Zelma Lacey House
More than six years ago, Charlestown got its first assisted living units -- giving local seniors a chance to stay in the neighborhood.
The Zelma Lacey House, the first assisted living house in Charlestown, opened six and a half years ago. A modern yet stately addition to properties in Charlestown, the Zelma Lacey House is distinguished by its wide front porch and welcoming, colorful interior. It’s like a favorite family house, just a lot larger.
It was named after Zelma Lacey, a lifelong resident of Charlestown, a ceaseless advocate for seniors and a spry 91-year old. The house was built on a 39,000 square foot parcel of land formerly owned by the Boston Redevelopment Authority and the Mishawum Park Tenants Association.
It has 66 apartments on three floors. On the first floor there is a full dining room, next to a roomy, inviting living room with a fire place. The inter-faith chapel on the second floor, with its gorgeous arched window, has artifacts from each of the historical churches in Charlestown. Many neighbors from the community join the seniors and Life Focus members for church services Saturdays at 4 p.m.
Outside the living room is a spacious patio, which overlooks the Phipps Street Burial Ground. The landscaping is perfection and in the warm months residents and visitors sit outside and enjoy the breeze and the birds and squirrels, and the beauty of the arbor dressed in leaves.
In 2009, the Zelma Lacey House was awarded the Rental Housing Association Community of Excellence Award in the Mid/High Rise, post 2000, Assisted Community Category.
- Where is it?
9 West School Street .
- When was it built?
It was completed in 2003 and opened in 2004 .
- Who built it?
It was funded through E.A.Fish/Peabody Properties and Life Focus Center of Charlestown, a community-based multi-service organization. Neshampkin French Architects was the architectural firm.
- What was it built for and who were the first occupants?
It was built as an assisted living facility for local elderly and Life Focus members. A few local seniors were its first occupants.
- Why was it built?
There was no assisted living in Charlestown. There was a strong desire to create a space for Charlestown and Boston elders to "age in place," and not have to leave the neighborhood.
- How was it built?
The contractor was Suffolk Construction Company.