Plans unsure for repair to historic Broderick Stable in Milton

November 18, 2013 06:02 PM

By Jessica Bartlett

Repairs on the horse paddocks at the Blue Hills Reservation have been completed, but more extensive work on the Broderick Stable is still a ways off.

Massachusetts Park Ranger Lt. Susan Survillo said work finished on Nov. 17 to fix the paddocks, the penned-in areas for the mounted horse unit next to the stable.

“[It’s] where the horses are 'turned-out' during rest time,” Survillo said in an email. “I, along with staff, years ago (1999) built the paddocks (70’ x 70’) with wood post and rail, there are two still standing, and the cross rails needed replacement due to rot.”

Volunteers from the Friends of the Blue Hills, the Friends of the Massachusetts Park Ranger Mounted Unit, and Park Ranger Mounted Unit Volunteers carried out the work, funded by the Department of Conservation and Recreation, which owns the area.

Yet despite the recent upkeep, maintenance plans on the historic Broderick Stable next to the paddocks is still under discussion.

“There have been discussions about renovating the stable, but nothing concrete as of yet,” Survillo said.

To Milton Planning Board Chairman Alexander Whiteside, the turn-of-the-century stable tucked in the Blue Hills Reservation is a piece of history - all the more reason it should be preserved.

Whiteside has been pushing for the Department of Conservation and Recreation to rehab the building, which helped to home horses used by early park rangers in providing park security.

“It was an integral part of how they ran an early public wildlife park, and the buildings were recognized as important as part of our history,” Whiteside said.

Broderick Stables is also on the National Registry of Historic Buildings, Whiteside said, a trait that should only elevate the need to preserve the structure.

“It is a nationally registered building, you would think there would be grants available if there’s a shortfall of funds,” Whiteside said. “But they should protect their buildings, especially significant ones... you just can’t let them fall down.”

Though current plans are vague, Whiteside seemed optimistic at the initial progress.

"I've been pushing DCR and they seem to recognize the importance of the building and will be doing something about it,” he said.

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