Group moves to preserve New Kids on the Block members’ childhood home

by Liz Hughes

The childhood home of New Kids on the Block’s Jordan and Jonathan Knight went on the market last month with an asking price of $1,795,000, and now a group of Dorchester residents is trying to preserve it.

Photo credit: The Salvation Army

According to the Dorchester Reporter, a group of neighbors filed a petition with the Boston Landmarks Commission to make the Melville Avenue home a city landmark site. A preliminary hearing on the petition happened earlier this month where, according to the Boston Globe, the commission gave the petition the greenlight and moved it onto the study report phase in which the historic or architectural significance of the building will be detailed. 

The home at 10 Melville Ave. in Dorchester was originally built in 1880 by George Meacham, who also designed the Boston Public Garden. The Knight family purchased the home in 1972 and sold it to the Salvation Army in 1996. Last year, the Salvation Army announced Jubilee House was merging with the Kroc Center of Boston, giving the organization the ability to have a newer state-of-the-art facility for the programs and services it provides. 

Earl Taylor, president of the Dorchester Historical Society and one of the individuals behind the petition, told the Dorchester Reporter the home’s significance, from its unique design and architecture to its associations with individuals like John W. Fields to the Knight brothers, makes it an “interesting building that should be designated.” 

Listed by Michael Dorion of the Residential Group of William Raveis, the 23-room, 6,000-square-foot Victorian sits on a 35,000 square foot lot. It boasts tall ceilings, spacious rooms, and much of its original Victorian detail is intact, according to the listing. Set back from the street, it also features a porte-cochère and a carriage house.

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