Allston Brighton Community Development Corporation

Working together, building community

Since the Allston Brighton CDC has been operating since 1980, it is easy to forget why the organization started. We talked to one of the founding members and current Board Treasurer, Charlie Vasiliades, to revisit the origins of our organization.

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Charlie has lived in Brighton for his entire life and he is often referred to as the “Mayor of Oak Square.” He first got involved in community activism when the old

Oak Square School, 1894

Oak Square School was almost closed in 1977. His former elementary school was the last wood schoolhouse in Boston and Charlie and others involved in the history of the neighborhood wanted to keep it opened. While they were able to keep the school open for a few years, it eventually closed in 1981 due to budget cuts in the city. Fortunately, thanks to the Brighton-Allston Historical Society, the building had been designated as a city landmark in 1978, which meant that it could not be demolished or significantly altered. This left neighbors with the question of what to do with the school next?

Oak Square School Today

This is where the ABCDC got involved. Members of the CDC took action into their own hands and decided to buy the school, restore it, and convert it into ten moderately priced condos. For Charlie, this was a win-win because a historic landmark was protected and housing was also provided in an area where the demand was high.

As a lifelong resident of Allston Brighton, Charlie still thinks back to the Oak Square School as the reason that he got involved in civic activism. It was pivotal that the CDC was proactive in keeping the integrity of the neighborhood alive while also providing affordable housing opportunities for people who wanted to make Allston Brighton their home for the long run. Thanks so much to Charlie for his early involvement in the CDC. We hope the Allston Brighton CDC can continue to inspire effective civic activism for years to come!

Oak Square School Today

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

©Allston Brighton CDC | 18R Shepard Street, Suite 100 | Brighton, MA 02135 | p: 617.787.3874 | f: 617.787.0425