Save our Historical Properties & Support Responsible Development in Milton!

Save our Historical Properties & Support Responsible Development in Milton!

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West Milton Residents started this petition to Vose Hill Neighborhood Association Vose Hill Neighborhood Association Admins and

Please help us save a special piece of Milton’s history and advocate for responsible development in our community. Concerned residents of Milton earnestly request your support for our preservation efforts to save The McGinley House & Gardens, located at 582 Blue Hill Avenue, from the proposed destruction of this historical gilded-era property and its award winning gardens designed by famed, trailblazing landscape architect, Ellen Shipman. The proposed development to replace this architectural time piece calls for a 118 unit building with 176 parking spaces.

The McGinley House was designed in 1925 by Henry Ford Bigelow and Phillip Wadsworth of the Boston firm Bigelow & Wadsworth, premier architects of their time. Both Bigelow and Wadsworth were residents of Milton and nearby neighbors to the McGinley family, making this home a particularly personal effort. Together, some of their work includes the Boston Athenaeum (designated as a National Historic Landmark) and George R. White’s magnificent Lilliothea in Manchester-by-the-Sea, where they partnered with the Olmsted brothers as landscape architects for this spectacular estate. 

Bigelow and Wadsworth’s partnership with Ellen Shipman as landscape architect for the McGinley gardens marks a historic partnership as well, as Ms. Shipman was one of the earliest female landscape architects of significance and a trailblazer for generations of landscape architects that followed. As a fierce advocate for women, Ms. Shipman was said to have hired only women as they embarked upon their careers after graduation from nearby Lowthorpe Department of Landscape Architecture (since acquired by Rhode Island School of Design). Ms. Shipman’s work can be found up and down the east coast, and many of her gardens are located on sites included on the National Registry of Historic Estates. Described as being at the ‘zenith of her career’ when she designed the award-winning gardens of the McGinley estate, Ms. Shipman’s work here is also significant for her collaboration with Edith Schryver as part of the design process. Ms. Schryver went on to form one of the first women-run West Coast landscape architecture firms. As one publication states, “Given its strong connection to these pioneering designers, the McGinley Garden’s pedigree is particularly rich and significant for the history of landscape architecture.”

Despite vigorous opposition from numerous historical societies, including Historic New England, the Milton Historical Commission, Preservation Massachusetts, Society of Architectural Historians and the nationally-based Cultural Landscape Foundation and The Garden Conservancy, the developer, Comprehensive Land Holdings, LLC (an arm of The Tamposi Brothers Development) is moving forward with their plans to raze this historical property to the ground, replacing it with a 118 unit apartment building which sits upon a parking structure for 176. The developers’ plans not only destroy important historical elements of our town, but they also exploit the boundaries of responsible development and represent a drastic departure from the character of the neighborhood. As proposed, the development will rise four stories high, with an additional 30' retaining wall. There is limited green space and recreational use for occupants. The lack of sidewalks and any amenities that high density developments are expected to adhere to (schools, public transportation, shopping) result in car dependent development. This creates unnecessary safety and traffic concerns that result from a single egress development.  

By signing this petition you are demonstrating your support for the preservation of historical, landmark properties in our town, and appropriate, responsible development. We will submit this petition to the Zoning Board of Appeals to underscore residents’ concerns over the destruction of this historical property and to urge our town officials to campaign for an alternative solution to this current proposal.  We ask that the town explore all options available and advocate vigorously for our residents. 

Thank you for your support!

Please add your support and follow us on Instagram @SaveMcGinelyHouse. Email us at vosehillassociation@gmail.com to join our mailing list and to keep updated with this project. If you are able to support our legal fund, please consider donating to our fundraiser - we appreciate any level of support (funds donated to Change.org do not support our legal fund and go directly to Change.org).  

0 have signed. Let’s get to 10,000!
At 10,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to get a reaction from the decision maker!