Historic house teardown to move ahead

August 15, 2014
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Neighbors and the developer of a controversial residential project proposed at 57 Wachusett St. have reached a resolution, according to Boston Preservation Alliance (BPA) Executive Director Greg Galer.

The developer, Stephen Ballas, plans to demolish a 115-year-old Victorian house at 57 Wachusett St. and replace it with eight townhomes in three new buildings. The plan had drawn the ire of neighbors.

“While the Alliance regrets that this project entails the loss of the historic house and associated carriage house, there is nothing we can do to prevent their loss,” Galer said in an email to the Gazette.

“BPA has facilitated discussions between the developer and the neighborhood, and the developer has been accommodating in making some adjustments to the design to address neighborhood concerns about style and detailing,” Galer said. “The neighborhood representatives with whom we’ve been in touch have been satisfied with the response.”

He said the designs changes focused on the street-side facade and that the “overall scale and massing of the buildings remained unchanged.”

Ballas did not respond to a request for comment. Local resident Tess Pope, who had been the point person for the neighborhood during the discussions, also did not respond to a request for comment. She is a member of a new neighborhood association formed as a result of the original controversy.

Part of the project is already under construction in the lot next to the house.