Pinebank site work to begin in summer

May 19, 2008
By

JOHN RUCH

PONDSIDE—Construction of a memorial to the demolished Pinebank mansion at Jamaica Pond could begin this summer, after the city issued a request for bids on the project last week.

The memorial will include a stone outline of the former mansion; educational signs; a walking path; and benches. The project is budgeted for about $330,000, according to a notice on the Boston Parks and Recreation Department web site.

The historic but long-abandoned 1870 mansion was demolished last year after decades of failed reuse attempts and proposals. Built as a private house for the Perkins family—the namesake of the nearby street—Pinebank was owned by the city for most of its lifetime.

The mansion was documented before demolition, and some of its material was salvaged and filed with historic organizations. Other original material is entombed on the site. The idea is to keep alive the possibility of one day rebuilding the mansion, an expensive dream of the group Friends of Pinebank.

The memorial design was reviewed in various community meetings and by the Boston Landmarks Commission. The site is in the historic Jamaica Pond Park on the hillside to the north of the pond.

The Parks Department is accepting construction bids for the project through May 22.

Margaret Dyson, the Parks Department’s director of historic parks, told the Gazette she expects construction to begin by “mid-summer.” It is unclear how long construction might last.

The project will return the site to use after decades of being fenced off and sometimes overgrown.