Neighbors Unhappy With Plan To Demolish Monastery In Jamaica Plain

Photo: Madison Rogers/WBZ NewsRadio

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — The nuns from the Monastery of St. Claire want the building to be demolished after they move to a smaller location, a plan that has some neighbors and historians upset.

The monastery is located on Centre Street in Jamaica Plain and has been home to the Poor Clare Nuns of Boston for almost 90 years. Now there are only 10 nuns living there and the building is becoming too expensive to maintain, which is why the group wants to move out of the large building and move to a new one.

The nuns plan to sell the land to a developer, which will demolish the building and replace it with 26 townhouses. Some neighbors are not happy about the plan to demolish the historic building. WBZ's Madison Rogers spoke with a construction worker named Patrick who was shocked about the plan.

"The craftsmanship that was put into that building, you'll never see that again, not in our lifetime," he said.

Anthony Sammarco, a Boston historian who has written books about Jamaica Plain and its history, said he wants to see the building reused rather than torn down.

"This is something that's a major part of a community," he said. "It doesn't have to be demolished. It can be repurposed."

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The nuns, however, have a different plan. In the demolition application, the nuns said their motivation to demolish the building rather than repurpose it was because of their religious beliefs.

"Because of its significance to the religious lives there since they built it, the Sisters sincerely desire that the building be removed from the land when they leave the monastery," the application reads. "They believe this to be the destiny of their history at this location."

WBZ's Madison Rogers (@MadisonWBZ) reports.

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