Townie Tidbits

By Sal Giarratani


As I viewed a recent rendering of the new re-branded Bunker Hill Housing Project, I wondered if it should be viewed as something good and worthwhile or something not to be see in positive light.

For many years of my youth living in lower Roxbury, I viewed my own life in the projects not so positively. I never lived in the Bunker Hill projects but I did live at Orchard Park and I was very happy in 1965 when my parents left project life forever when I was 17 years old. I had many friends there but I hated project life which seemed so unfulfilled. Residents were told what to do all the time. I felt like we were all treated like second class citizens beholding to BHA administrators I felt looked down on all of us.

Also, projects all looked liked projected as in unfinished housing. Most folks lived in projects as a last resort when all else failed. Unfortunately, many in the projects develop[ed what IA have always called a “project mentality’ where they become depending on others too much. Today years after leaving them, I can still recognize someone with “project mentality” or as I call it “P.M.”

So, I must say the recent redo unveiling was not seen by me as that positive. Yes, it is good to replace the aging 1941 project but the idea should be to return the projects to its original intention of being emergency housing for folks with no alternative in the private sector. As far as making it mixed income, the last place I would want to return to is a project no matter how nice it is.

The rendering I saw makes this new place look like Charles River Park. If you lived there, would you ever want to leave. The idea of a project should be a place to stay until you could afford better. A train ride to somewhere but not the destination.

What you say out there?


 It appear4s HP Hood officials are hoping to bring new rental housing to its former  milk plant on Rutherford Avenue. Hood Business Park LLC has filed plans with the B.R.A. for a new 177-apartment building with 10,500 square feet of retail space at the old plant.

 Hood was founded in Charlestown as all Townies know back in 1846. This place closed down over 20 years ago when it moved operations to Chelsea. Ten years ago, it moved again to Lynnfield but still operates a research and development site in Charlestown.

Lately, new developments in Boston have been rentals and not condos which are far more profitable for developers. This new plan follows suit.

Too bad they donated their large milk bottle to the Children›s Museum at the Seaport. Would have been great for these new apartments, huh?


Last week, over 50 members of the Middlesex Deputy Sheriff Association were swore in by Sheriff Peter Koutoujian at the Irish American Club in Malden, MA. I was sworn in for another year at the ceremony.

This association supports veterans, senior citizens and provides needed community services throughout Middlesex County.

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