Nawn Factory to be developed for Dance Studio and Arts Space

Nawn Factory to be developed for Dance Studio and Arts Space

For nine years, HBI’s offices overlooked the 1630 Eliot Burying Ground and the abandoned 1880s Owen Nawn Factory in Nubian Square. As a preservation organization, HBI has been pushing to see the historic building preserved and rehabilitated for new uses ever since the building first appeared on HBI’s radar in 1985 when it was fully intact.   

In early 2020, HBI and the non-profit Wellness Collaborative submitted a proposal to the City of Boston for the building’s rehabilitation and reuse as an innovative community wellness and history center. Unfortunately, in this competitive process, our proposal was not the one recommended last week for selection by the Roxbury Strategic Master Plan Oversight Committee of the two submitted.

Though we will not lead the charge for the building’s preservation and reuse, we remain committed to helping The Wellness Collaborative find a new, cost-effective home for its vision of a hub for health and wellness. We  hope to  find an appropriate historic building that will serve TWC’s important mission of correcting the disparities in health and healthcare that persist for communities of color.

We congratulate the Art @ Nawn team on their recommendation for the project, and we look forward to seeing the redevelopment come to fruition.   We are pleased to see the building’s great potential will be able to help the team pursue their dream of bringing a dance studio/complex to this important historic building.  

Preserving historic buildings is very important for the history and architecture they embody.  But, as we know from our projects, the rehabilitation of historic buildings is also economic development.  The jobs, businesses and wealth creation that will come from the rehabilitation of the Owen Nawn Factory make clear that the good that comes from preservation projects is the best outcome here and will help the Nubian Square community be stronger and even more vibrant.