Old Dover Neighborhood Association Begins Discussion of Changing Their Name

December 14, 2017
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By Beth Treffeisen

The Old Dover Neighborhood Association is looking at changing its name.

Maybe it’s the ‘Old’ in the name making it feel a little aged, or the fact the name is after a street that no longer exists, but whatever the case, members of the neighborhood association feel like it is time to update their outdated name.

Ken Smith, president of the Old Dover Neighborhood Association, asked members at meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 28, to brainstorm some new ideas for names that better reflect what the neighborhood association does.

“It’s 30-something years later since the organization was formed, and it seems appropriate to think it through,” said Smith.

Smith said they want the name to reflect how the members are excited for the future, are working on smart development and infrastructure, and how they thoughtfully consider new proposals for businesses and other enterprises coming to the area.

Duggan Hill, executive director of Boston City Lights who was one of the original members of the organization, gave everyone the history behind the original name.

“The idea was to keep history alive through the name,” said Hill.

The ‘Old Dover’ came from the subway stop on Dover Street (now East Berkeley Street) that was once part of the Washington Street Elevated, the elevated subway system that ran from Chinatown through the South End, ending at Forest Hills in Jamaica Plain. The Orange Line has since replaced it.

“The name was to keep that part of history before all of this new gentrification came in,” said Hill. “I don’t think we need to do anything with the name.”

But, in the spirit to keep things fresh, Smith opened the floor to new ideas. Some ideas included the South End Arts District Neighborhood Association, Dover Crossing, Berkeley Crossing and even Gallow Crossing. More ideas are still being collected, and no decision has been made yet.

 

  • Landwave Update

It is safe to say that there is no real update on the Landwave, the public art installation on the corner of Peter’s Park in the South End. According to Sarah Hutt, a board member of Old Dover Neighborhood Association, the meeting that was scheduled to happen with the City this past year was canceled and has yet to be rescheduled. She hasn’t heard anything from the City since then.

The removal of the Landwave has been stuck as it awaits approval from the Boston Parks Department and the Boston Arts Commission for permission. Currently, there are no guidelines on how to remove public art but to just install it, leaving Old Dover residents in the dark on how to go about removing it.

Hutt said that everyone is agreement that it needs to be taken out. It has been causing safety problems and is far beyond repair. She asked that more people send letters to the City to get the process rolling again. Hutt made a point that this problem has been going on for probably close to five years now.

 

  • Cathedral High School to Expand

Cathedral has launched a $10 million campaign to complete their urban campus through the repurposing of a building adjacent to the existing school. According Dr. Oscar Santos, the head of school, the building was a convent that has not been operational for about eight to 10 years now.

The repurposed building will be used as a new applied learning center that will include a maker space, an area dedicated to arts and cultural activities, and seven additional collaborative learning spaces to meet the demands of their growing enrollment. The capital campaign will also make improvements to the existing school building and classrooms.

The school has about 340 students in Grades 7 – 12. About 80 percent of the students are from the City of Boston and 100 percent of the students receive some form of financial aid. In addition, 100 percent of the students graduate and go onto college.

Santos said the school is always looking for internship and mentorship opportunities for their students. The new space will allow for more hands-on-experience for their students but would love to get more people from the community in it as well.

“We don’t just want to be a school in the South End; we want to be part of it,” said Santos.

 

  • New Kickboxing Gym is coming to the South End

Earlier in the meeting the owners of the upcoming new fitness business “Champions Kickboxing” came to tell the neighborhood their plans, and what they hope to accomplish at their first location at 1230-1264 Washington St.

The owners Ava Scheininger and Justin Lozada asked for support of a zoning variance to allow for the kickboxing studio to open. The site is currently zoned for: pizza shops, 37 offices, barber shop retail, industrial MFG employment office, nail salon and driving school. They are seeking a variance to allow “fitness centers,” which is a forbidden use under the current zoning.

No material change to the building or structure is proposed. There will be a locker room but no showers on site.

Lozada is excited to take his experience as a teacher at the UFC Gym along with his 10 years of experience in martial arts to start his own boxing gym that focuses on individual fitness.

“We don’t waste time, and we will reach your goal,” said Lozada.

The plans are to open the kickboxing studio as soon as possible, with a floating date of Dec. 20 for opening day. The plan is to have 200 memberships with about 50 classes per week. Each class will have about 12 to 16 students each. The hours will be from 7 -8 p.m. Monday through Friday and from early morning to 3 p.m. on weekends.

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