ABNNF creates a Holton St Corridor plan

Neighborhood sets its vision to a color map - The Boston Globe

As this story in today's Globe describes, the Allston/Brighton North Neighbors Forum recently took a big step forward by developing a framework plan for the future of the Holton St Corridor. This area, owned almost entirely by Harvard, is bounded by Western Ave on the north, Lincoln St on the south, Everett St to the east, and Litchfield & Antwerp to the west.

Too much of this land sits vacant or underutilized and while Harvard owns 27 acres in this part of North Brighton it has announced no plans for any of these properties, other than the 6 acres in the northwest corner designated for the relocation of Charlesview.

Instead of just sitting around waiting for a new plan from Charlesview that may or may not respond to the BRA's commendable Scoping Determination, the ABNNF is proactively proposing a better and more complete solution consistent with our goals to:
  • Create new housing, retail, and parks
  • Develop a lively and attractive Western Ave
  • Connect the neighborhoods east of Everett and west of Litchfield
  • Improve the quality of life for existing residents.
  • Respect the needs of both pedestrians and automobiles
  • Plan housing for renters and homeowners, families and others

To achieve these goals, the plan includes:

  • Extending existing east-west streets and creating new streets that will run N-S
  • Buildings with the appropriate height and density on Western Ave
  • New homes alongside existing homes comparable to our neighborhood today
  • Relocating Shaw’s supermarket to Western Ave
  • A public park near Holton and Everett streets
  • Burying several hundred feet of Soldiers Field Road to create new parkland and improve our connection to the Charles River


  1. Neat proposal. You can really see how it integrates the residential part of the neighborhood into the retail corridor and the public (park) spaces.

    One thing about the diagram that I find confusing: are the little houses depicted in it representative of the kind of residential structures proposed in your alternative? They seem small and widely-spaced apart. Are they just generic housing, not drawn to scale?

  2. Hi Mike,

    Glad you like it.

    The residential structures shown in the image are representative of what is being proposed. There are single family homes south of Holton St and larger 2+ family buildings between Holton and the extended Raymond streets. In general their spacing is comparable to existing homes in the neighborhood.

    This is a conceptual plan and details need to be refined through discussions with the many stakeholders.


  3. Anonymous5:01 PM

    There are some things that I like about this plan. We could, for example, really use a nice piece of green space in the area marked for 'Public Park." The St. Anthony's neighborhood just doesn't have a enough green space.

    The one point on this plan that troubles me is the idea of extending Aldie Street south of that park. Just think about what a mess the intersection of Aldie Street and Everett would then be -- cars sweeping down the bridge over I-90, then negotiating the fork with the branch that runs down to Lincoln, THEN stopping at an intersection? I think this could really be a mess.

    But I'm grateful to the planners for offering some good ideas about the space. Let's make sure Harvard knows that we want this space to give our neighborhood the chance to breathe some fresh air.

  4. You are right that the Everett St overpass area is already too dangerous and we would have to be very careful about adding any new traffic there. This plan, or framework, is meant to start the discussion about the future of this land, and certainly before anything would be built, or before any plans would be finalized, there would have to be involvement by traffic engineers and other professional to improve the plan.