March 30, 2018 Nawn Factory / Parcel 8 RFP Just Around the Corner
PLAN: Dudley Square, a BPDA initiative to strategize about the uses and scale of development for DND and BPDA owned and/ or managed parcels in Roxbury and Dudley Square, is close to meeting its objective of issuing Request for Proposals (RFP) for eight parcels in the area. The community engagement process that began in early 2016, held a workshop late January to review the guidelines for crafting the RFPs for all eight parcels. This was followed by workshops in February and March to discuss the draft RFPs for four of the eight parcels.
HBI’s has long been interested in the preservation of the Nawn Factory, and has been working with its architects in anticipation of the RFP. Parcel 8, of which the Nawn Factory plot is a part, is considered one of the gateway parcels owning to its location on the corner of Melnea Cass Boulevard and Washington Street. The guidelines for Parcel 8 call for the rehabilitation of the Nawn Factory and also suggest a historical and interpretive use for the restored building, which is in-line with direction adopted by HBI. With an aim of strengthening the public realm the guidelines also require creation of an open space at the corner of Washington Street and Melnea Cass Boulevard. Also recommended is incorporating public art and art installations to further accentuate the public space and in recognition of the historic character of the Eustis Street Architectural Conservation District. HBI has been working to extend the historic interpretation beyond the Nawn Factory and extending to the open space leveraging the history of Roxbury Neck and the presence of the foundations of erstwhile Josiah Cunningham House and the Jesse Doggett House.
By way of context, the Eustis Street Area of Roxbury, a designated Architectural Conservation District, lies at the edge of the old Roxbury and Boston Neck. Roxbury and Boston Neck is the name given to the narrow section of land that connected Roxbury to the Shawmut peninsula or present day Boston. Along the neck ran the Roxbury Street what we now call the Washington Street. The John Eliot or Old Roxbury Burying Ground (the First Burying Ground in Roxbury) at the corner of Washington and Eustis Streets, was established on common land in 1630 and is one of the three oldest cemeteries in Boston. The John Eliot burying ground is bound by the aforementioned streets on two sides and has the Owen Nawn factory and the Eustis Street Firehouse as its immediate neighbors. In addition to the burying ground, fire house and factory building the Josiah Cunningham House and the Jesse Doggett House are also part of the Architectural Conservation District. The boundaries of the District are roughly Washington, Eustis, Harrison Streets and Melnea Cass Boulevard.
Draft RFPs for the four remaining parcels, one of which is the Nawn Factory/ Parcel 8, are expected in the coming weeks.