Back in February Mayor Martin Walsh and the City’s Community Preservation Committee (CPC) recommended one project for inclusion in the next round for the Community Preservation Act (CPA) funding.
The Eastie project was one of 40 across the city totalling more than $24 million that received unanimous approval from the Boston City Council.
In Eastie $400,000 of CPA funding could be heading this way for the city to purchase the historic White Street home of the neighborhood’s premier 19th Century shipbuilder, Donald McKay.
“Projects that receive funding from the Community Preservation Act directly reflect our neighborhoods’ needs and priorities,” said Mayor Walsh. “With money going to projects specifically for open space, preserving historic sites, and creating affordable housing, the residents of the City of Boston will benefit directly. Thank you to everyone who submitted project proposals, and I look forward to seeing how the new CPA projects will help our city.”
The Donald McKay House is a privately owned historic house at 78–80 White Street in East Boston. It was the residence of Donald McKay, a master builder of some of the world’s fastest clipper ships.
The CPA funds would be used to purchase the home for $ 400,000 and preserve it as a community asset
The house was built in 1844 in the Greek Revival architectural style, which is distinguished by its pitched roof and front-facing gable resembling a Greek pediment. McKay moved into the house in 1845, and during his residence there he designed and built some of the most successful clipper ships in history. These ships include the Flying Cloud (1851), which made two 89-day passages from New York to San Francisco; the Sovereign of the Seas (1852), which posted the fastest speed ever by a sailing ship (22 knots) in 1854; the Lightning (1854), which set multiple records, including sailing 436 miles in a 24-hour period and sailing from Melbourne, Australia, to Liverpool, England, in 64 days; and the James Baines (1854), which logged a speed of 21 knots on June 18, 1856.
The home was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.
After Boston adopted the CPA in 2016, the City created a Community Preservation Fund to fund affordable housing, historic preservation, and open space and public recreation projects. The Community Preservation Fund is capitalized primarily by a one percent property tax-based surcharge on residential and business property tax bills that began in July 2017.