May 27, 2016 At Long Last- Construction begins on the Historic Roslindale MBTA Substation
Spring has sprung and summer is fast approaching which means construction season is well underway and this year it brings good news for HBI and our partners, Roslindale Village Main Street (RVMS) and Peregrine Group LLC. If you happen to be in Roslindale Village you will notice some increase in activity around the historic 1911 MBTA Substation Building across from Adams Park in the village square.
The building has been vacant since the early 1970s after its original use as an electrical switching station for Boston’s elevated railway system was no longer needed. HBI and RVMS have been persistently working for more than 15 years to find a new purpose for it–to drive forward its redevelopment into an economically viable use that contributes to the vitality of the Roslindale Village business district. HBI and RVMS are now pleased to report the project is officially in construction.
Over the next few months you will see many activities occurring around the Substation. Staging for the construction work on the interior has already begun. This includes moving lifts and other equipment into the front monumental door opening. Installing scaffolding around the exterior of the building will start sometime by late June or early July. Testing of products and methods for cleaning the masonry has been done and the removal of brick that blocked-up the original windows on the Cummins Highway side of the building will commence after the scaffolding is in place. The new windows are scheduled to be installed in October. During the last weeks of May into June, the original stairs at the entrance will be rebuilt and general masonry repair and mortar tuck-pointing will occur throughout the summer. Roofing work will occur later this summer.
Inside work during the summer includes filling in the large openings in the floor that were used to install (and then remove) the original equipment that served the building. In June, the contractor will attempt to move the old steel gantry crane that is still in place so it can be cleaned up and left as part of the interior decor of the restaurant that will occupy the grand monumental space. Cleaning and painting of the exposed steel trusses and cleaning of the interior brick work will also occur.
Craft Beer Cellar is scheduled to open in the lower level in the fall and the restaurant envisioned by Chris Douglass is scheduled for a spring 2017 opening. Though there is still about a year to go before the Substation work is fully finished, it is exciting and gratifying to finally see actual construction progress on this long-awaited project-another patient preservation project coming to fruition.
Stay tuned for more information on the technical process around the masonry restoration work and other news around this important historic preservation and economic development project for Roslindale Village.