Will Boston’s historic homes fall into huge sinkholes?

I wouldn’t rule out the possibility.

Anyone thinking of buying in the city, anyone even renting in the city, should learn all about Boston’s groundwater problem.

Start by reading this well-researched, even-handed, and professionally-reported story by crack journalist Hank Phillippi Ryan, of WHDH-TV. And keep an eye on the Boston Groundwater Trust’s website.

About two years after Forbes Dewey Jr. and his wife, Carolyn, purchased their home in the North End, they were hit with a condominium-owner’s nightmare: wooden pilings holding up the foundation had begun to rot and would require more than $2 million in repairs to keep the building from sinking into the landfill it was built on more than a century ago.

Hundreds of historic buildings in the Back Bay, South End, and other parts of the city’s core are in similar straits — their foundations threatened as ground water recedes, exposing pilings to air and bacteria.

To Dewey’s surprise, however, the North End and several other neighborhoods were omitted from a target area where the city plans to require most renovation work to be done in a way that will replenish ground water instead of further depleting it.

Complete article: Water plan leaves them high and dry – By Christine MacDonald, The Boston Globe

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Updated: January 2018

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