Cornerstone Dedication

Father Glynn addresses the crowd

Father Glynn addresses the crowd

Pulling Nails

Charlesview board member / resident / worker John Cusack pulls nails to unveil the cornerstone

Unveiling Cornerstone

Unveiling Cornerstone


The cornerstone honors the three founding congregations of Charlesview Inc.

Charlesview Board

Charlesview Board members

On Wednesday, the Charlesview community celebrated the dedication of the cornerstone at the Charlesview Residences.

About 40 people attended the event in the blistering cold during lunchtime today, including Charlesview Board members and residents; staff from The Community Builders, our general contractor John Moriarty and Associates, CBT Architects, and MassHousing; representatives from Mayor Menino and Representative Honan’s offices; neighbors and other members of the Allston-Brighton community.

Jo-Ann Barbour, Executive Director of Charlesview, Inc. welcomed the community into the new Charlesview Residences as they gathered in the breezeway between what will be the Josephine Fiorentino Community Center and the Charlesview management office enjoying hot chocolate in the chilly space.  Reverand Jeffrey Hooker of Community United Methodist Church delivered an opening prayer. Father Frank Glynn of St. Anthony’s Catholic Church and Chair of the Charlesview, Inc. Board delivered remarks celebrating the symbol of cooperation and community and the fruit of years of planning and work rising around us.  Anegla Holm, the Allston-Brighton Coordinator for the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhoods Services and herself a native of Charlesview also spoke about the meaning of this community.  Mary-Helen Black represented Harvard and spoke about how happy the University has been with this community partnership.

The crowd shuffled outside into the 5 degree weather to watch the unveiling of the Cornerstone itself, led by John Cusack who is a Charlesview resident, member of the Board, and also a worker on the construction site.  Back inside, Rabbi Yonah Berman of Congregation Kadimah-Toras Moshe delivered a closing benediction.

The Cornerstone dedication was just the first of many celebrations planned for 2013 as construction – now 65% complete – moves towards a finish, Charlesview residents prepare to move into their new homes, and the new community center prepares to open with exciting new programming for the Allston-Brighton community.


A Peek Inside


Interior Framing in early December. This space now has drywall.


This is the view from a 2nd floor living room facing Western Ave.


Here’s the view from a 2nd floor bedroom facing south towards the townhomes. Paper wrapping on the floors protects the hard flooring during construction.


Here’s a kitchen on the 2nd floor, waiting for appliance installation.


Last week, we featured the hard work being done to frame our townhomes in the cold weather.  This week, let’s take a peek inside the slightly warmer mid-rises (permanent heat has yet to turn on as gas meters have just been delivered from National Grid) to take a look at the apartment interiors.

Week by week, the interiors of the mid-rise buildings look more and more like finished apartments. Interior work begins with the first residential level on the 2nd floor and progressively moves up to the 5th floor; first with framing and mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems, followed by drywall, ceilings, painting, unit and hallway doors, kitchen floors, kitchen cabinets, tubs and showers, bathroom tile, bathroom cabinets, toilets, remaining unit flooring, lighting and appliance installation.

The units on the 2nd floor of the D1 building are furthest along. It is easy now to stand in a kitchen and picture yourself pulling food from the fridge, prepping on the counter, cooking on the stove top, and rotating over to plate on the countertops and drop things in the sink – all in natural light flowing in from the large living room windows. Within a month or so the first units will be completed, though it will be several more months before the buildings are fully complete and receive certificates of occupancy so that residents can really get cooking in these new homes.

Winter Construction

WoodFramingAs winter sets in at the site, construction continues with many crews continuing their work outdoors. While work on the steel-framed mid-rises is primarily shifting indoors, workers constructing our wood-framed buildings have been battling the cold to get these buildings up. Eight of the twenty wood buildings have been framed, with another two currently in progress. Although chilly now, these high performance buildings are being built under the New Homes with Energy Star program, which requires the construction crews to maintain extremely high standards with regard to air sealing, insulation, and duct sealing. In addition to a well sealed and insulated envelope, these buildings will feature energy efficient equipment for heating, lighting, and appliances. In total, the team expects these efforts to result in a 20% improvement in energy efficiency, when compared to a standard new construction home. These expectations will be verified at project completion through a series of third party tests, to be conducted by Conservation Services Group. Results will be published to this blog, so stay tuned. In the meantime, think warm thoughts for those working outside this week.

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