You’ll soon notice activity on Broderick Stables, located in front of the DCR Headquarters building on Hillside Street (near the police station).
According to Bill Hickey, DCR Acting Press Secretary, Broderick Stables was constructed in 1899 as the first structure in the Blue Hills Reservation on this flank of Blue Hill. The stable served as the home base for the construction fleet of the day- horses. This Cadillac of stables was designed by the renowned firm of Stickney and Austen and exhibited the most current conveniences and high standards of design. Four years later in 1904 the courtyard was added to the Stable. The stable is listed on the National Register of Historic Structures.
Recently, DCR’s Engineering staff determined that there was a public safety concern due to decay at the stables.
About $300,0000 has been provided to fix the courtyard structure. DCR secured an Emergency Waiver from Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM) to help expedite the bidding process. Approximately 50% of the wood roof framing is in good condition and will remain. Several wood columns must be replaced and one of the main 8×12” roof beams end spliced with new to allow the majority of it to remain. The stone and brick courtyard walls will be repointed as needed. The missing archway gates will be rebuilt and new asphalt shingles installed. The interior courtyard grade will be lowered to what it originally was and a crushed gravel surface installed. This will reduce the column’s contact with water and mud which contributed to the decay of these pieces.
The most interesting piece of this work will be the replacement of the missing eyebrow arch over the entry way. The existing gable over the archway was assumed to be the original or a copy of it. However, upon careful inspection of the lone photograph from the stables early years depicting a view of this entrance, it was discovered the roof had originally been an arch as well.
DCR is hopeful that a contractor will be onsite by mid-April. The project duration is expected to be approximately 90 days.
Click for background on Broderick Stables.