The Boston Preservation Alliance is an independent organization that seeks to protect the historic character of Boston through advocacy and education. Each year, the Boston Preservation Alliance honors outstanding achievements in historic preservation and compliant new building in Boston. This year, the Boston Preservation Achievement Award honors just six projects from a highly competitive field for their positive impact on the city’s built environment. The winning projects each year serve as models for future preservation work on Boston’s historic character and architecture.
401 Park, an Art Deco building that originally opened in 1928 as a warehouse and distribution center, is a long-established feature of Boston’s Fenway neighborhood due to its large size and impressive architecture. This building was designated a Boston Landmark in 1989 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1991. Over its nearly 100-year life, the Landmark Center has seen vacancies, threats of demolition, and a changing neighborhood relocation.
Suffolk has been contracted for a conservation-friendly renovation of the first two floors and parking garage at Landmark Center, honoring the building’s history while revitalizing the site as a dynamic community space. The scope of work included the removal of a car park to accommodate a new one-acre garden, which hosts an ice rink in the winter, as well as a base and shell space to activate the common areas at the garage level, ground floor lobby, and second floor atria and lobby. Thoughtful details such as custom-designed balustrades with Boston-centric names and places helped pay homage to this reinvented space with the building’s true industrial character and stand out as a prominent Boston landmark. The project had three goals: honoring the long history of the 401 Park building; Connecting Boston Fenway and Longwood Medical Districts; Transforming the space into a vibrant hub for workers, residents and visitors.
Suffolk has an impressive array of historic preservation successes, and the 401 Park project marks the company’s third consecutive year to have been awarded the Boston Preservation Achievement Award. In 2020, Suffolk received the Excellence Award for her work renovating the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, a famous 1875 Gothic cathedral in Boston’s South End. Last year, Suffolk’s renovation of the 1917 small building of Emerson College earned him the 2021 Boston Achievement Award. Suffolk also restored the 1911 Burnham Building as well as the Liberty Hotel, formerly Boston’s Charles St. Prison, which was originally constructed 1851. Suffolk’s commitment to respecting architectural integrity and expertise in providing thoughtful and collaborative solutions on complex projects like this allowed the company to successfully bring 401 Park Street to life and preserve the invaluable history of this Boston landmark.
For more information on the history of the 401 Park Street building and selection for Suffolk’s Boston Preservation Alliance Award, please visit the Landmark-Center Sears Roebuck page published by the Boston Preservation Alliance.
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