Hill History: This Month in Hill History

February 6, 2015
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The Gazette’s top headlines from this month in local history:

5 Years Ago: 2010

“One Brigham Circle for sale”

The gigantic One Brigham Circle commercial building was listed for sale by its developers, Mission Hill Neighborhood Housing Services and the New Boston Fund, seven years after its opening. The building sold the next month to AEW Capital Management for nearly $97 million. A landmark of the neighborhood’s physical and economic transformation, One Brigham Circle was built on a largely vacant site and included the adjacent Kevin W. Fitzgerald Park.

10 Years Ago: 2005

“Church plans call for 229 units”

Weston Associates unveiled its final plans for redeveloping part of the Mission Church complex along Smith Street into two residential towers flanking a renovated Mission Grammar School. The plans, which involved demolishing two historic buildings and replacing them with 9- and 13-story buildings, received mixed community response. But a decade later, the project remains stalled for unknown reasons, and both Weston and Mission Church have declined to comment on its status, while the Boston Redevelopment Authority has publicly pushed for progress. Meanwhile, two of the buildings sit vacant, while the former school is leased to the Harvard School of Public Health.

15 Years Ago: 2000

“Local groups celebrate groundbreaking for new housing”

More than 75 neighbors and supporters joined the Back of the Hill Community Development Corporation (BOTH) and the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation (JPNDC) at the Jan. 29 groundbreaking ceremony for 22 units of affordable housing on city-owned vacant lots on Wensley Street, Bickford Avenue and Fisher Avenue. Today, the two nonprofit developers are now teaming on a similar project on Heath Street.

20 Years Ago: 1995

“PZAC’s future unclear”

The Mission Hill Planning and Zoning Advisory Committee, appointed by Mayor Flynn in 1988 to advise the Boston Redevelopment Authority on new local zoning plans, finished its Mission Hill rezoning work and was set to review the Longwood Medical Area rezoning. It was unclear whether it would continue to exist and review new developments—a significant issue because there were few local community organizations at the time. There was dispute about whether PZAC was representative of the neighborhood and its lack of actual power. In the end, the city dissolved PZAC and the Community Alliance of Mission Hill, founded in 1993, became the more prominent development-reviewing organization.

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