Another old New England house headed for destruction





The Dorchester Historical Society has seen it happen time and time again: An old Victorian is purchased by a developer; it gets torn down and replaced by condominiums.

It's a scene that plays out all too often in Boston's biggest neighborhood, according to preservationists who say a glut of older Dorchester homes have fallen victim to the recent boom of condo construction.

"These old buildings are very well-constructed . . . they've lasted for over 100 years," said Rosanne Foley, who chairs the Dorchester Historical Society's architectural preservation committee. "Why knock them down, when two streets over there's a vacant lot with ten TVs [dumped] on it?"

Every year, the historical society compiles a list of the Top 10 endangered properties in Dorchester, to help raise awareness of architectural assets at risk of being bulldozed. The list is updated and released in May, to coincide with National Preservation Month. The group has been making the list since 2004.

Several of those endangered properties have since met the wrecking ball. They include a 200-year-old home on Grant Place in Lower Mills (it was replaced by condos); the 1893 George Frost mansion at 223 Neponset Ave. (razed in May 2005 and replaced by six condo units); the Joseph Foster House at 1615 Dorchester Ave. (replaced by two contemporary three-deckers); a red Gothic gingerbread cottage built around 1850 on Pearl Street (replaced by two three-story buildings that are still under construction); and a house that was built around 1860 at 615 Adams St. (now a vacant lot, it's the future site of a 16-unit housing development called Blandino Farms).

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