Home » HBI, Mayor Walsh Celebrate Historic Fowler Clark Epstein Farm
HBI, Mayor Walsh Celebrate Historic Fowler Clark Epstein Farm
August 1, 2018
MATTAPAN, MA — Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Historic Boston Inc. and its three partners, UrbanFarmingInstitute, Trust for Public Land and North Bennet Street School, held an event celebrating the opening of a 21st century urban farm, residence and teaching center at the Fowler Clark Epstein Farm, the oldest farm still existing in the City of Boston. The event marked the completion of the 18-month rehabilitation and redevelopment of the 1860s-era barn and house.
In addition to serving as Urban Farm Institute headquarters, the new property is a training hub and demonstration farming center. Rehabilitation included land and open areas cultivated for local food; classrooms for educational programs and a residence for an on-site farm manager in the historic house; an education/training center that promotes urban farming knowledge with classrooms; a demonstration kitchen and offices in the carriage barn for both farmers in training and public programs about farming and food production; a future greenhouse to extend the New England growing season; and a future farm stand with fresh produce.
M.J.Mawn,Inc. of East Walpole was responsible for the building construction, and HurstLandscaping&SiteServices, a Mattapan contractor, did the extensive landscaping. The farm site is recognized as a City of Boston Landmark and is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.
"The community helped shape the vision [of this project]," Walsh said. "What you see here is history, what you see here is public health, what you see here is open space, what you see here is job training, and it's all come together in a community opportunity in an inclusive model."
The restoration project cost about $3.7 million. HBI and partners raised about $1.7 million from 20 foundations and other contributors. Many of the contractors and professionals worked on the project at no cost or for reduced fees. About $300,000 still needs to be raised to erect a greenhouse, so the farm can operate year-round.