Back Bay Preservationists are Honored by the City

As part of the kickoff for the City of Boston’s Preservation Month celebrations, the Boston Landmarks Commission recently presented four Back Bay residents with its second annual Citizen Preservation Award.

“This award was established to recognize the volunteers and the vital role they play in historic preservation,” said a moderator at the event held on Friday, May 4. “The awards given this evening represent the passion and dedication these citizens have for the historic resources of this City.”

Among this year’s recipients were two members of the Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay’s (NABB) Architecture Committee.

Thomas and Nancy High received recognition in the Documentation and Survey category for their work in establishing and maintaining the web site

Almost 20 years in the making, this well-researched history of more than 1,000 buildings in the Back Bay is constantly being updated and is, as the award stated, “used by preservationists, local historians, architects, genealogists, realtors, residents and building owners, regulatory agencies, and anyone interested in the history of the Back Bay.”

The High’s also lead occasional architectural walking tours in conjunction with NABB, pointing out interesting aspects of Back Bay architecture.

Thomas Holtey and his daughter Melita Holtey were honored an award in the category of Stewardship for the contribution to the interior and exterior restoration of the Andrew House at 32 Hereford St., a Renaissance Revival house designed by McKim, Mead and White in 1884, which now houses the Chi Phi Fraternity of MIT.

An alumnus of MIT and a Chi Phi brother, Thomas Holtey has long guided the maintenance and restoration of this property.

“Tom and Melita have been dedicated stewards of this Back Bay beauty and their passion for preservation comes through in the careful attention to detail and sensitivity of the restoration work,” the award stated. “Their commitment to the highest standards ensure that future fraternity members and neighbors alike will enjoy the architectural integrity this landmark building.”

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