Old stable will be saved and moved

November 7, 2008
By

JOHN RUCH

STONYBROOK—A century-old former horse stable at 14 Meehan St., the subject of controversy in a recent condo development plan, will be preserved by relocating on it on the same parcel of land, developer Peter Bourassa told the Gazette.

“It’s worthwhile,” said Bourassa, a Jamaica Plain resident, of his plan to save and move the stable, which has been used as a house in recent years. The brick building sits on Meehan Street between Williams Street and Rossmore Road.

A year ago, Bourassa proposed demolishing the stable to make way for nine new condo units. The Stonybrook Neighborhood Association (SNA) opposed the plan and urged Bourassa to consider reuse of the stable instead.

Bourassa said he now intends to build two three-family condo buildings on the site. He started construction on one of the buildings in recent weeks. He will later move the stable to the north end of the site, closer to Williams, and keep it as a single-family artist housing.

Bourassa said he still seeking a permit to move the stable.

SNA co-chair Mike Monk said that residents are still concerned about the project and have not been able to fully review its plans.

“We were really upset that this might be a trend-setter” for more condo developments, Monk said.

Another controversy about the project was its use of an unnumbered parcel on Keyes Street Place, a remnant of a street that once ran parallel to Meehan but no longer exists. That parcel was owned for years by the city’s Department of Neighborhood Development (DND) for unknown reasons.

DND sold the parcel in 2000 to the former owner of 14 Meehan St. The deal included a deed restriction that required that the parcel remain open space. But this year, DND amended that deed restriction to allow Bourassa’s project.

DND later termed the amendment a “well-intentioned mistake” and asked Bourassa to voluntarily give it up. DND’s press office said last week that it appears neighbors are generally supportive of the current plans. DND has previously said it would back the neighbors’ decisions.

Bourassa said city officials “seem to be satisfied” with his current plan, based on a community meeting in recent weeks.

The stable was built around 1896-1905 by Patrick Doyle, founder of the famous Doyle’s Café nearby, presumably to serve the pub’s patrons. Surviving stables from the horse-travel era are now relatively rare. Another one in JP, recently pointed out by the “Remember Jamaica Plain?” local history web site, is the 1870 stable on Green Street that is currently home to the Green Supermarket.

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