The city has earmarked 56 projects for $60 million in Community Preservation Act (CPA) grants this year, including two Historic Preservation projects in the Back Bay and another in the South End.
In the Back Bay, First Baptist Church at 110 Commonwealth Ave. will receive a $575,000 grant to rehabilitate the historical building and tower by funding emergency masonry repairs while the Gibson House Museum at 137 Beacon St. will be allocated $69,500 to preserve the exterior of the building to “prevent further injury and harm,” according to the city.
In the South End, the historically Black Union Church at 485 Columbus Ave. will receive a $500,000 CPA grant to preserve the 150-year-old building, as well as to underwrite a comprehensive plan to reroof the church and install a new drainage system.
Mayor Michelle Wu and the City of Boston Community Preservation Committee (CPC) had recommended the proposed allocation of more than $60 million in funding for the projects that, according to the city, “must create or preserve affordable housing, historic sites, or open space and recreation.” Their recommendations were subsequently approved by the City Council at its April 12 weekly meeting.
“The Community Preservation Act works to build a Boston for everyone by investing in both our City’s history and its future,” said Mayor Wu in a press release. “I am proud to partner with the Community Preservation Committee on these new projects which will help preserve historic assets while boosting access to affordable housing, open space, and recreation.”
City Councilor Michael Flaherty, Chair of the Council’s Community Preservation Committee, said: “Some of the most exciting and creative projects in our ever-changing City–innovative affordable housing projects, parks, and historic preservation projects– are the result of resident and community driven CPA proposals. I am so thankful for the vision and partnership of the many leaders that helped us get the ballot measure passed years ago and continue to be thankful for the partnership with Mayor Wu and the Community Preservation Committee.”
Added Felicia Jacques, Chair of the Community Preservation Committee: “We recommended projects which respond to Mayor Wu’s commitment to advance innovative responses to historic resources, create varied housing solutions, and fund sustainable, climate conscious open spaces. In granting $40 million in community resources, the largest funding since the CPA was implemented in Boston, the committee is proud to have supported these projects across the City.”
Including this funding round, the City of Boston has awarded over $157 million to support 293 projects including 112 open space and recreation projects, 46 affordable housing projects, and 135 historic preservation projects since 2018. The Community Preservation Fund was created following voters’ passage and adoption of the Community Preservation Act in November 2016. It is funded by a 1 percent property tax-based surcharge on residential and business property tax bills, which took effect in July 2017, and an annual state funding from the Massachusetts Community Preservation Trust Fund. The Mayor and Community Preservation Committee recommend funding use and the City Council must vote to approve.