Yet Another Backyard Building Behind a Historic Home in Roxborough

We’ve been spending all sorts of time lately up and down Ridge Avenue, from West Poplar all the way out to Roxborough. Of late, we’ve seen several proposals on the western side of this arterial street, with a small stretch seeing a number of very similar approaches, entailing backyard additions to existing buildings. So, what is leading to these additions? Why the Ridge Avenue Thematic Historic District of course, which protects a large number of properties that have been built during the long history of this road. And wouldn’t you know it, the properties at 6830-32 Ridge Ave. will add yet another to this pipeline. Let’s hop in the way-back machine and see what used to grace this stretch of the avenue and then jump back to 2022 to how it looks today.

6830 Ridge Ave. back in 1949, without its current low-rise neighbor
Current view of the property, with its low-rise neighbor
Another view of the property from Ridge Ave.
7041 Ridge has plans to get a similar treatment to the west
Current view of 6712 Ridge, another candidate for a revamp and additional backyard neighbor

A presentation to the Historical Commission provides us with an idea of what’s to come. Site plans and elevations from Studio C Architecture show two additional buildings rising to the east and south of the existing building, which will have the non-contributing later additions removed before getting a historic refresher. 18 units, mostly one-bedroom apartments, will be spread across the three buildings, with 16 car spaces in the new building in the back of the lot. There will also be a lovely little cafe facing Ridge, with a gazebo covered outdoor space. Check out plans for the site below.

Site plan shows the layout of what's to come
North elevations show how all three buildings will be positioned
New mixes with old for the east and west elevations
East and west elevations of new building with cafe

This presentation also provided some renderings to help visualize how things will look on-site. How about we check out an aerial of the site and those renderings to better understand what’s to come?

Aerial of the site as it looks today
Aerial of the proposed plans at 6830-32 Ridge Ave.
A view of the covered porch and cafe
New on the left mixes with the old on the right
View across Ridge shows both of the new buildings behind the rehabbed original structure

We applaud the architects for mixing the old with the new, creating a dense yet sensitively scaled project. This project should alleviate parking concerns with its near one-to-one ratio, and that cafe should certainly get plenty of business as well. Given that the only loss will be a non-historic boxy structure (which we still kind of like, not gonna lie), we are thrilled to find yet another interesting old building getting the love and attention it deserves. With so much action around here, we would venture a guess that Ridge Avenue may now be writing yet another chapter to its long and interesting history. And we have a funny feeling we might be back to this stretch of Roxborough in very short order.