Back to the Drawing Board for Rozzie Sub-Station

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Back to the Drawing Board for Rozzie Sub-Station

Postby 3rdrail » Fri Jun 04, 2010 2:41 pm

Well, it's back to the drawing board for the historic Boston Elevated Railway Company's Roslindale Square Electrical Sub-Station. The Boston Redevelopment Authority rejected all proposals from developers who wished to re-vamp the structure. The consensus of opinion is that the BRA feared that a shaky financial market would undermine the proposals which included a multi-business complex with restaurant(s), offices, etc. So, it seems as if what is needed here is a firm commitment to occupy once the building is completed. I was disappointed that a tasteful project was not underway as the sub-station is a landmark in the Square with much local electric traction heritage and history attached. I participated in the original interior survey of the building, which was an incredible experience, similiar to going back one-hundred years in BERy history. The sub-station was built in 1911 and is about to celebrate it's 100th anniversary next year. It was erected at a time when BERy generated their own electrical power for the network of streetcars, rapid transit, stations, shops and barns that they used. It was also a bold experiment into the then infancy stage of electric railways utilizing alternating current. AC was received from the South Boston Power Station, which was then converted to DC for the electric lines at the sub-stations. It was one of nine sub-stations in the Boston area, each providing their own network of energy along their dedicated systems. The Roslindale Sub-Station's was comprised of routes south of Forest Hills and the Arborway to the Boston line. I personally would like to see the "El's" history displayed in an impressive and accurate manner at the site, along with other businesses which would not fly in the face of such a historic structure. So, the watch is on to see what new proposals may come forth in this developing saga.

(drawing by Historic Boston, Incorporated and Roslindale Village Main Streets)
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Re: Back to the Drawing Board for Rozzie Sub-Station

Postby jwhite07 » Sat Jun 05, 2010 9:23 am

How big is the building? Big enough for, say, a small transit museum with 5734 as its centerpiece? :P
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Re: Back to the Drawing Board for Rozzie Sub-Station

Postby 3rdrail » Sat Jun 05, 2010 12:37 pm

How about the 5734, 3295, 6270, and with an area transit display - on the main floor, with a nice restaurant and stores on the other three ? Currently, it's a 6,200 square feet building consisting of a main floor and basement level, made to withstand the weight of giant rectifiers and transformers. The plan had been to add two additional floors which could have easily been accomplished due to the high vaulted ceilings and heavy-duty support system. (The reason that those large arched window panels are there was so that they could hoist the enormous transformers into the building which would have otherwise been too large for windows or doors.)
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Re: Back to the Drawing Board for Rozzie Sub-Station

Postby Teamdriver » Thu Dec 13, 2012 9:51 am

New info: Roslindale substation plans could expand to include funeral home next door

Two non-profits that have been trying to turn the hulking brick husk of an old trolley substation into something useable say they now want to buy the funeral home next door for housing.

In an e-mail update this morning, Steve Gag and Stephanie Cave of Roslindale Village Main Street say the FJ Higgins Funeral Home is now up for sale - and that the Higgins family has agreed to give the group and Historic Boston first dibs on the property as the family prepares to move the funeral home to a new location.

Gag and Cave say they don't want to let the property fall into the hands of a developer who would use it for something un-Roslindale-Square-like - such as a fast-food drive-thru:

http://www.universalhub.com/
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Re: Back to the Drawing Board for Rozzie Sub-Station

Postby 3rdrail » Thu Dec 13, 2012 5:10 pm

I'm very impressed with the vetting that's gone on with this project. The State and the City know that this is a delicate project which could really either make or break Rozzie Square and have looked over its sale with a fine toothed commb. They even retracted a sale after it was made when they didn't like the sound of things ! I have always seen a "mixrd" use for the Roslindale Square Sub-Station, perhaps a CVS (too bad Sullivan's Pharmacy), upscale restaurant (perhaps steakhouse ?), and a nod to the building's heritage with photos of it's prior life and a small streetcar display.
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Re: Back to the Drawing Board for Rozzie Sub-Station

Postby MarkB » Fri Dec 14, 2012 9:07 pm

3rdrail wrote: perhaps a CVS (too bad Sullivan's Pharmacy), .



By that I assume you know the story of the last chain that tried to move into the Square. It was Mumbleated.
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Re: Back to the Drawing Board for Rozzie Sub-Station

Postby 3rdrail » Fri Dec 14, 2012 10:13 pm

Wasn't the first time. Happened at Ashmont Discount also, years before Staples got it.
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Re: Back to the Drawing Board for Rozzie Sub-Station

Postby highgreen215 » Fri Dec 14, 2012 10:19 pm

What is this "back to the drawing board" stuff? It has already been decided that the substation will be converted into a neighborhood exhibition space for a winter market and other functions such as wedding receptions, craft shows and public meetings. The interior, for the most part, will not be broken into levels, the high ceiling seen as an asset for such a hall. The plan also includes the opening up of the bricked-in windows and the big front doors. Last I heard the developer would like to build a new entrance on Washington St. below street level under the big doors. Several people, including myself, have suggested the plan include a small historic exhibition featuring the history of the building and it's role in supporting the development of the "streetcar suburbs" - the idea was well received. The Higgins funeral home will replaced by a mixed use building that will complement the new exhibition/function hall and will also help finance the hall. Makes sense to me.
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Re: Back to the Drawing Board for Rozzie Sub-Station

Postby MBTA3247 » Sat Dec 15, 2012 12:29 pm

highgreen215 wrote:What is this "back to the drawing board" stuff?

Look at the date of the first post in this thread.
"The destination of this train is [BEEP BEEP]" -announcement on an Ashmont train.
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Re: Back to the Drawing Board for Rozzie Sub-Station

Postby highgreen215 » Sat Dec 15, 2012 3:02 pm

Sorry. Assumed this was a new thread.
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Re: Back to the Drawing Board for Rozzie Sub-Station

Postby Teamdriver » Sun Dec 16, 2012 11:19 am

3rdrail wrote:Wasn't the first time. Happened at Ashmont Discount also, years before Staples got it.

My Rail , I believe the old Ashmont Discount was an old Stop & Shop , ( not sure if it was a Tedeschi's before that ).
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Re: Back to the Drawing Board for Rozzie Sub-Station

Postby 3rdrail » Sun Dec 16, 2012 3:42 pm

Not sure what was there before Ashmont. My mind blacks out with the flashback fantasy that I still have of the A&W Root Beer Stand where Dunkies is now that used to serve you a tall root beer with tiny ice shavings and a huge head of foam in a glass mug. If that place were still there, they'd probably have to charge me with stalking to keep me away in the summer.
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Re: Back to the Drawing Board for Rozzie Sub-Station

Postby highgreen215 » Sun Dec 16, 2012 4:26 pm

Wow! Never knew about the A&W. The only root beer I will buy.
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Re: Back to the Drawing Board for Rozzie Sub-Station

Postby 3rdrail » Sun Dec 16, 2012 5:37 pm

To this day, that's what comes to mind on a hot day - those days as a kid when we would ride up there on our bikes as kids for the A&W. It's the only root beer I'll buy still. Just to prove to you guys that I really am a foamer, the fantasy goes- I'm sitting on my bike on a sweltering hot day with a big frosty A&W in the Square feeling the little ice particles run down my throat while I look out onto Washington Street to see a Pullman Trackless Trolley go by on it's way to the switch at South St. By the way, I got so carried away, I gave the wrong landmark above. A&W was where the gas station is now accross from Healy Field (the one that rents U Hauls).
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Re: Back to the Drawing Board for Rozzie Sub-Station

Postby Arborway » Mon Dec 17, 2012 12:27 am

3rdrail wrote:Not sure what was there before Ashmont. My mind blacks out with the flashback fantasy that I still have of the A&W Root Beer Stand where Dunkies is now that used to serve you a tall root beer with tiny ice shavings and a huge head of foam in a glass mug. If that place were still there, they'd probably have to charge me with stalking to keep me away in the summer.


I had no idea such a thing ever existed. I was born at the wrong time.
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