Shifting Gears

‘Shifting Gears’ by Henry Moss, AIA, LEED AP is a part of ArchitectureBoston’s spring theme — RENEW.

The article focuses on the historic Charles River Speedway complex as it gets set for a reawakening. The complex will be energized by a brewery and taproom (Notch), a full-service restaurant, small-format shops featuring local makers and artisans, food purveyors, social enterprises, and creative office space. The renewed Speedway site is now under construction, with the courtyard retail and taproom scheduled to open in the fall of 2020.

If winter is cold and dark, at least snowdrops and the promise of spring give us hope and hint of new life. The cycles of change—to cities and the natural world—can remind us that places have souls to lose. Emotions may be mixed. There is a quiet richness to the reworking of existing buildings that has crept into the psyche of the design professions as they resurrect past aesthetics, juxtaposed against new imageries and an overturning of previous uses. Those cycles of change reel from catastrophic to delicately nuanced, and architects try to counter one and orchestrate the other.

Read the full article here.

 

Charles River Speedway Celebrates Groundbreaking

The Charles River Speedway celebrated its official groundbreaking on Thursday, October 24th!

 

Bruner/Cott joined the Architectural Heritage Foundation (AHF), Massachusetts Department of Conservation & Recreation (DCR), DCAMM, and local leaders and members of the community to break ground at the historic Charles River Speedway.

AHF President Sean McDowell, 18th Suffolk District Representative Michael Moran, DCR Interim Commissioner Jim Montgomery, and DCAMM Commissioner Carl Gladstone gave speeches at the ceremony, followed by drinks from Notch Brewing, the Speedway’s anchor tenant.

The Speedway was constructed in 1899 by the Metropolitan Park Commission (MPC) as a headquarters to support the new parkway along the Charles River, a park that turned a stretch of tidal mudflats into an interconnected series of public parks. Since 2005, the facility has been largely abandoned.

Bruner/Cott is working alongside Architectural Heritage Foundation to revitalize and preserve the historic complex. The Speedway will support a diverse tenant mix that will include small retail shops and maker spaces, a restaurant, café, brewery (Notch Brewing), shared offices, and a publicly-accessible community courtyard.

We were thrilled to celebrate this project milestone! Congratulations to all involved!

Feature by Henry Moss in Architecture Boston

Queen to Alice: “It’s a poor sort of memory that only works backwards.” Fifty years ago, few of us expected that the hearts of American cities would start to beat again. Our down

towns had sustained a continuous decline. There was little protection for the familiar, the recognizably historic, or the texture of active streetscapes — let alone the residents of Boston’s West End. The sense of loss over the demolition of landmark structures such as Pennsylvania Station concentrated emotional reactions to broader changes in our cities and towns. A righteous oppos

ition emerged, reinforced by the unpopularity of replacement buildings and the antiurban spatial economy of our automobile culture. Few people now realize how federal incentives to modernize the appearance of main street retail frontages dramatically affected American towns under the New Deal — or how unopposed those changes were…”

And so begins a feature in the Fall 2017 issue of ArchitectureBoston magazine, written by Bruner/Cott Principal, Henry Moss, AIA. This issue’s feature section was titled, “Second Look,” and included contributors who had written about these topics in years past. Henry originally wrote about preservation in the July/August 2006 “1976” issue of ArchitectureBoston. You can read the full article online or download a PDF version of the fall 2017 feature here.