Swift Factory Redevelopment Bringing Hope to Northern Hartford

The redevelopment of the former M. Swift & Sons gold leafing factory is transforming the former industrial complex into a food business hub that will be geared toward creating jobs and opportunities for neighborhood residents.

On July 25, neighborhood residents had an opportunity to tour the Swift Factory property and envision the potential of the new site. The community is hopeful that the new hub will breathe life back into the economically depressed neighborhood.

““This is like a breath of fresh air,” said Rosa Bailey, former neighborhood resident who now lives in Bloomfield. “This is going to spark something in people who have been dreaming for years about doing something.”

Residents like Brenda Turner, who grew up in the North End and now lives in Windsor, say they can picture the Swift factory standing at the center of a bustling local economy, like it did decades ago.

Read the full article by the Hartford Courant here.

MASS MoCA Documentary to Premiere at SXSW Film Festival

South by Southwest Conference & Festivals (SXSW) announced that it will include “Museum Town,” a character-driven portrait of the largest center for contemporary art in the world – MASS MoCA.

Directed by Jennifer Trainer Thompson and narrated by Oscar-winner, Meryl Streep,  the film will make its world debut featured in the festival’s Documentary Feature category of the SXSW film festival as one of only ten films selected.

“Museum Town” depicts what Thompson calls a “rocky road” to the museum’s opening in the former Massachusetts factory town, including “a knotted confluence of politics and a post-industrial city in decline and the art world.”

The film delivers the magic of MASS MoCA and North Adams to a global audience for the first time, ever. The festival will take place in Austin, TX this March and is one of the greatest gatherings of creative professionals in the world.

Read more from the Berkshire Eagle

SXSW Abstract of Museum Town:

In 2017, MASS MoCA became the largest center for contemporary art in the world. This is the story of a unique institution, the small town it calls home, and the great risk, hope, and power of art to generate cultural and economic rebirth. With original music by Wilco bassist John Stirratt and appearances by artists ranging from James Turrell to David Byrne to Bill T. Jones, Museum Town reveals how an idea becomes a reality, tracing the creation of artist Nick Cave’s monumental installation UNTIL, a reflection on gun violence, race, and the American Dream.

Soundtracked by Talking Heads, Sharon Jones, Big Thief, Wilco, Moses Sumney, and many more. With the voice of Meryl Streep.

More about Museum Town at SXSW.

 

Waltham Watch Factory Honored by Victorian Society in America

The New England chapter of the Victorian Society in America (VSA/NE) honored the Waltham Watch Factory at their 46th Annual Preservation Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. The Watch Factory project was awarded the Building & Landscape Design award.

Completed in three phases, the building and site are now resourcefully reordered for new office, residential and commercial use. 19th century entrances are now large lobbies, one with a permanent exhibit of Watch Factory history. Narrow wings with high ceilings — already flooded with natural light for watchmakers — house modern offices with views of the courtyards and the Charles River. Outside, a series of protected outdoor spaces invite pedestrians to move through the office buildings and a large residential courtyard. A new restaurant and café mark the beginning of a historic walkway through Waltham along the Charles River.

Thank you to the Victorian Society in America/New England chapter for this honor, as well as to our client, Berkeley Investments, and the Landscape Architect on the project, Richard Burck Associates.