Roslindale Substation construction and demolition moving along
By Jeff Sullivan
The Roslindale Substation renovation is moving along, according to officials involved in the project.
Roslindale Village Main Streets (RVMS) Executive Director Christina DiLisio and Historic Boston Inc. Executive Director Kathy Kottaridis said the project is picking up momentum and work to the visible sides of the building will start to show in the coming weeks.
“We know that demolition is definitely still happening inside right now,” DiLisio said. “The end of June they are expecting that some re-pointing of some of the front of the building will be happening... It’s the stuff that’s in between the bricks... July is when the bricks that are in the windows on Cummins Highway will be removed, which is a big step and they anticipate having a building inspection conducted around September, and windows actually installed sometime around October.”
DiLisio said the Boston Beer Cellar is set to move in for the fall, and the Third Rail restaurant will also be making moves soon.
“We are expecting, according to Chris Douglas, the restaurateur for the Third Rail, the restaurant is going to be installed sometime in the spring of 2017,” DiLisio said.
Kottaridis said currently, crews are working to move around an interior crane that she said will be a permanent installation, reminding all those who pass through that the Substation was once a working facility. She said the idea was to keep the history of the place intact.
“If you had gone in 80 years ago, there would have been power equipment coming up through holes in the floor,” she said. “Those were the power switching equipment pieces. It was related to the equipment that ultimately manufactured power and converting (alternating current and direct current) power.”
She said the crane ran along lateral beams within the building, but they are now using a different crane to move the original crane into a less obtrusive position.
“The plan is to move it from where it moved the equipment along the tracks to a particular location so that construction around it can occur, but also so it can stay there as part of the décor, as it is part of the function of the building’s original use,” she said. “We want to make sure the public gets to see the inside of this space, the cavernous nature of it, so it’s not covered.”
The Boston Redevelopment Authority originally bought the building from the MBTA, and the community and the BRA have been trying to get a development plan off the ground since 2002. The plan finally got momentum when developer Peregrine Group became involved, and a plan to redevelop the site and the immediate surrounding area became a reality. Now, the end of the 15 year project is in sight.