Roslindale Substation Revival Receives Two Preservation Awards

Roslindale Substation Revival Receives Two Preservation Awards

HBI joins with Roslindale Village Main Street and Peregrine Group LLC to celebrate notice of two 2020 historic preservation awards from Preservation Massachusetts Inc. (PMI) and the Boston Preservation Alliance (BPA) for the Roslindale Substation, part of the Parkside on Adams development in Roslindale Village.

The Roslindale Substation was built in 1911 to designs by Robert Peabody of Peabody and Stearns.  The building served as a switching station for the Metropolitan Transit system’s streetcars which then were a major form of transportation in the newly developed suburban neighborhoods to downtown Boston.  The building closed in the early 1970s and it sat boarded up and vacant, its grand two story windows bricked in. 

In 2012, Historic Boston and Roslindale Village Main Street were tasked by the Boston Redevelopment Authority to find a feasible re-use for redevelopment of the long overlooked historic building. The two non-profit organizations ultimately struck agreement to purchase the adjacent funeral home, which also owned the large parcel behind the substation, and made both parcels available to prospective developers.  Peregrine Group LLC, a developer from Rhode Island with both new construction and historic preservation experience, presented the most compelling re-use and development proposal for the site – the full redevelopment of the Substation for commercial uses, and 44 new rental apartments surrounding the historic building.  The housing, completed first, opened in 2017, and the historic building’s restoration followed.

Since its opening, the substation has been home to two local breweries.  Trillium Brewing Company set up a temporary seasonal beer garden in 2018, and Turtle Swamp Brewing of Jamaica Plain, the current tenant, opened in 2018.  The lower floor of the substation was retail for a short period and is now offices.  Roslindale Village Main Street has its offices on the first floor of the adjacent residences.

The PMI and BPA awards honor the building’s rehabilitation and preservation, but both also acknowledge the important catalyst this project was for the creation of housing (including 15% affordability) and for energizing Roslindale Village.

HBI is grateful to be acknowledged for its part in this transformational project, but we are also very grateful to our partners, Roslindale Village Main Street and Peregrine Group LLC for their commitment and hard working in making this project a true winner.