Townie Tidbits

Story and Photos By Sal Giarratania



The Farmers Market sponsored by the JFK Family Service Center is back and running again this summer every Wednesday afternoon starting at 2 pm. Check it out, plenty of great stuff for sale.

While I was there I met Kenny Hall, Mr. Charlestown History, as he was talking with Crystal Galvin at the Kennedy Center booth. She is the Director of Community Services and was really gungho about the farmers’ market.

We chatted a bit and I told her that back in the day (1982-84) I was a member of the Kennedy Center›s Board of Directors, an experience I shall not forget. The Kennedy Center has become such an important safety net in the community and we all should be thankful it remains such a vital community necessity.


Photo by Sal Giarratani

Crystal Galvin m anning the Kennedy Center booth one recent Wednesday afternoon




Recently, I found out that in a few months a Starbucks will be opening at the bank building at One Thompson Square on the left of the building›s entrance. I am surprised that it took so long for this chain to come into Charlestown.

I did hear some rumors from several different folks about the chain’s plans for this new shop. One of them concerned the engravings above the street level windows. Currently engraved are the words “Charlestown 5 Cents Savings Bank.” That was the original name of the Charlestown Savings Bank.

The bank was founded in 1854 and the bank building was built in 1875.

I started conversations with several neighborhood activists including David Hennessey, vice president of the Charlestown Preservation Society. He informed me that many folks are concerned by any Starbucks plans to cover or alter the engravings. As a member of the Charlestown Historical Society, I am well aware that back in 1981, the building was declared a Boston Landmark and any changes to signage would have to go through the Landmark Commission.

I know too that Bill Lamb and his group are very concerned about saving those original engravings. I will use this column to keep the community up to date on One Thompson Square. I welcome new tenants in the building like Starbucks and the Cambridge Savings Bank, both of which should be operational this fall. It is nice to see new life to this old bank building.

Meanwhile, I also hope that Zumes won’t suffer. It offers a good product and is neighborhood friendly. It might have to change a few things like hours of operation but I think it can and will; survive the arrival of Starbucks down in the Square.

Photo by Sal Giarratani

Starbucks is moving into left side of main building entrance. See engravings above windows. No one wants that covereed over

Here is a great fully restored 1931 Ford Model A I caught up with in the annual July 4th Parade in Squantum, MA.

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