St. Joseph’s Cooperative Housing

by Andrew Hatt

The last housing built within the Washington Park Urban Renewal Area was faith-based like the first, Marksdale Gardens, had been. Ultimately, 125 units of cooperative housing were built around St. Joseph’s Church on Washington and Circuit Streets by the Archdiocese Planning and Development office. St. Joseph’s Housing Inc was formed as a cooperative by the Archdiocese to build housing after the site around the original church, the convent and the school had been cleared by the BRA. In 1965 St. Joseph’s Church had been designated the developer of the five acres of land along Washington, Circuit, Dale and Regent Streets. Rev. Michael F. Godin was named project manager of what would become 137-unit cooperative housing financed with HUD subsidies

The housing units, which consisted of two-story cluster housing built of wood with concrete party walls, were designed by architect Paul G. Feloney. Groundbreaking took place on May 23, 1968 and some of the housing was completed by the end 1969. Most clusters are three homes in a row, folded into common courts and parking is outside the main groupings of homes. Most interesting of all however is the fact that the street names that comprise St. Joseph’s Cooperative Housing reflect the emergence of the Black community in Boston during the late 1960s.