City of Boston Issues RFP for Preservation and Re-use of Roxbury’s Nawn Factory

City of Boston Issues RFP for Preservation and Re-use of Roxbury’s Nawn Factory

The City of Boston Department of Neighborhood Development (DND) issued a long-awaited Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Owen Nawn Factory on November 18th, pressing for the site to provide educational value to the community and interpretive information about Roxbury’s rich history.

The Owen Nawn Factory at 2080 Washington Street is a reminder of Roxbury’s industrial past. A two-story brick manufacturing structure, it was built circa 1880 and is named for its original owner, Owen Nawn, a Roxbury contractor who was also responsible for building some of the elevated Orange line along Washington Street in 1901.

The factory building has been vacant for nearly 50 years and today represents only one-third of its original size after several fires and years of deferred maintenance forced demolition of the rear of the long building.

Nevertheless, the building has been afforded the highest level of protection as part of the Eustis Architectural Conservation District by the City of Boston, along with the 1630 Eliot Burying Ground and the 1859 Eustis Street Fire House.

Historic Boston has been concerned about the historic structure for many years. In fact, the building appeared on the organization’s target list of endangered historic buildings as early as 1985 when the structure was still complete. HBI is conducting a redevelopment feasibility study for the building’s re-use and historic interpretation, and is readying a proposal to the City of Boston.

RFP calls for a full restoration of the historic building in accordance with the U. S. Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation to be overseen by the Boston Landmarks Commission. It also sets aside at least 1200 square feet of the interior space for educational and interpretive space, in which the story of Roxbury can be told to the public through exhibitions and programs.

The building, which has been owned by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) until recently, also carries a Preservation Restriction to be overseen by DCR in perpetuity, in order to make certain that the building’s condition is well maintained.

HBI is readying its proposal for the Nawn Factory for the RFP’s submission deadline of February 19, 2019.