The United South End Settlements (USES) is moving forward with plans to sell the Harriet Tubman House and consolidate its services under one roof on Rutland Street.
USES launched Vision 125 – its “five-year strategic plan” – in the fall of 2016 and through the subsequent process, decided to sell the Harriet Tubman House at 566 Columbus Ave., which is costing the organization $463,000 to maintain in FY`19. A Request for Proposals (RFP) was issued for the property in December of last year, and the first round of offers were submitted in February.
USES hopes to have a final decision regarding the property by the time its fiscal year ends on June 30, officials said.
Meanwhile, David Lee, an architect with the Boston-based firm Stull & Lee Inc., said the properties at 36 and 48 Rutland St. would be merged to “create more of a campus…that fits into the existing neighborhood.”
To help achieve this goal, Lee said a new, brick addition would be constructed to link the two sites.
“We’re still looking at options to get the look and feel of this right,” Lee said.
The decision to repurpose the Rutland Street site comes after a pipe burst at 48 Rutland St. in January of 2018, that shuttered the building for five months and caused the design team to examine its future uses.
Proceeds from the sale of the Harriet Tubman House at 566 Columbus Ave. would also be used to create an endowment that will be used helping to grow USES annual operating budget to more than $6 million each year through expanded programming; make comprehensive improvements to Camp Hale, a youth sleep-away camp located in Meredith, N.H.; and redevelop the new Harriet Tubman House on Rutland Avenue. USES President and CEO Maicharia Weir Lytle will hold office hours at 48 Rutland St. on Wednesday, March 27, at 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.; Wednesday, April 24, at 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.; and Thursday, May 23, at 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. in regard to these plans. To lean more about Vision 125, visit https://www.uses.org/vision125/.