On Tuesday, a demo-delay hearing is scheduled with the City of Boston Landmark’s Commission on the demolition of the Gate of Heaven School. Back in January, it was reported that the the Archdiocese of Boston plans to knock down the building and turn it into a parking lot. 40 parking spaces would be available for rent. The plan is the cash from the rentals will be used to help with the upkeep of the Gate of Heaven Church.
Since 2014, The Gate of Heaven School building has been in and out of the news for its development proposals. Initially, Oranmore Enterprises proposed converting the historic school building into into 31 condos with 40 parking spots. (The proposal was then revised to 26 condos.) The neighborhood erupted in opposition to the condos- and a counter campaign to keep the building a school called Kids Before Condos formed. The mission of Kids Before Condos was to urge the Archdiocese to reopen the property as a charter school for neighborhood students.
But some direct abutters did not love this idea and preferred condos over a charter school.
Eventually, after so much controversy, the developer pulled the proposed plan and the Archdiocese took the property off of the market.
When it was announced that the school would in fact be demolished and turned into a parking lot, the neighborhood seemed disappointed. Father Casey from the Gate of Heaven Parish told the Boston Globe it had explored alternatives such as senior housing, but decided against it. “Elderly housing is something we looked at seriously, but it brought financial risk in years to come,” Casey said.
So now with the hearing for demo-delay on Tuesday, everyone involved is being forced to stop and take a second look. Is a parking lot the best idea for the neighborhood? A parking lot that most likely will eventually be developed into condos in the future. If condos/housing will ultimately to be on that parcel – why not keep the historic building?
The initial rejected proposal for senior housing was submitted by a local non-profit. This proposal would be funded through the Seaport affordable housing obligations and create housing for seniors. So what does that mean? Well, it means Gate of Heaven/St. Brigid Parish would retain ownership of the building and could create income from rent in addition to renting some of the parking spots on the property. It would be a win/win for the parish and the community. Rental income could help with the upkeep of the church and seniors in the community would have access to affordable housing. Seems like a better plan than just a parking lot.
What do you think?
The Boston Landmark Commission will hold its monthly hearing in room 409 of City Hall on Tuesday. The hearing will begin at 4:30pm. The demo-delay is listed on the agenda. You can see it here.
Anything and everything needs to “go” or be altered over time. This world, neighborhood & community all change & it’s needs change Some buildings or areas have sentimental value to people, but those same buildings and areas have the potential for far more tangible value if they are allowed to change.
It is hard to let go of things you’ve come to know, but it’s for the benefit of everyone.
If you embrace change, instead of fight it, it’s amazing how far a community can come.
This is no longer a working class, Irish neighborhood at it’s core. It’s where young people come to live & play while being in close proximity to where they work. The neighborhood will be better served by allowing these inefficient uses change, to be efficient uses of space.
The selfish NIMBYism that has taken over this entire city is the choke hold that is holding back further economic prosperity.
There are people out there who complain that we have a parking problem….some of those same people are fighting the demolition of the school for a parking lot….what a world we live in.
I would love to see a proposal for the re-use of St. Vincent’s as well. It’s very sad waste of space & time.
Last comment: Who ever was advising them on senior housing being risky has no idea what they are doing….YES demographically the senior class will proportionately decline, but housing is housing and it is not expensive or “risky” to reclassify senior housing as regular multifamily housing when the time comes. What do you think all of these institutional investors’ exit strategy is on existing senior housing supply?
You should stop replying to your own comments–you’re gonna go blind.
If only there was an edit feature like every other comment section on every other website in this world.
No email verification….no edit feature…..no integrity….just how i like my internet comment sections.
You should stay on those other websites and leave this one because no one cares how you feel.
If only I felt the need for someone to care.
If the fate of that parcel is meant to be a parking solution why not retro-fit the building into a multi level parking structure which would allow for many more rental spots and maintain the exterior footprint and architecture.
This seems like a great compromise, and would maximize the solution potential for that lot. Certainly worth discussion as an option.
That would waste a large portion of the parcel & the cost of retrofitting that building to become a parking garage would be economically infeasible. I think you’re correct that if they do go the route of parking, they should make it a multi story structure.
It would be much cheaper to just demolish the building and build a standard multistory parking garage, one like the channel center garage. It’s not beautiful but in this case I think practicality & economics should supersede optics.
A centrally located multi story parking garage in the middle of a neighborhood that’s constantly complaining about not enough parking?
Too logical….you’re right.