Preservation Achievement Awards

2017 Awards

101 Beacon Street view project

101 Beacon Street

Back Bay

Boston Public Library - Johnson Building view project

Boston Public Library - Johnson Building

Copley Square

Boston Public Library - Philosophy Mural Restoration view project

Boston Public Library - Philosophy Mural Restoration

Copley Square

Four51 Marlborough view project

Four51 Marlborough

Back Bay

Harvard Medical School - Gordon Hall Marble Restoration view project

HMS Gordon Hall Marble Restoration

Fenway

Heroic: Concrete Architecture and the New Boston view project

Heroic: Concrete Architecture and the New Boston

Book

McMullen Museum of Art and Conference Center view project

McMullen Museum of Art and Conference Center

Brighton

Paul Revere House Education and Visitor Center view project

Paul Revere House Education and Visitor Center

North End

Shawmut Design and Construction Headquarters view project

Shawmut Design and Construction Headquarters

South End

Terminal Storage Building view project

Terminal Storage Building

Charlestown

101 Beacon Street

Photo courtesy of backbayhouses.org

101 Beacon Street

Address:

101 Beacon Street, Back Bay

Owner/Developer:

One-O-One Beacon LLC. Andrew Constantine

Architect:

The Office of Michael J. Scanlon
Choo & Company

Project Team:

Zade Associates LLC
The Law Offices of Jeffery R. Drago
The Law Offices of Russo & Scolnick
Katz, Rudnick & Sullivan PC
Brookline Bank
William Young, former director of
    Boston Landmarks Commission
Boston Ornament Company, Inc.
Mott Iron Works

The grand 1862 house at 101 Beacon in the Back Bay met a sad fate when, in 1952, a remodel converted the home into apartments, removed the elegant front staircase, painted the brownstone white, flattened the Mansard roof and added an incongruous floor to the top. For years, this property improperly welcomed every vehicle entering Back Bay from Storrow Drive with a design dissonant with its place as a gateway to Beacon Street. Now, after a careful and sympathetic renovation, the home once again contributes to the character of the historic Back Bay. Working with the Boston Landmarks Commission, the owner recreated the Mansard roof and redesigned the rooftop addition, repaired and repainted the exterior more appropriately, restored existing fabric such as elements of the original front door, and extensively renovated the interior into luxury apartment units. Though the site had many challenges, this renovation and restoration project returns 101 Beacon to its rightful role greeting visitors and residents to the iconic Back Bay neighborhood.

“Some buildings sit at key entry points to neighborhoods, and it can be jarring when those key views are disrupted by poor design choices of the past—when eyes are drawn to the singular anomaly rather than the larger visual context,” said Greg Galer, Executive Director of the Boston Preservation Alliance. “The work at 101 Beacon Street has superbly met the challenge of reversing bad design decisions of the past by returning to the neighborhood a gateway vista of which the city can be proud.”

Boston Public Library - Johnson Building

Photo courtesy of Bruce T. Martin

Boston Public Library
Johnson Building

Address:

700 Boylston Street, Copley Square

Owner/Developer:

Boston Public Library

Architect:

William Rawn Associates

Project Team:

Arrowstreet
Boston Landmarks Commission
Boston Public Library
Cavanaugh Tocci Associates
City of Boston
Consigli
Cosentini Associates
Darlow Christ Architects
Green Engineer
LAB [3.2] Architecture
LeMessurier
Nitsch Engineering
PMA Consultants
R.W. Sullivan Consulting Engineers
Reed Hilderbrand
Small Design Firm

Located on one of the most pedestrian-friendly and vibrant streets in Boston, the Boston Public Library’s Central Library in Copley Square has provided the city with a world-class public center of information, learning, arts, and culture for generations. The BPL has long struggled to harmonize the experience of its Boston Landmark buildings: the much-loved National Landmark 1895 McKim, Mead & White building and the 1972 Phillip Johnson addition. The City of Boston and the BPL team bravely took on this challenge with a $78 million, 156,000 square foot renovation of the Johnson wing transforming the inwardly-focused Johnson addition into an inviting, light-filled public space. The building now not only presents a successful, welcoming face to the public but invites us in with a café, active broadcast studio, and energy that spills right onto the sidewalk. It also finally knits together the two buildings, unifying the campus with an open, and visible connection that feels natural from either direction.

Because the Johnson building is a local Landmark, the renovation required collaboration and approval of the Boston Landmarks Commission, who worked closely with the project team. Efforts were made to retain defining features of Johnson’s original design while making necessary upgrades so that both of the historic buildings are fully accessible, physically and emotionally. Like a good book, the re-imagined spaces now draw the public in and invite them to explore.

“Built when Boylston Street was a different place, when an oasis of culture and learning felt it should turn its back on the distractions of city life that surrounded it, the Johnson Wing seemed cold and unfriendly to me as someone who spent countless hours in the BPL as a child,” said Greg Galer, Executive Director of the Boston Preservation Alliance. “This project transforms the library to meet the city which has successfully evolved around it, literally turning granite barriers into pathways that cross the boundary between the library and the city. It's remarkable to see the life and energy that a thoughtful but respectful modernization of an important historic building can bring.”

Boston Public Library - Philosophy Mural Restoration

Photo courtesy of Gianfranco Pocobene

Boston Public Library
Philosophy Mural Restoration

Address:

700 Boylston Street, Copley Square

Owner/Developer:

Boston Public Library

Project Team:

D. Fisher Construction LLC
Fields of Vision
Gianfranco Pocobene Studio
Heritage Planning & Design
Ivan Myjer Building & Monument Conservation
Marr Scaffolding Company

French painter Pierre Puvis de Chavannes (1824-1898) is held in regard as one of the greatest muralists in his home country—and arguably in all of Europe—from the 19th century. His mural cycle at the Boston Public Library, however, is his only mural work outside of France. Approaching his seventies when the work was commissioned in 1893, the artist was reluctant to make the trip to Boston so a model of the space, dimensions, and samples of the yellow Sienna marble from the library staircase were sent to him so that he could match his palette and pieces to the site. The result was a series of eight allegorical subject panels that surround the grand staircase at the Central Library. One of these, the Philosophy panel, was found to be experiencing damage in late 2014. After an extensive analysis, conservators determined the cause to be water from the elevator shaft behind the painting, which would have to be repaired by removing the 14' x 7' painting, in place since its integration into the library’s grand stair. This was no easy feat given the scale, fragility of the painting, and the fact that the painting was adhered directly to the plaster wall over 100 years ago. In late 2015, a skilled team developed new techniques through testing and experimentation and carefully removed, tediously restored, and in September 2016 returned the painting to its repaired architectural niche. Now with an invisible protective lining, the painting is seamlessly back home with no indication of damage or removal. This expert team responded with innovation and dedication to an emergency conservation situation and the process now serves as a tested example of how to successfully remove and reinstall a marouflaged panel in its entirety.

“Among the most remarkable and insufficiently-known treasures of Boston are the diversity of the Boston Public Library’s special collections and artworks as well as the skilled and dedicated team that cares for them,” said Greg Galer, Executive Director of the Boston Preservation Alliance. “The complexity of the operation required to successfully restore the Chavannes mural panel should not be minimized, and it only highlights the wide range of treasures and skills hidden at the BPL. The fact that this occurred while the Johnson Wing was being renovated is testimony to the diversity of wonder at the BPL.“

Four51 Marlborough

Photo courtesy of Trent Bell Photography

Four51 Marlborough

Address:

451 Marlborough Street, Back Bay

Owner/Developer:

The Holland Companies

Architect:

Hacin + Associates

Project Team:

Allied Consulting Engineering Services
DeCelle-Burke and Associates
Solutions in Metal
Souza True & Partners
Tangram 3DS
Trent Bell Photography
Trickett Woodworks Co.
William Bray Cabinetmaker

Marlborough Street, with its rows of brownstones, brick sidewalks, and wrought iron fences, has all of the history and charm that make it one of the most desirable residential streets in Boston. Designing a new building to replace inappropriate 1960s infill on such an iconic streetscape required a sensitive balance of new expression with appropriate height, scale, materials, and detailing. Collaborating with the Back Bay Architectural District Commission, the design team spent months developing the design and addressing site challenges. The massing of the new building skillfully mediates the significant height differences between its historic neighbors while referencing design elements of each in a modern form. Reinforcing the character and texture of the neighborhood, the new building uses materials found throughout the Back Bay such as brick and precast limestone with an emphasis on quality and durability. The new building embraces its architectural context such as bay windows without attempting to mimic the historic architecture. Four51 Marlborough demonstrates that with careful attention to detail and a sensitive design, new buildings in historic districts can be both contextually appropriate and contemporary.

“New infill amongst historic structures is one of the most difficult challenges architects face,” said Greg Galer, Executive Director of the Boston Preservation Alliance. “Four51 Marlborough shows that careful consideration of context and significant detailing can be respectful and appropriately referential to historic design while creating a thoroughly modern building. It’s a challenging needle to thread as successfully as in this project. The building is fascinating to examine in the richness of its façade and how it plays off its surroundings.”

Gordon Hall Marble Restoration

Photo courtesy of Shawmut Design & Construction

Harvard Medical School
Gordon Hall Marble Restoration

Address:

25 Shattuck Street, Fenway

Owner/Developer:

Harvard Medical School

Architect:

McGinley Kalsow & Associates

Project Team:

Building and Monument Conservation
Haven Restoration
John Canning & Company
Les Pierres Technoprofil Inc
Robert Silman Associates
Shawmut Design and Construction
Skylight Studios Inc

Designed by Shepley, Rutan, and Coolidge and built in 1906, Gordon Hall at Harvard Medical School is a Classical Revival marble building—the focal point of the medical Quadrangle on Longwood Avenue. A comprehensive inspection revealed that the marble exterior was in need of extensive restoration and repair. With a strong institutional commitment from Harvard Medical School, the project combined 21st century technologies with 19th century carving and masonry skills. Utilizing laser scanning, 3D printing, and computer-driven CNC machines as well as hand carving, custom built equipment, and conservation techniques, 30 skilled masons and other experts completed the marble repairs in six months. As much of the original material was preserved as possible but when new marble needed to be added, great care and skill was demonstrated in replicating original profiled and carved elements producing museum quality stone work. With investment in its materials, historic Gordon Hall will continue to serve as the anchor for the Longwood Medical Area.

“Too often building owners are unwilling to go the extra mile even though their property is of the highest quality and deserving of the highest quality materials and most skilled artisans,”" said Greg Galer, Executive Director of the Boston Preservation Alliance. “Gordon Hall is an iconic building of the Harvard Medical School campus, and the level of skill Harvard devoted to get it right is remarkable and an exemplar of how unique historic structures should be stewarded.”

Heroic: Concrete Architecture and the New Boston

Image courtesy of Chris Grimley

Heroic: Concrete Architecture and the New Boston

Authors:

Michael Kubo, Mark Pasnik, Chris Grimley

Heroic is a story about a material, a city, and a movement,“ begins the introduction to the book by Mark Pasnik, Michael Kubo, and Chris Grimley. The work examines the bold legacy of Boston’s concrete architecture between 1960 and 1976 when the city experienced wholesale transformation. Many buildings, such as Boston City Hall, the John F. Kennedy Federal Building, and the Government Service Center, are described in detail with insight into their designs, original uses and intentions, and impacts on the built environment. Though the concrete buildings of this era are often significant for their contributions to the architectural movement and their window into social and economic realities of the time, the general public today tends to baulk at their massive, heavy expressions. Heroic is an important educational tool to help advocate for the preservation of these significant buildings. The authors themselves continue this effort through frequent lectures, panel discussions, and programs. While these buildings may never be as beloved as Boston’s brownstones and rowhouses, they are their own architectural statements and the legacy of an era that should be remembered for the impact it had on the evolution of our city.

“By taking a thoughtful look at the design and sociology of Boston's Brutalist architecture, these authors utilize Boston as a superb case study to help us in Boston and others throughout the world better understand these challenging buildings,” said Greg Galer, Executive Director of the Boston Preservation Alliance. “This book demonstrates that the buildings that people have struggled with for decades deserve careful examination and that they contribute an important element to the history of our city.”

McMullen Museum of Art and Conference Center

Photo courtesy of Robert Benson Photography

McMullen Museum of Art and Conference Center

Address:

2101 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston College

Owner/Developer:

Boston College

Architect:

DiMella Shaffer

Project Team:

Consigli Construction
CRJA
Gary Wayne Gilbert
Howe Engineers
LAM Partners
McPhail Associates
Nitsch Engineering
Robert Benson Photography
Simpson Gumpertz & Heger
Thornton Tomasetti
Vermeulens
WSP

With the sale of the Archdiocese of Boston’s grand mansion, formerly home to cardinals and once visited by Pope John Paul II, to Boston College in 2007, the future of this building was unclear. Yet, BC has given back to the community by transforming this 23,000 square foot, 1927 building into a modern conference center and art museum for the college's Brighton Campus. The rehabilitation effort included restoration to the facade, repairs to limestone, marble, and mahogany, and the addition of a 7,000 square foot glass circulation space that sensitively abuts the historic structure. The project team was able to raise the roof to provide needed height in the second floor art gallery space without changing the character of the building from the west approach. The vibrancy of the new use not only saved this building from demolition but created a unique experience for visitors where old and new come together in a dynamic way. An introverted, private building is now open to the public, carefully restored, and sustainably programmed for active use into the future.

“Finding successful new uses for large, monumental, institutional buildings isn't easy, and the cost to rehabilitate them and the value of the land on which they sit often leads to unfortunate outcomes for historic fabric,” said Greg Galer, Executive Director of the Boston Preservation Alliance. “Boston College has successfully given this 90-year-old treasure a new life for the BC community and for Boston.”

Paul Revere House Education and Visitor Center

Photo courtesy of Paul Revere Memorial Association

Paul Revere House Education and Visitor Center

Address:

19 North Square, North End

Owner/Developer:

Paul Revere Memorial Association

Architect:

Mills Whitaker Architects

Project Team:

Acentech Incorporated
Andre Frosch and Sons Painting
Atlantic Hardwoods
Available Light Inc.
Beacon Hill Lock & Key
C.D. Plastering
Critchfield and Company
Ebacher Plumbing & Heating, Inc.
Elcon, LLC
Feldman Land Surveyors
Forte Engineering
Garaventa USA, Inc.
Gilbert and Becker
H.W. Moore Associates Inc.
Home Co Remodeling LLC
Independent HVAC
Instant Signal and Alarm Company, Inc.
Internet & Telephone LLC
Johnson Engineering & Design, Inc.
Koetteritz Land Design Inc.
Mystic Scenic Studios
Pelch Marble and Tile
PJ O’Connell Mechanical
Richard Irosn Restoration Mason
RSI Metal Fabrication, LLC
Stone Surface
Structures North Consulting Engineers Inc.

It doesn”t get more Boston than the historic Paul Revere House, one of the must-see sites on the Freedom Trail. But due to constraints of the small site, the educators at the Paul Revere Memorial Association struggled to accommodate large groups and the basic needs of visitors like restroom facilities and handicapped accessibility. To meet these challenges, the Association purchased and rehabilitated the adjacent 5 and 6 Lathrop Place rowhouses built in 1835 and 1836 on land that was once owned by Paul Revere himself. Restoring as much original fabric as possible, including hearths, stairs and rails, and trim, the project team converted the former tenements into classroom and exhibit spaces, offices, and restroom facilities. The project also included extensive renovation of the courtyard between the Paul Revere House and the Visitor Center. The revitalized outdoor space now provides accessible routes through the site, open gathering space, and even exposes part of a cobble path uncovered by archaeologists. As stewards of not only the Paul Revere House but now the rowhouses as well, the Association has made a significant commitment to preserving Boston's priceless history.

“Working in the confines of a historic house always leads to inherent tensions and compromises—school groups taught outside and people with limited mobility challenged if not excluded from seeing historic interiors,” said Greg Galer, Executive Director of the Boston Preservation Alliance. “With this innovative project all have access without negatively impacting the Paul Revere House itself, and visiting teachers are finding a whole new level of student engagement, just due to the focus a dedicated interior space provides.”

Shawmut Design and Construction Headquarters

Photo courtesy of Shawmut Design and Construction

Shawmut Design and Construction Headquarters
Office Renovation

Address:

560 Harrison Avenue, South End

Owner/Developer:

GTI Properties

Architect:

CBT Architects

Project Team:

Red Thread Spaces
Shawmut Design and Construction

As technology continues to alter our work culture, companies face increasing pressure to provide the newest and most modern office environments for their employees. Shawmut Design and Construction demonstrated that the latest in office technology and expectations doesn't require a brand new building, but can be perfectly at home in the right old building—in this case a brick-and beam South End warehouse. Built for the Emerson Piano Company in 1890, the building already had the open spaces and large windows valued in a modern office space. Transforming the existing, fragmented office layout into light-filled, modern, and beautiful new open office environments required coordination and agility in the project team and Shawmut's staff. By preserving original beams, columns, and other fabric, the warehouse character complements the modern workstations and technologies of a 21st century company.

“Historic spaces can function in the most modern ways, ” said Greg Galer, Executive Director of the Boston Preservation Alliance. “In fact, embracing the historic character of a space rather than covering it up can create an environment that energizes innovation and creative thinking. Shawmut applied the skillful hand they’d honed over hundreds of historic projects in their own space, demonstrating that modern, high tech offices and historic buildings go hand in hand.”

Terminal Storage Building

Photo courtesy of Michael Rauseo

The Terminal Storage Building

Address:

271 Medford Street, Charlestown

Owner/Developer:

Suffolk Companies

Architect:

bargmann hendrie + archetype

Project Team:

Matrix Enterprises
People’s United Bank
Stateside Construction
Suffolk Companies
Tremont Preservation Services

From the early 20th century to the 1980s, three large-scale, brick industrial buildings in Charlestown were associated with the storage and transfer of goods between railroad and ship. Since then, however, the Terminal Storage Building at 270 Medford Street had been vacant and deteriorating, bringing the neighborhood down with it. But after 19 years and six lawsuits, the determined owner was able to line up the necessary permitting to rehabilitate this former warehouse into 121 charming apartments and two commercial spaces. With its new life, the Terminal Storage Building adds vibrancy to this part of Charlestown and as an added bonus, the owner’s efforts also resulted in the designation of the Terminal Storage Warehouse Historic District to the National Register of Historic Places.

“To be successful in preservation it’s sometimes essential to play the long game, to embrace the many challenges that historic properties can present, for the rewards are remarkable,” said Greg Galer, Executive Director of the Boston Preservation Alliance. “Industrial buildings have thankfully been transformed into modern uses for decades, but most of the projects with a clear path to success have been completed. The properties that remain are often challenged with unique impediments that require the persistence and vision to see them through, and for those owners the city benefits. The Alliance recognizes the Terminal Storage Building as an exemplar of the dedication we need throughout the city to tackle buildings that are part and parcel of Boston’s character but need stewards who recognize that the perseverance of Preservation has many rewards.”

The Verb Hotel

Photo courtesy of Adrian Wilson

The Verb Hotel

Address:

1271 Boylston Street, Fenway/Kenmore

Owner/Developer:

Samuels & Associates

Architect:

Elkus Manfredi Architects

Project Team:

GBH Design Limited
Spot-On Ventures
Weiner Ventures

As the Fenway neighborhood in Boston changes and evolves, certain places within it reflect its unique heritage, such as Fenway Park and the Emerald Necklace. Now, another special place reverberates with the history and energy of old Fenway. Opened in 1959, the Fenway Motor Hotel was once a standard motor court hotel, exhibiting the styles and trends of mid-century America. In a car-centric society, the motel allowed guests to park right at their room, and the circular footprint of the building created a private pool for guests that is so close to the ballpark you can practically smell the Fenway Franks. As rock-era music culture swarmed through the streets of the Fenway and Kenmore Square in the '60s, the hotel became a favorite of both music lovers and baseball fans. However, as this area of the neighborhood declined, so did the demand for the hotel, eventually left behind as a well-worn version of its former self.

Investing in property across the neighborhood, Samuels & Associates saw what had since become a Howard Johnson's as an opportunity for something unique. By embracing the eccentric qualities of the hotel and its small-scale massing, the team was able to recreate and enhance the character and excitement of this mid-century treasure, with a contemporary twist. From the lobby to the halls to each guest room, every detail reflects the original design qualities and the neighborhood's music history. No opportunity for fun and whimsy was overlooked, and hotel guests can experience the best of a mid-century motor court, right in the heart of the Fenway.

“ ”," said Greg Galer, Executive Director of the Boston Preservation Alliance. “ .”

Shawmut Design and Construction Lobby

Photo courtesy of Shawmut Design and Construction

Shawmut Design and Construction

President’s Award for Excellence

The Boston Preservation Alliance is proud to present our President's Award for Excellence to individuals or companies who have demonstrated a dedication and significant contribution to the vibrancy and vitality of Boston's built environment. This year, we are pleased to recognize Shawmut Design and Construction with the prestigious President's Award.

Shawmut is a Boston-founded and still Boston-based national construction management firm well-known for completing extremely complex and logistically challenging projects, many of which are historic. As an employee-owned company, Shawmut has created a culture of ownership, proactive solution-making, and forward thinking. Eighty percent of its business comes from repeat clients, proving the firm prioritizes partnerships and strong relationships. Shawmut's unique business model allows project teams to better service clients by focusing their specialized expertise within one of the following areas: Academic, Tenant Interiors, Cultural & Historic, Healthcare & Life Sciences, Hotel, Restaurant, Retail, and Sports Venues. Shawmut has offices located in Boston, West Springfield, New Haven, Providence, New York, Miami, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles.

The breadth and success of Shawmut's historic preservation and adaptive reuse projects are particularly exceptional. From Boston's most iconic historic buildings like Trinity Church, to neighborhood treasures like the circa 1927 YWCA building, Shawmut has contributed to projects large and small all across the city. Many of their projects are Alliance award winners, including the rehabilitation of the midcentury modern Walgreens flagship store downtown, the renovation and addition of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and one of the 2016 winners—the Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building in Roxbury, former home of Ferdinand's Blue Store, a complex and successful interface of new and old. With their extensive expertise and long experience here in Boston, Shawmut has been the steward of many of our treasures, and after so many years have successfully shepherded much of our historic city. It is our pleasure to recognize their continued dedication to Boston's historic places.

Congratulations to Shawmut Design and Construction, winner of the 2016 President’s Award for Excellence.