upstairs Downstairs stuff for new occupants. Homeowners today simply want kitchens front and center for casual entertainment purposes. No need to hide them — or the help.

Good-bye, Charles Street Market. Hello, Farmer’s Market?

Beacon Hill real estate

Beacon Hill real estate

Beacon Hill residents were quite upset when the Charles Street Market closed last year, soon to be replaced by a Peet’s Coffee later this year in the fourth quarter (according to signs now plastered in the windows on Charles Street).

But fear not: Two Beacon Hill residents, Colin Kreik and Casey Fox, are hoping to open a new Beacon Hill Farmer’s Market.

File under: Welcome idea

Gourmet cheese shop to open on Beacon Hill

Boston Commercial Real Estate

Boston Commercial Real Estate

Gene and Rebecca Beraldi, the owners of the Beacon Hill Wine & Spirits at 63 Charles Street, are taking over the former Nahas Shoes at 65 Charles and turning it into a gourmet cheese and foodie shop.

Some of the planned offerings include: “25-30 artisan cheeses, fresh breads of all kinds, caviar, salsas, dips, gelato, , chocolates, nuts, spices and frozen specialties like meats (including duck), macaroni and cheeses, homemade ravioli, appetizers and a whole lot more.”

This is good for Charles Street and we wish Gene and Rebecca nothing but good fortune. Their store opens in April.

February surprise: State may finally re-open Esplanade swimming pool

Boston Life

Boston Life

With a major snowstorm arriving today, maybe it’s not the most appropriate time to be thinking of summer and swimming. But:

The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) has affirmed its willingness to reopen the Lee Memorial Wading Pool on the Charles River Esplanade, but more than 15 years after the facility’s closure, the timeline for this remains uncertain.

“DCR has been meeting with various groups and associations dedicated to promoting use and beautification of the Charlesbank area at their request to listen to their potential ideas for the Lee Pool area,” DCR Acting Press Secretary Bill Hickey wrote in an e-mail to the Times. “As a matter of practice with large-scale, impactful projects, DCR engages in a full public process.”

File under: We’ll believe it when we see it.

Btw: The state lists Lee’s wading pool hours here, where we also got the photo. … Now back to our lovely snowstorm.