Join the JP Historical Society and local historian Richard Heath for a walking tour of the imagination. Not one square inch remains of the Forest Hills of forty years ago; the Southwest Corridor and the Casey Arborway obliterated all architectural landmarks from that era. And yet the vista and connection that Frederick Law Olmsted once designed and supervised for the parkway between the Arboretum and Franklin Park (most of which was destroyed in 1952 for the Casey Overpass) have been remade. Our walk will follow Olmsted's plan (and end at the lower busway of Forest Hills Station). The tour will also cover the original transportation patterns which characterized Forest Hills well before Olmsted made his plan, those of the Norfolk & Bristol Turnpike and the Boston & Providence Railroad.
On a sun-flooded morning, hundreds of families from Bromley Heath apartments sat in overflow chairs in a crowded tent to listen as Mayor Marty Walsh and Boston Housing Authority William McGonagle renamed the development Mildred C. Hailey Apartments. Joining them was Anna Mae Cole, a friend and comrade in arms for over 60 years and former chair of the Bromley Heath Tenant Management Corporation that Mrs. Hailey (and yes she was always Mrs. Hailey) directed for 40 years. Mrs. Hailey died of cancer at the age of 82 on Nov. 18, 2015 . Walsh remembered her memorial service: "At the end Billy [McGonagle] came up to me and said, "I've never asked you for anything but I'd like to ask you to name Bromley Heath after Mildred Hailey."
Plan B went into full effect at the 6th Plan JP/Rox workshop last Wednesday as 50 protesters marched into the room clapping. Just as the emcee, Senior Planner Marie Mercurio, was concluding her opening remarks, the protesters grabbed what they called "the people's mic" to "fight not for profit but for the community." For over an hour, "Keep it 100% for Egleston," a well-organized and well-rehearsed group, listed its demands to stop the Boston Redevelopment Authority-sponsored Plan JP/Rox for three months. Plan JP/Rox is a once-in-a-generation rezoning process for the whole Washington Street and Columbus Avenue corridors in Jamaica Plain and Roxbury. The protest group, which is comprised both young people as well as adults, alternated speakers using a call-and-response format.
It was glorious mild spring Thursday at Schoolmaster Hill in Franklin Park for the Third Annual Fairy House Building Workshop sponsored by the Boston Parks Department and the Franklin Park Coalition. Over a hundred boys and girls scampered over the drumlin collecting branches, leaves and cones to build houses for the magical woodland creatures that reappear in the springtime in New England fields and woods. Storytelling and books from Read Boston and the MassHort plant education tent were also on hand as well as face painting. The workshop showed kids of all ages how to have fun simply using natural items that are just lying around on the park floor under trees and shrubs.
The Sixth Annual State Of Our Neighborhood on April 7 was a sunny and happy affair. The elected officials were sage and the non profit advocates satisfied. Everyone agreed with everyone else. At the March 14 City council hearing on Just Cause Eviction the opposition was heard and their views were blunt: restraints on evictions "destroys property," "coddles problem tenants," "increases crime like illegal drugs," "breaks a contract between landlord and tenant," "the system will fall apart," "they're robbing us of our property." One opponent was Gilbert Winn who chairs the Greater Boston Real Estate Board and is owner and manager of Winn Properties (one arm of which is Winn Residential that manages thousands of income-based rental apartments for Community Development Corporations like Codman Square NDC and Urban Edge.)
Councilor Andrea Campbell asked him, "What are the solutions?" Winn broke out in a big grin and said "Money! There's not enough money for affordable housing.