Historic Boston Incorporated (HBI)
Roslindale Village Main Street (RVMS)
Prellwitz Chilinski Associates, Inc. (PCA)
Building Engineering Resources
Turtle Swamp Brewing
Work Hub at the Substation
Boston’s Roslindale Substation was rehabilitated by Historic Boston Incorporated (HBI), Roslindale Village Main Street (RVMS), and the Peregrine Group LLC into a 4,000-square-foot restaurant/retail space on the main floor, and a lower level, 4,000-square-foot office, retail, and restaurant support space. Project developers worked with architecture firm Prellwitz Chilinski Associates, Inc. (PCA). MHA Boston consulted on federal and state historic tax credits.
The Revival Style Substation was originally built and designed by Robert Swain Peabody of Peabody and Stearns and Stone and Webster Engineers in 1911. The station originally functioned as part of the Boston Elevated Railway Company’s alternating electric current power system that ran the city’s trolleys. The station later became a part of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) and remained in operation until 1971. After 1971, the building sat vacant for 41 years. In 2012, after much effort from HBI, RVMS, and PCA, the property was purchased for redevelopment, listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and specific rehabilitation plans were set in place.
In 2012, when the lot adjacent to the Substation became available for development, the rehabilitation and adaptive reuse plan for the station became an attractive option for private developers and investors. Peregrine Group LLC joined the project and plans were made to use the adjacent lot to create a new construction, 43-unit residential building that would sensitively wrap around the historic station.
The rehabilitation of the station included the preservation of much of the industrial building’s historic fabric. Evidence of the building’s original use can still be observed in the station’s 34-foot ceilings, 18-foot tall front doors, and an interior gantry crane (and hook). Views of the station’s exposed steel frame structure can now be enjoyed in natural light thanks to new windows which were created to mimic the original windows’ dimensions, proportions, and details. Exposed non-load bearing brick walls, with glazed white bricks in a running bond, add additional texture to the unique space. The masonry was repointed, repaired, cleaned with care given to matching the brick and mortar’s strength, composition, color, and texture.
As a part of Roslindale Square, within Roslindale Village’s business district, and situated across from popular Adams Park, the Substation offers a great deal of potential in terms of location and visibility to any possible new tenants. Parkside on Adams, the new brand name of the Substation (and the new construction apartments - now fully built), currently acts as a community gathering space with pop-up vendors and seasonal events. Turtle Swamp Brewing Beer Garden occupies part of the main floor and an outdoor space. The new construction residential property includes 43 units (six of which were reserved as affordable), a commercial space, and concealed parking.
- Boston Preservation Alliance | 2020 Preservation Achievement Award
- Preservation Massachusetts | 2020 Mayor Thomas M. Menino Legacy Award
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