An ice-cream plant reduced to rubble

Mattapan trolley at Central Street on Milton/Dorchester line

Byron Nash took the photos of the former Hendries plant at Central Avenue in Milton, which was reduced to rubble to make way for condos. Nash got there on a trolley driven by Tim Murphy after the Mattapan line was started up again after a week-long cancellation due to the demolition.



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Ah. the Hendries Plant

Milton, you know the rural community 87 miles from Boston, has been fighting this redevelopment, since the last century. Milton, the town with 4 transit stops on the Red Line, didn't want housing on a site, abutting a transit site, that has been abandoned since 1990.

The developer purchased this site in 1999. 1999! He has been trying to develop a site in a village setting since this year's college freshman were still embryos.

1999 was also the year that the former Hendrie's, then Hood, warehouse just outside of Milton station, about 3/4's of a mile east of here so unsuspiciously burned down. That site was replaced with 3,000+ square foot condominiums designed for the people selling their Colonials in town to have room for them and their visiting grandchildren, not for the unwashed.

This development at the corner of Eilot and Central has been blocked for every number of reasons (including the removal of one tree), in order to keep this site from being developed.

36 units will not destroy the fabric of Milton. The site does have too many parking spaces, yes, but for the health of the area's rising housing prices, this is a relief, and Milton's will not become methadone mile anytime soon.


Why are you hating on Milton?

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Why are you hating on Milton? The town has done an exceptional job of preserving its small, historic town feel amidst immense pressure.
Imagine if it caved to every developer who wanted to build there?
Randolph was once a desirable place to live.
Wollaston, too.
I even remember when Braintree was nice.
But that was before FX Messina and Tom Flatley built whatever whervever.
When towns filled with single family homes then welcome apartment buildings -- and yes, condos -- it forever changes the fabric of the community.
I think it is great that Milton's leaders resist that pressure.

snob zoning

Single family homes guarantee that only rich people can live in a community. Not the firefighters. Not the teachers. Only the rich.


Milton has a great mix of

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Milton has a great mix of housing stock, and yes, teachers and firefighters live there.
The so-called anti-snob zoning, enacted in the 1960s when the middle class was fleeing the cities, only benefits the politically-connected developers who are able to exploit that law.
Don't believe me? Look at some of the Fish family's 40B developments, (EA Fish, Suffolk Construction/Dellbrook Construction/Peabody Properties) which were built on once industrial land in the suburbs. They are able to build tremendously dense projects, that put a tremendous strain on taxpayers as long as they create those coveted "affordable units."
Unfortunately, a great many of these affordable units sit vacant, because the people who truly need low-cost housing in a very high cost region can't afford them.
But the developers get rich -- and people who don't know better continue to preach about the new so 40B developments.


Affordable units that sit vacant in Milton? is that real?

Cinnmngrl, to the best of my

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Cinnmngrl, to the best of my knowledge, Milton does not have any Chapter 40B developments.
There have been a few proposals through the years, but they were never built.
I think the Falcone family is looking to build one in the East Milton Square area now.
But if you are looking to verify what I said in an earlier post, about many vacant affordable units in 40B developments, I can point you to several property management firms, several of which have ties to Milton.
First check Peabody Properties, which is part of the late Edward A. Fish syndicate. Karen Fish Will runs the company, which manages many affordable housing complexes.
Then call the John M Corcoran Company and Corcoran Mullins Jennison. Both companies built and manage 40B developments.
Also, try Maloney Properties, a Wellesley based firm, run by former BRA boss Mark Maloney. They should have a list of affordable homes in various 40B developments.

I'm guessing you own a house in Milton

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The reality is that the Boston area is growing, and closer in communities like Milton should be allowing more density. Otherwise, we will become a region where those who make the underlying parts of the economy move will have to commute into town from 40 miles away. The projects that Costello points out wouldn't even affect pre-existing residential, only add to the housing stock of the town. We are not talking rezoning here, just variances. Of course, perhaps the parts of Milton close to Central Ave might have some other reasons for not wanting new residents in the area, but I don't know.

As far as Randolph goes, since the farms were turned into subdivisions, the town has basically been a place for people from Dorchester to move to. It's been that way since the 1950s. I do think it's interesting that you reference Randolph and Wollaston. I wonder what traits those two areas have in common. Perhaps some demographic similarities. I mean, they are not demographically the same by a long shot, but I dunno, as a guess, perhaps you are alluding to the change of the two communities from places full of white people to places with a lot less white people. Could that be?


So, instead of disagreeing

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So, instead of disagreeing with em, you've chosen to imply I'm a racist. Not cool.

Of course, perhaps the parts of Milton close to Central Ave might have some other reasons for not wanting new residents in the area, but I don't know.

I don't know either - but right now, we are discussing this area because this is where the project is.

I do think it's interesting that you reference Randolph and Wollaston. I wonder what traits those two areas have in common. Perhaps some demographic similarities.

Both communities abut Milton.

I mean, they are not demographically the same by a long shot, but I dunno, as a guess, perhaps you are alluding to the change of the two communities from places full of white people to places with a lot less white people. Could that be?

Both Randolph and Wollaston were once very desirable places to live. Due to unchecked, unplanned development, they have plummeted in value. Take a drive up to Wollaston Hill, where you will see gracious old homes for the 1920s, next to high rises from the 1960s and 1970s. Those high rises forever changed Wollaston.

Milton is wise to resist, in my opinion.

Not buying it

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First, being the greater Boston area, property values in Quincy and Milton have gone up, not down.

Second, again, Randolph was basically farmland until Routes 24 and 128 were built. Since you seem to be sensitive about the race thing, I'll just note that those who have been moving to Randolph have by and large been moving to single family houses. 72% of housing units (that is individual units, not developments) in Randolph are single family. If Randolph has issues, they are not due to the housing stock. Let's not pretend that Randolph was something that is wasn't, since it is what it was when I hung out there in the 80s.

Third, as far as Quincy goes, it is a city, and I don't believe John Costello has mentioned any 6 or 8 or 10 story buildings proposed in Milton. The projects referenced seem small compared to what Quincy has built, and to be honest, I don't think that Quincy development would be right for Milton. That said, we are not talking Quincy development, and at that Quincy seems to be doing just fine with their high rises. Your hang ups with Quincy and Randolph are for you to work out, but the NIMBYism of Milton is laughable.


Waquiot, thank you for the

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Waquiot, thank you for the response.
As I am sure you know, I have every right to my opinions.
One of those opinions is that Milton's leaders are to be applauded for pushing back against the development juggernaut that has changed the fabric of so many Boston area communities.
You have every right to disagree with my opinion.
But you have no right to label me a racist because you don't agree with that opinion.

Plummeted in value?

Uh, no. Nothing anywhere around Boston has done anything but rise sharply in value. My extended family owns a number of properties near Wollaston - some for generations. They are not seeing any slide in value whatsoever - the opposite, actually, because people want to be near the beach. You are extremely wrong.

Wherever you are getting your information from, uh, well, you might try a new source. Almost like you are living in some alternate universe with your talk of 40B vacancies and plummeting prices.

Check out this Zillow widget that shows that prices in Milton, Randolph, and Quincy have all risen together due to regional forces. (scroll below map where you can compare to other towns and even download the data by neighborhood).


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This guy was really nice to me, so let's just say that Wollaston and Randolph have changed since the 1970s and leave it at that.

Of course, if he ever visited Brookline, he might change his views on apartment buildings meaning the death of a community, but I don't think he'll ever get over that way.

In that case

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I don't think he's visited Wollaston or Randolph since the 1970s, either.

I MIGHT agree with you except

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1) Brookline has allowed tons of development over the years without hurting their olde tyme small towne feel.
2) This was literally a boarded up, dilapidated, falling-down rat hole for 2 decades. Right next to a T stop and in the heart of a quaint little town village, so literally ANYTHING going there should have been though of as an improvement. The neighborhood, on BOTH sides of the tracks, will benefit from this development.

Density will happen

you can have smart density or dumb density. Frankly, you need more young professionals to move to Milton and buy condos. Someone has to pay the taxes that pay for the schools.

I didn't know this was an ice cream plant, it was just an empty derelict building. Great place for drug users to shoot up and smoke in peace. But this is not happening just in Milton. Dorchester has several dangerous eyesores located in the middle of multifamily housing and apartment buildings.

It is a good thing for neighbors to have some say in how things are built, but if this level of obstruction continues some judge or law maker will take it away.

The Cen Ave aka Milton Academy trolley stop is finally inviting

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I always enjoyed heading to my games at Milton Academy from the Mattapan Line; with the exception of Hendries. A flat pastoral stroll between Central Ave and the M-Ac fields; you would go from beautiful quiet roads with wide sidewalks to the terrifying rat-infested Hendrie's

Those street-cars need to be put out to pasture

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They were bought used from Dallas, TX 53 years ago. We are in the home-stretch of the 2nd decade of the 21st century. Perhaps replace with a silverline type bus or just a plain old bus.

And the MBTA central subway (greenline) is a disaster. Painfully slow, over-crowded and very out-dated. Why can't they they move more than 5-10 mph in the subway? Why do trains have to wait to enter a station when there's another train in the station? There's plenty of room. Why the '2-5 minute adjustments' (delays)? I would say replace the streetcars with longer articulated buses and use the central subway as a buseway like in Seattle.

Because, Because, Because

The street cars run fine. Most of them were rebuilt over the past few years. It has been human error that has damaged two of them in the past few years, not mechanical failure.

There could be buses, yes, but the investments in these street cars have worked. The line could use the LRV's of the Green Line, but all of the bridges (Galilivan Boulevard, Over the Neponset (2x)) would have to be rebuilt.

I have been on 60 to 100+ year old street cars in Eastern Europe, they work well. They work for decades and not a few years like a bus, which needs to be replaced again and again over the long life cycle of a trolley. Do you work for GM? I'd rather spend a million on a trolley that lasts decades that buy 5 buses that last 5 years at $350,000 to $400,000 a piece.

The Mattapan line works because the cars move fast, there typically isn't someone sitting in the doorway so people cannot get in and out, and people know how to get on and off fast.

As far as replacing the street cars with buses, you would have to rebuild all of the infrastructure at Ashmont for buses, that would cost millions. This line runs well. If this line ran through JP or Somerville, it would be declared "sacred" and a national treasure. It gets pissed on because it runs through Dot and Milton, outside of the purview of many of the chattering classes. Beacon Hill gets to keep their gas lamps, Back Bay gets their height limits, Dot and Milton get to keep a trolley line, not some "articulated busway".

Besides, this line is something that should be repeated more on the T. That bike path that runs from Malden Center east should have been a similar line to this, all the way to Lynn. Same thing with one of these feeding Winchester from Woburn on the old rail line there.

As far as the Green Line goes? Board faster, get off of the car faster. The trains move faster when you don't decide to start moving forward from the back of the car after the trolley has already been in the station.


Just fine

These are fast and frequent. It was all the more obvious recently using the shuttles, which took long, circuitous routes and got clogged in traffic.

Ew Gross

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Why would anyone advocate for buses in place of street cars who is not Alfred P. Sloan?
Buses are horribly inefficient in the city and do not belong. All of the buses that are here would be better replaced by street cars.


Hill climbing

When I was in Basel, trams ran everywhere - except up the hills. You needed to shift to a bus for those.

I suspect that there is snow in Basel in the winter, too.

OK, I'm a little confused here:

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how is it replacing things that run on rails in a tunnel with things that run on rubber tires in the very same tunnelK supposed to solve something?



First of all, the last Dallas car was retired in May of 1979, so ya no. These cars were designed by the Boston Elevated, built by the Pullman-Standard Car Company’s plant in Worcester and originally used on the A WATERTOWN Line in 1945. At 73 years of service, they are the oldest continuously operated PCC’s in the world having never been taken out of active service. These cars are tough and do an amazing service for an area that 1) Has been burned before by the lie of BRT and 2) desperately needs service like this.

As for your other rant, what makes you think there’s an advantage in converting the central subway to BRT? There would STILL only be 2 lanes, and you’d STILL have to hold buses for headway! Lol!



Please share your data so that people like Cybah can use it to advocate for the neighborhoods that it serves.

The moment MassDOT couldn't reach a bridge traffic settlement

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Is the moment the SL3 should have died. Chelsea and the local reps should find makes to salvage the remains. Having a Silver Line route from Market Basket to Haymarket via the Tobin is one way to salvage the new SL3 terminus station while relieving 111 over-capacity.


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I can clearly remember taking green line streetcars when they ROARED tbrough tunnels and didn't crawl like a donkey, which is the case today. You would also have multiple streetcars pulling into stations at thesame time; they didn't wait for one train to depart. Headway? They didn't have to deal with headway back then?


They ALWAYS dealt with headways since the beginning of the railroads. As for trains, “roaring” through the subway? There are more trains now because there are more people. Plus there’s a very important thing extremely impatient people like yourself forget when you’re complaining about headways, safety. Trains can’t be roaring through the subway because it isn’t safe. But I’ll bet you’d be the first cowardly anonymous person on here complaining about how the place needs to be safer if something bad were to happen.

Well that looks like an udder

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Well that looks like an udder disaster. How many more cows must be displaced because of over development?


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Tim will switch them up when he's driving if he sees somebody taking photos.

Tim Murphy

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Tim Murphy is a man who loves his job. If you ride a few times with him, you quickly find out he is always entertaining and treats his passengers with love. The T has no better ambassador in their employ.



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Isn't Milton the town that was fighting expansion of the Neponset river trail system a while back because it would connect to Mattapan? If you live in a town abutting Boston you need to plan for smart growth. Growth is coming either way. Pick a town center. Let people build some apartment buildings there. Your town will still look like a village.