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Dorchester Illustration no. 2281 23 Chickatawbut Street
The house at 23 Chickatawbut Street was described in 1978 in a survey report of Neponset for the Boston Landmarks Commission:
Grand scale Greek Revival 5 Bay House; pedimented central pavilion with recessed 2nd floor window; 2 ionic columns support entrance porch, columns supporting side porches. Siding obliterates wide frieze and corner pilasters, etc. with addition to rear. House set on granite foundation on terrace. Once one of the grandest houses of its period in Dorchester, the house’s significance has diminished somewhat because of the siding and alterations.
Now, due to the stripping off of the siding, we can see more of the detail underneath. The photo with siding is from 2004, and the photo with siding removed is from December 2016.
The following are selected notes from the summary of the recent neighborhood meeting regarding the property.
Ted Ahern, a local developer, has recently purchased the property at 23 Chickatwabut Street. Over the years it has been used as a single family, two-family, three-family and rooming house. It is currently a legal 3-family. It sits on a lot that is approximately 20,000 square feet.
Mr. Ahern’s proposal is to retain the original structure of the house and remove the non-conforming additions that were added to the rear. These additions do not contribute to the character of the building. He plans to restore the exterior of the building to its original appearance. When complete, the building will have two condominium units, each with 3 bedrooms and two parking spaces in the rear.
In the rear of the lot, Mr. Ahern proposes to construct a new building, which will house 4 condominium townhouse units. The architect has attempted to call out the characteristics of a carriage house typical to the period. Three of the units will have 3 bedrooms, and one will have 2 bedrooms and a nursery/office. All will have 2 parking spaces.
Mr. Ahern also plans to retain as many of the numerous mature tress on the property as possible and clean up the landscaping.
[Editorial note: Mr. Ahern should be commended for retaining a house significant to the streetscape and significant in the history of Dorchester’s development. He has found a way to do a development project without tearing down Dorchester’s past.]
The archive of these historical posts can be viewed on the blog at www.dorchesterhistoricalsociety.org