The history — and the potential future — of housing at the Blessed Sacrament Church parcel in Hyde Square was the topic of a Boston Globe piece this weekend by columnist Joan Vennochi.
Portions of the three-acre campus have already been used for a variety of housing uses, including affordable condos, market-rate lofts, low-income apartments, and units for the formerly homeless. In her column, Vennochi describes the efforts of the Hyde Square Task Force to maintain affordable housing, as well as community space, on the site:
After stopping a plan to develop 34 luxury condos at Blessed Sacrament, the nonprofit task force bought the former church, which is located at 365 Centre St., in a neighborhood known as Boston’s Latin Quarter. Now it’s looking for a visionary development partner who is willing to commit to a plan that sets aside a performance and gathering space for public use — and offers affordable, not luxury, housing. … Here is a group of citizens fighting valiantly against the tide of gentrification. What better place to make that stand than at an iconic church that long served a thriving immigrant neighborhood? Countless baptisms, weddings, and funerals took place there. It was the heart of a community featuring Latino-owned businesses and Afro-Latin culture.)
The task force purchased the church for $875,000 and is carrying a $680,000 mortgage, financed by La Raza Community Development Fund, Vennochi writes. Read the full column for more information on the history of the church, and the task force’s efforts to maintain community space and affordable housing at the site.