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On Martin Luther King Day, police called in to stop demolition of garages at historic house where civil-rights documentarian lived

Fort Hill residents called 911 today to summon police when they saw a contractor tearing down the garages at the home where filmmaker and activist Henry Hampton lived as he produced the award-winning documentary series, "Eyes on the Prize" and created one of the larges minority-owned production companies in the country.

The garages at 88 Lambert Ave. have been at the center of a battle between residents and Michael Winston and Claudia Robaina, who own and live at 88 Lambert Ave., over the future of the two-thirds acre site. In 2017, Winston and Robaina announced plans for eight townhouses in two buildings around the historic house, built in 1834 by architect Richard Bond and later owned by Hampton as he produced his civil-rights series in the 1980s.

The garages, which once could house 30 cars, were built in 1910.

To make way for their townhouses, Winston and Robaina want to tear down the garages - which a contractor started doing this morning. But residents who noticed the demolition early this morning went outside to protest and then called police, who arrived and ordered the workers to stop. Residents then gathered online, on the Highland Park Neighborhood Watch mailing list, to complain about the work, on Martin Luther King Day, no less.

At issue is whether the Boston Landmark Commission has approved the destruction of the garages. At a Sept. 22 hearing before the Zoning Board of Appeal, Winston and Robaina's attorney, Derric Small, said the commission had approved the work. Residents say the commission is still considering the historic nature of the garages. A a landmarks-commission list dated Oct. 1 says the property is still under consideration.

On Jan. 4, however, ISD issued a permit for the roughly $75,000 demolition project.

The overall project also needs approval of the zoning board, because the proposal would violate several sections of the neighborhood's zoning otherwise: It's too close to the sidewalk and the rear and side property lines, it is too dense and the parking would not be on the two new lots created for the new buildings.

At the Sept. 22 hearing, Small asked for a deferral to continue talks with neighbors and was granted a new hearing of Dec. 1. But at that hearing, Winston asked for another deferral, saying "we are at the verge of a really incredible agreement with the community around how to honor Henry's legacy." The board then set a new hearing time of 12:30 p.m. on March 9.

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Comments

If they have a valid demo permit, wouldn't the police assume everything is in order and the demo can continue so long as it follows the general construction rules?

I'm not saying the permit should have been issued, just surprised the police would stop a contractor with a valid permit.

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Voting closed 59

Having gone through a couple iterations with ISD for just for home renovation work, I conclude it must be common knowledge that ISD is overwhelmed, so much so that permits are approved in a seemingly capricious, totally unpredictable manner.

I don’t think it unreasonable that the officers of BPD wouldn’t be well aware of the possibility for ISD to make a mistake.

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Voting closed 27

is like pissing into the wind. Of course when it's time to shutter a restaurant, or cite a landlord they'll be right over.

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My understanding from some protesters I know is that the police stopped the demolition at least in part because it was being done on a holiday, which is not allowed by the city permit.

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With few exceptions, building permits in Boston are not valid on weekends, before 7AM, or after 6PM on weekdays. Whether that covers holidays isn't clear. Any work being done outside of those hours is probably not being done with a permit, even if one was granted for normal hours. Calls to 311 for noise complaints for unpermitted construction are usually transferred to 911, and the police intervene and enforce the regulations.

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MLK is a national holiday, if you dont get an after hours permit to work on a holiday they will shut you down. Even if you have a valid permit, you need a special permit to work Holidays, after hours and weekends.

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I don’t get the sense that MLK would have been too interested in a bunch of NIMBYs wanting to stop new housing in order to save some random garages...

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It’s a group of largely Black residents wanting to stop a white developer from California from demolishing a notable Black historical site. He’s been completely unwilling to work with the neighborhood project approval process and has lied to the neighborhood association and agreed to conditions that he then ignores.

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How important is it to preserve the garages where, for a brief part of their existence, a filmmaker kept his cars?

Should the race of a property owner relative to the race of the people in the surrounding area have any bearing whatever on what’s permitted to be built or demolished on the property? This is what zoning and historic preservation laws are for. I’m sure you could see why using race as a factor for zoning permission is dangerous and morally abhorrent.

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Much like a rose, a NIMBY by any other name is . . .

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To another African American film director; Robert Patton Spruill, who then sold it for a lot of money (almost 5x) what he paid for it 15 years earlier. That is how much the Hampton family thought of the historic nature of the site.

I know Spurill is now up in one of the most Trumpian parts of New Hampshire making distilled spirits.

So, before you harp on this being a black / white issue, just remember that the most important color of all was and is involved in this; Green.

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Voting closed 86

SW NH is the Trumpiest part of NH? Over Coos County? I don't think so...

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Drove down from Newport to Warner on Route 103 (past the place where Epstein associate Maxwell was held up too). There were enough Trump signs to make you think it was Mid-October 2020 and the election was weeks away.

For an added bonus I suggest Route 11 in Central Vermont. Trump signs still almost outnumber abandoned cars on front "lawns".

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Really odd.

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… the town he's in, went for Trump, with 988 votes. Biden got 986.

Cheshire County is the second-bluest county in the state (after Grafton, which is anchored by Lebanon and Hanover) and hasn't voted for a Republican since 1988 (when every county in the state did). There's a row of red towns along the Mass border (expats?) anchored by New Ipswich, one of the Trumpiest towns in the state (behind just Windsor, a small gore-like town, relatively nearby, and three towns in Coos), but they're balanced by the Keene-Peterborough corridor which would not be out of place 20 miles southwest in the Pioneer Valley or hilltowns across the border.

The Republicanest part of NH used to be Rockingham (the suburban portion between Manchvegas and the Mass border east of 93), but that swung pretty hard away from Trump this year. So now it's Belknap, up by Winnipesaukee, which is the most Republican county in the state (although I wouldn't be surprised if in 2024 that title of ignominy is passed to Coos).

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"So now it's Belknap, up by Winnipesaukee, which is the most Republican county in the state"

In the end, the beautiful boaters really were his people although presumably Wolfesboro remains a Romney town of old money Republicans.

Anyways, I'm not convinced these garages have any more historical merit than say, saving the old Fort Apache studio space in Roxbury. The creative product is the key thing, not the space it was created in.

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I suspect most registered voters in Belknap County are not in the fancy lake houses, since those are mostly second homes.

Wolfeboro is in Carroll County.

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Hi John,

Thank you for your comment, however it fails to mention the million+ dollars the Janey/Moreno/Spruill family put into the property to rehab it from the dereliction the Hampton estate allowed the property to fall into after many years of neglect. Spruill took an abandoned gem and made it into a center of community for the people of Roxbury culminating in him winning Discovery Roxbury's Life Time Achievement award. In selling our home we have been able to propel our family to a new stratus, one our slave, yiddish, islander ancestors could never have imagined let alone achieved. Rob never bought the house because of, as you call it "green", he brought the property to raise his young family in, as someone who had watched that house fall further and further from grace he took up the mantle and financial responsibility required to restore that house into the great manor it was for so many centuries before. He sold the house once his family could no longer operate it the way it deserved to be operated passing title to young innovators who very much align with the Patti and Rob of 2002.
Yet that is not at issue here, what is at issue are 4 garages that prevent the estate from operating at its full potential. I truly hope they will be able to construct the proposed 8 units so that the lot may operate at its maximum giving his young mixed family the same security it brought to my family for so many years.
Again John, thank you for your comment and caring about the Roxbury community, however when speaking on my family please tell the whole story (that the house was derelict when we purchased it, requiring millions in work), anything else is conclusory and revisionist.
And since so many people have fired off in the comments about the Trumpy part of NH we live in we have lived here since 2001 since Rob bought his parents Jim and Lynda Spruill their retirement home here. Robert is an independent, we live surrounded by people who openly feed into ideologies that are demoralizing, aggressive, and xenophobic everyday and are just doing our best. Where we live is no indicator of our political alignment in anyway. If anything it is a reminder that even in the darkest of corners there is light.

Peace,

Spruill

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I really appreciate you weighing in here and clarifying your family's views. However, I am curious as to why you don't want the current/future residents of our neighborhood to be able to continue to enjoy a quiet, low-density neighborhood with plenty of green space and historical sites as your family was able to.

I recognize I'm a "newer" Roxbury resident as someone who is coming up on 20 years here, but in this time, we've gone from city employees and local businesses refusing to come to our neighborhood citing rampant lawlessness and danger (which was never borne out by facts, only racism and stereotyping), to a sudden influx of developers deciding this place is the next hot thing. More importantly, why do you support the development of luxury condos, which only serve to drive up the prices of surrounding properties so fewer long-time residents, particularly Black residents, are no longer able to afford anything?

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Good Afternoon! The garages were not green space, when we moved to Dudley street at the end of the road I lived next to a 3 year long construction project at the former House of Hits. Construction and change are apart of the ever evolving nature of communities and cities. I truly hope Michael's project drives up the prices of surrounding properties so that the other children I grew up with may be able to sell their properties now that they are of age, leading to economic freedom for themselves and their retiring parents.

I support economic vitality in Roxbury, I spent my whole life watching the city dig itself a hole of poverty that is nearly irreversible. If this construction brings up the price of properties surrounding Lambert Ave I completely agree with my neighbors getting the return on investment they deserve.

Peace

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Love the “new”, white resident of Roxbury taking it upon herself to come to the aid of the black community when speaking with a “old”, person of color about what’s right for that neighborhood. He has done more for the highland/Fort Hill neighborhood than any of the people fighting about tearing down a bunch of garages.
His efforts to build up that area began in pretty adverse conditions - dilapidation, crime and lack of investment from the City.
Just say you don’t want condos but don’t claim to do it on behalf of racial justice. Gentrification was good when you moved in there but now it should stop when you’ve decided it’s been gentrified too much.

https://digboston.com/special-feature-the-battle-of-fort-hill/

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I am always upfront about exactly who I am and have never claimed that I am not a gentrifier. My children are not, however, and it would be nice if they could still afford property in a culturally relevant community once grown. Same goes for others in our community.

I'm quite unclear as to what exactly Michael Winston has done for our neighborhood. Please spell it out for me.

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My children are not, however, and it would be nice if they could still afford property in a culturally relevant community

You wish to ensure this by prioritizing parking garages over places for people to live?

You have some fuzzy math.

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New-construction luxury buildings that have been built in our neighborhood have been purchased 100% by white people who did not previously have any connection to the neighborhood. They see that these types of expensive properties built by white developers and this signals to them that this is a neighborhood for rich white people. Then surrounding property values go up. It isn't simple supply and demand.

If the developer were to create fewer units (the lot is huge, and this could be done while still preserving these garages to be developed into art spaces or any number of other options) that were built to be sold to low-income and moderate-income folks, many more in the neighborhood would support this. As has been discussed for many many months during the neighborhood approval process.

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An anti gentrification gentrifier?

lol.

Oh no, home values going up, stronger local businesses, stronger tax base for the city, aint it just the worst?

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Yes, it's almost as if I realize that despite us being a multi-race family, just seeing my white presence makes other white people feel this is a neighborhood where they should be, because that's how gentrification works. I recognize how I've contributed to gentrification, so I try to stop the most egregious of it. We didn't move here for any sort of "up-and-coming" reasons, but because we liked the existing culture of the neighborhood, and we failed to realize that the neighborhood would be full of wealthy white people and luxury units almost 20 years later. I am really fortunate that I own my unit, so my children can inherit it, but that's not the case for many of my neighbors. I want to do everything I can to preserve Black history and Black home ownership here. There are some of us who recognize the problems our whiteness causes and want to try and be as responsible as we can. There are some of us who listen to our Black neighbors who were here first about issues such as preserving this historical site. It's preferable to the white folks who just come on the internet and whine about how the Black folks who want this preserved are wrong.

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Your condo must be worth around $600K now, can I have it for $150K? No? Then why are you asking others to do what you're not willing to do?

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You can look it up. Type my name into the city website, then adjust for actual value. It's worth nowhere near that.

I have no plans to sell it. It will go to my children. I want the same thing for other Black children that mine will have. These luxury units are not going to be owned by working-class and middle-class Black folks.

It's funny you mention that; we do actually have a plan B/C/D/whatever that would involve moving out of the area, and then we did have in mind selling the place to some young Black friends for just the small amount we owe on the mortgage. Another plan is/was to sell it for a bit more in order to fund a local project.

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Constraining housing supply when demand is growing is how you can make a situation where a person making $100,000 a year is considered “low income.”

Conversely, letting the developer build the 8 townhouses and making him set one aside as low income creates one unit of low income housing.

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I am always upfront about exactly who I am and have never claimed that I am not a gentrifier. My children are not, however, and it would be nice if they could still afford property in a culturally relevant community once grown. Same goes for others in our community.

Your kids are, pretty much by definition, of the same cultural identity as you are, because you are raising them in your household.

Unless, of course, you subscribe to the racist belief that skin pigmentation equates to cultural identity.

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Please educate yourself.

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I've followed you for a long, long time and have long seen you as a force for good. In this particular matter you are coming across as the kind of ridiculous parody of a "social justice warrior" that Howie Carr might come up with.

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I generally appreciate your comments as well, but this is an area in which you are unfortunately quite uneducated. I can tell that you haven't spent much time listening to the voices of people of color on this one, or even reading basic race 101 material. Of course racial experience and identity largely come from how others perceive someone based on physical appearance. The whole way that race was created was based on outward appearances and people's reactions to those.

Do you really think that Black people with one or two white parents experience life as a white person? Do you really think cops see Black-appearing people and think, oh, I can magically tell that that's a Black person who was raised by one or two white parents, so let me change my assumptions? Or teachers, or bosses, or peers, or doctors, or fucking anyone? No, people who appear Black experience life as Black people. There are just a shitload of things that Black folks experience that white folks don't, which you should know from basic race 101 materials. Having one or two white parents doesn't change most of these experiences.

Please go and listen to the experts on multiracial and transracial identities. You'll find a whole lot of information. This has been very widely studied, and it's been widely written on by people who have lived this experience. Please educate yourself properly rather than just deciding something that isn't remotely true.

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I have a pretty broad experience with many different kinds of people. I know perfectly well, having listened to, among other things, the voices of white parents raising black children, that, starting from a very young age, the experience of a child of color out in the world is very different from the experience of a white child, even if the parents are white suburban doctors or whatever, and that those experience shape ones sense of who one is. I have heard plenty of parents (of various races) raising children of color talk about having "the talk" with their children about police violence, and about why it's unfair but necessary that their kids' white friends can go out in jeans and a hoodie but that they need to dress up to avoid being considered a thug.

Precisely none of this is relevant to my objection to your comments here, which is your claim that the kids being raised from early childhood by you in your household are somehow of a different socioeconomic group than yours, and your claim that the legitimacy of one's input into discussion of zoning or historical preservation is somehow contingent upon one's race.

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Boston is nowhere near its 1950s peak population of 800,000, all the green space we recognize today was where burnt out derelict houses once stood for most of my father's childhood bleeding into my own. If houses are a dime a dozen then they cost a dime, if housing is scarce then prices will reflect that scarcity. Build Houses. Build Roxbury.

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More importantly, why do you support the development of luxury condos, which only serve to drive up the prices of surrounding properties so fewer long-time residents, particularly Black residents, are no longer able to afford anything?

That is not how housing prices work in any way, shape, or form...

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If the issue were the main building, I could possibly see that, but we are talking about places where people used to store vehicles of a non-historical nature. Now, there are some on this website that would agitate for tearing down all garages, but for the rest of us, the idea that a garage could be historic is laughable.

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They've been used for production by Hampton as well as the previous resident before this new developer guy. They're large structures.

https://digboston.com/special-feature-the-battle-of-fort-hill/

https://www.baystatebanner.com/2017/08/30/neighbors-clash-over-housing-s...

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why these garages are considered to be "historic". Remmeber, some old things are just that - old things.

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So the threshold for a "Notable Black Historic Site" is so low that the garage of a property where a black guy that made a movie lived for a short period is now considered??

The only folks that think this is a "notable black historic site" are those that live within one street and don't want to see new development. Outside those that love ten yards from the property no one has ever heard of this place. Making a movie does not make the home you reside in historic. This is not to say there is some value to preserving the property but the historic argument is not close to being valid.

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Henry Hampton's seminal, crucial work lives in the world, in our hearts and minds, and not in those garages. It bothers me that the neighborhood is not being more proactive about the dilapidated house, just a few blocks over, where Malcolm X once lived. The Highland Park/Fort Hill section of Roxbury is, and has been pretty mixed racially so I also disagree that people pushing against the development are predominantly Black. Many of the leaders in this community are white - and the loudest voices are the most privileged: relatively affluent Black and white homeowners which, in reality, is only truly representative of a tiny percentage of the Roxbury population.

If attacking the person, not the development, is the final and best argument that the neighborhood can come up with, then the neighborhood doesn't have an argument. The developer in question is a resident of the neighborhood, has been for at least two years (like many of us, not a Roxbury native but a transplant, Eeka), is part of a mixed race family (like many of us, Eeka), and has been agonizingly willing to work with the neighborhood. He's agreed to create a scholarship for kids from the abutting Hale School and establish an artist-in-residence program. He has been more than civil and accommodating - especially given the vicious and excessively inappropriate personal attacks he has endured.

The public move to not approve the zoning variances necessary for this development lost by a vote of 27 - 33 with a handful of abstentions. I'd be interested to see the same vote taken anonymously, if it wasn’t the first time. Many people in the neighborhood in favor of this, and other developments, view the efforts to squash developments as elitist and retrograde but are afraid to speak up because of the vicious personal attacks that Winston, and other developers, endure. If you’re a homeowner who’s going to want to make any changes to your property that will require neighborhood approval, you’re going to keep your mouth shut. Meanwhile, if you're in the "right" group of residents, you can basically build any sort of poorly designed and unsustainably built monstrosity that you like with the blessing of the small but extremely vocal groupthink mob in "power", i.e., able to attend meetings and thus set agendas.

The scores of working class renters forced out of this neighborhood due to the gentrification of it, would be delighted at the prospect of more housing here if it meant they didn't have to move to Randolph or Brockton. More workforce housing is what the neighborhood and City needs and if the leaders against this development were serious about a commitment to social justice, I think they’d be working harder with developers to house all the people who have been getting forced out rather than ignoring them to save some garages.

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If attacking the person, not the development, is the final and best argument that the neighborhood can come up with, then the neighborhood doesn't have an argument. Henry Hampton's seminal, crucial work lives in the world, in our hearts and minds, and not in those garages. It bothers me that the neighborhood is not being more proactive about the dilapidated house, just a few blocks over, where Malcolm X once lived. The Highland Park/Fort Hill section of Roxbury is, and has been pretty mixed racially so I also disagree that people pushing against the development are predominantly Black. Many of the leaders in this community are white - and the loudest voices are the most privileged: relatively affluent homeowners which, in reality, is truly representative of only a tiny percentage of the Roxbury population.

The developer in question is a resident of the neighborhood, has been for at least two years, is part of a mixed race family, and has been agonizingly willing to work with the neighborhood. He's agreed to create a scholarship for kids from the abutting Hale School and establish an artist-in-residence program. He has been more than civil and accommodating - especially given the vicious and excessively inappropriate personal attacks he has endured.

The public move to not approve the zoning variances necessary for this development lost by a vote of 27 - 33 with a handful of abstentions. I'd be interested to see the same vote taken anonymously, if it wasn’t the first time. Many people in the neighborhood in favor of this, and other developments, view the efforts to squash developments as elitist and retrograde but are afraid to speak up because of the vicious personal attacks that Winston, and other developers, endure. If you’re a homeowner who’s going to want to make any changes to your property that will require neighborhood approval, you’re going to keep your mouth shut as far as expressing an opinion contrary to that of the hivemind. Meanwhile, if you're in the "right" group of residents, you can build any sort of poorly designed and unsustainably built monstrosity that you like with the blessing of the relatively small but extremely vocal group in "power", i.e., able to attend meetings and thus set agendas.

The scores of working class renters forced out of this neighborhood due to the gentrification of it, would be delighted at the prospect of more housing here if it meant they didn't have to move to Randolph or Brockton. More workforce housing is what the neighborhood and City needs and if the community people against this development were serious about a commitment to social justice, I think they’d be working harder with developers to house all the people who have been getting forced out rather than ignoring them to save some garages.

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I can't hear ya, but my dog does.

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Adam, have you ever thought of selling awards for comments like Reddit has?

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Buying them.

What a (expletive) stupid reason to call 911. Seriously, that’s BBQ Becky-level asinine.

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Bad take. The owners themselves asked for, and got, a deferral on the Landmarks decision from Dec 1 to Mar 9. This info is right there in the post. As it's still January, the deferred meeting has obviously not yet happened so the Landmarks decision has not yet been rendered.

They were trying to tear down the garages before the meeting they themselves asked for in a transparent attempt to make it all moot. This is the same shady move just pulled by USES with the Harriet Tubman House: as news got out that they'd been lying during the whole process and there had been competing bids for the property that both met the financial needs of USES and would preserve the building, they rushed to release the building to New Boston Ventures and did expedited interior demolition without notice, making saving the building impossible.

They should not be rewarded for this.

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Their deferrals are from the Zoning Board of Appeal, not the Landmarks Commission.

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We (the predecessors in title) got permission to tear down the garages in 2017. When we sold the property to them that permission ran with the land.

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It worked

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Big Daddys gonna be gone soon so just get it all out of your system now before the hat gets tucked away with Grampas white robes and all the troglodytes have to go back to hiding their prejudices.

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Either fish with dynamite, or find another pond.

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What a (expletive) stupid reason to call 911. Seriously, that’s BBQ Becky-level asinine.

When you see someone engaged in illegal behavior that, if not stopped promptly would result in significant property damage, that's exactly an appropriate time to call the police.

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At their non-emergency number.

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95% of the time if you call the non-emergency number they tell you to call 911. All the tracking metrics and reporting is done through 911. It's awkward as hell but apparently the system, because every time I've called and immediately said "this isn't an emergency but (non-emergent issue)" the operators are totally on board.

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So our city does a crap job of triaging requests for police services?

This is why I'm such a great commenter and debater: I set myself up to not lose.

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So our city does a crap job of triaging requests for police services?

On the contrary, routing all calls through a single call center is queuing theory 101 and is evidence that the city knows what it's doing about how to triage calls.

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Boston asks that residents call 911 for any new police or fire issue and only use the 10-digit station numbers to follow up on existing issues.

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But I don't call cops, since I follow news.

A barking dog which persisted for more than five minutes well into the late night a few months ago prompted me to call animal control, not 911. And this after screaming "shut that (expletive) dog up" from my back deck did not remediate the problem.

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You said that it's okay for a club to invade your private property with noise if they "were there first". NIMBY Will calls animal control.

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They stress that, whatever you've been taught in any other jurisdiction in which you may have lived, here in Boston you should call 911 for all police matters requiring a response, including "minor" things like noise complaints. They point out that it is more efficient to staff one call center than two; that they have enough operators; that they can easily triage emergency from non-emergency calls; and that the 911 system is connected to a geographic database that helps them detect patterns.

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A historic parking garage?

Come on now.

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"Here was once the parking space of an 88 Oldsmobile Cutlass (with cassette deck) where Henry Hampton alighted from after returning with groceries from the Centre Street Stop & Shop to work on the Pulitzer Prize winning Eyes On The Prize. Next to the space was where he kept his snow shovel and rocksalt along with some old clothes he was donating to Goodwill."

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I have been in those garages and they are nothing special. The neighbors are just being spiteful bc the house is fancy and they’re jealous.

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The Great Oil Leak of 1990

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Not a laughing matter. Someone could have slipped on the oil spill and gotten hurt.

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The leak was covered with sand, which was then carefully preserved in a glass bottle. It's one of the highlights of Eeka's garage tour which includes a collection of rakes and quarter-filled wiper fluid jugs.

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The connection the garages have to Blackside, the film company founded by Hampton, is at some point the garages served as a repository for film footage for Hamptons work. Blackside was by all measure, a provocative film company that did in fact reframe our understanding of the Civil Rights movement in America. While that reframing and insightful perspective can be traced throughout Hampton's work, it's most evident in the body of work that produced Eyes on the Prize.

That's what we know.

Here's my truth, as a Black man, with family roots in Roxbury for over 100 years, that's shared with a bunch of folks who live in our neighborhood (Mr. Winston is a new neighbor). Why isn't Black life, culture, history and achievement honored and respected the same way we honor and respect white life, culture, history and achievement?

After Mr. Winston has bulldozed the one physical piece of evidence that can be linked to Black greatness on his property into the ground to make way for his condo project, all we'll have left is the Bond house, the carriage house and his condominium project. Mr. Winston doesn't even want to wait for the Boston Landmarking study to be completed on his property! Or perhaps he has the completed study and hasn't shared it.

Either way, everybody is in the dark regarding the study and here comes the bulldozer!

I gotta say, there is a cruel irony at play here that brings me to the brink of tears every time! Who is the more consequential figure in history: Richard Bond the Architect or Henry Hampton the filmmaker? Hands down I'd say Henry Hampton because he touched more lives and had greater impact on who we are as Americans. It's not selfish to say he had a greater impact on my life and Black life all over the world. And Hampton's impact is not just to Black folks. We're all better off because of a dream.

And how are we preserving that Civil Rights dream? Are we just saving the Bond home and carriage house because each represents an architectural record that must not be lost to history, and oh by the way, a much more consequential figure in history to Balck folks lived there too?

Not sure why Mr. Winston and others commenting on this thread can't you see this is precisely the white supremacy, bias and privilege Hampton fought to address with his work. I can tell you with a very high degree of confidence, the vast majority of his neighbors see it. This is what Byron Rushing warned us all of in his last testimony to the City Council hearing on preservation, that changes to historic preservation tools cannot simply be tagged on to yet another celebration of European anniversaries. To do so would be doing it in a white supremacist way.

This happens to be the crux of the issue: why aren't we saving the entire Hampton homestead, including the garages, which preserves the complete historical record of the property? And some would add, the more consequential part of the property happens to be the garages.

Greg Galer, of Boston Preservation Alliance, insisted in his testimony at the same preservation hearing that Bostonians should be allowed to see themselves in their collective history, and that an equitable preservation landscape “empowers residents to be engaged members of society, encouraging them to see themselves as stewards of a legacy to which they also contribute.”

If the garages are demolished, do we all see ourselves in our collective history? While some may, many others will not.

Boston Landmarks and then Mr. Winston took a wrecking ball to a dream for everybody, that culminated on of all days, MLK day. And sadly, each had a choice.

No, the plaque should read: "White supremacy, bias and privilege triumphs again."

Regretfully,
-RLS

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But it's their neighborhood, not mine.
I guess they don't want townhouses built.

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What's stopping them from buying that historic garage and leaving it as is?

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And getting no return on their investment?
Its easier to complain about others taking the risk of investing.

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You know what's very helpful in this thread? Having white guys who only hang out with other white guys, who only grew up around white guys, who don't live in the city, add their two cents to an issue that affects black people in a black, urban neighborhood.

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Events like this (outsiders buying in a neighborhood, pushing luxury development that affects the character of the neighborhood along with, of course, displacing long time residents) happened in lilly white urban neighborhoods like Charlestown, Somerville, and South Boston for decades before black people discovered what gentrification is.

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Orly tell that to the south end

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This is a very different discussion than the one taking place on our neighborhood listserv, which is mostly voices of long-time Black residents, as well as containing considerable additional information about how this developer has repeatedly lied to and misled the neighborhood association and hasn't cooperated with the developmental approval process, in addition to, yes, being a white guy who is completely ignoring the concerns of Black residents about a Black historical site. Might I remind you that Black folks get to decide whether something is culturally significant to Black history? White folks don't get to say that it's not a significant Black historical site.

But sure, white UHub commenters, go ahead and dismiss all of those people and their experience and knowledge with your "those people don't know what's good for them" comments.

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Bad look for you whitesplaining to a POC - a POC that fought for years for that neighborhood before it was trendy - and hiding under the guise of fighting racial injustice when you just don’t want condos being built in your neighborhood.
It delegitimizes the other all too frequent instances where zoning regulations are unfairly used to hurt poor and disenfranchised people.

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Might I remind you that Black folks get to decide whether something is culturally significant to Black history? White folks don't get to say that it's not a significant Black historical site

Might I remind you that ideas and historical scholarship ought to be evaluated on the basis of the content of those ideas and the quality of the scholarship, without regard to the skin color of the author?

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Incorrect. If we were to say, gather a panel of people to decide this issue and we had no black people on it, it would be a failure.

A black person has a lifetime of relevant experience to this problem. You have 0 days experience. Your ideas are of little value.

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You know what's very helpful in this thread? Having black guys who only hang out with other black guys, who only grew up around black guys, who don't live in the suburbs, add their two cents to an issue that affects white people in a white, suburban neighborhood.

That doesn't sound racist at all, does it?

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Notes the property is "Under Study as of 6/27/17." It also calls the property the "Richard Bond House" which would seem to encompass the house, but not the garages. I don't really see how over 3.5 years of study would be insufficient to determine whether the property would be considered historic -- and the petition was initiated by a whopping 10 voters.

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it was not yet complete as of a few weeks ago. I agree it shouldn't take that long. It does include the whole property.

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Exactly what is so special or unique about these garages that deems them worthy of historic preservation?

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you are welcome to come to the frequent meetings about it, where this is discussed in detail.

If you've already decided that Black folks don't get to decide what constitutes Black history, then feel free to keep commenting about that.

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I worked for Henry at Blackside during his last months of life.

It bums me out that they are tearing down the house but it's just life. The building which housed Blackside until 1999 or 2000 was sold off by his heirs forcing the company to rent a pretty expensive space. That was really the bigger hit of the history connected to Eyes on the Prize.

What is also not commonly known is that the house on Fort Hill was at one point re-financed to keep production going on Eyes on the Prize or another month. That extra month was crucial. That extra month got them the time they needed to secure additional funding to finish the documentary that would become a first. The first documentary on the civil rights movement and still the bar to meet.

Also a side note, Callie Crossley was one of those original Eyes on the Prize producers.

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