New Year’s Eve in Roslindale

If you’re looking for something to do this New Year’s Eve, check out these local events in Roslindale:

Birch St Bistro has live music from 9:00 pm – 12:00 am with the Boston Soul Revue

Napper Tandy’s is open until 2:00 am, as usual.

Redd’s in Rozzie is hosting their 4th Annual New Year’s Eve Bash. They will have a three-course dinner with an early champagne toast at 7:00 pm, ideal for families and early risers, and a champagne toast at midnight. Seating for the early toast is at 5:00 pm and seating for the late toast is at 9:00 pm. Stop by the restaurant to make a reservation.

Sophia’s Grotto will have a special menu for New Year’s Eve and is now taking reservations for dinner.

Seven Star Street Bistro is open New Year’s Eve and encourages a reservation in advance. Both Seven Star Street Bistro and Astro Diner will be open New Year’s Day, serving up pancakes in the morning, and their famous ribs and wings in the evening. 

Interior Crane Move and Community Meeting regarding Liquor License for Chris Douglass Restaurant

A massive ceiling crane in the historic, pre-MBTA power Substation in Roslindale that served Boston’s transit system was moved into position at noon on June 22, 2016, an impressive industrial relic that will grace the restaurant now being designed for the historic space.

As a handful of representatives of the three partner organizations that are bringing the 1911 Roslindale Substation back to life with modern uses, Richard Stokes, field operative for crane specialists Konecranes, pulled heavy chains and turned a -30-inch steel wheel high on the ceiling. 

The box crane – perpendicular sets of large steel I-beams, pulleys, cables, and wheels rolling along tracks – moved several feet in two directions, so that it will be visible through the building’s restored cathedral windows as well as to restaurant patrons.

Additionally, on Wednesday, June 29th at 6:30 pm at the BCYF Roslindale Community Center, there will be a Community Meeting about the proposed liquor license for Chris Douglass’s restaurant slated for the main floor of the Substation. 

Construction Continues on the Substation Building and Parkside on Adams

By now you’ve probably seen the great progress with Parkside on Adams, the 43-unit housing  building that hugs the Substation. The building, now open and leasing up, is already adding vitality to the Village. Though exterior construction to the Substation was delayed this year by difficulties in getting a large capacity gas line installed in the street, full construction of the Substation portion of the project is very much moving forward. Some infrastructure work has been completed inside the building. Restaurateur Chris Douglass and his team have been at work on the restaurant design and development and Bryan Reeves is moving along with his plans for Craft Beer Cellar. Expect major exterior work in the Spring, including the opening of the bricked-in and plywood-covered windows and masonry repair work. 

Preservation Month Hard Hat Tour Of the Roslindale Substation

In honor of Preservation Month, RVMS, Historic Boston Inc., and Peregrine Group will be leading a hard hat tour of the Roslindale Substation on Wednesday, May 20th, from 3:00 to 4:00 pm. Join us to take a walk through history.

Built in 1911 for the Boston Elevated Railway Company, the Roslindale Substation was an electrical power conversion and transmission station. Designed in the Neo-Classical Revival style by Stone and Webster Engineering Company and architect Robert S. Peabody, the Substation converted alternating electric current (AC) transmitted from a South Boston Power Station via underground cables into direct current (DC) for use by local trolley cars. Revolutionary technology for the day, this system generated and distributed power at lower costs. 
Tour will be on an active construction site – please dress accordingly.

Roslindale Substation Building awarded Henderson Foundation Grant

The Roslindale Village Substation Building at the corner of Cummins Highway and Washington Street has been awarded $40,000 from the George B. Henderson Foundation in order to restore a prominent feature of the building – the windows, including the large ones which face out onto Washington Street.

The Substation, which represents the last major project in the 30 year revitalization of Roslindale Village, will be rehabilitated into a restaurant on the main level and office space or other commercial use on the lower level.  All rehabilitation work will adhere to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation and has been approved by the Massachusetts Historical Commission (State Historic Preservation Office) and the National Park Service.

In addition to the restoration of the windows, other restoration work will occur. Masonry will be repointed to match the original mortar in strength, composition, color, and texture.  Any broken or cracked bricks will be replaced in-kind or repaired to match the original in size, color, and texture.  Existing concrete elements will be repaired to match the original in size, color, and texture.  The large copper clad wooden doors and door framing will be restored.  The doors will be fixed in an open position with a large glass wall placed within the opening, allowing occupants to see out and pedestrians to see into the Substation.

The Substation has been vacant since 1971 and has seen minimal upkeep. Thanks to grant funds from the Henderson Foundation, whose mission is “solely devoted to the enhancement of the physical appearance of the City of Boston and immensely contributes to an effort of preserving the local cultural and historic values”, the Substation Building will again be the proud building it once was.

The Henderson Foundation has awarded grants to many other notable restoration projects in the City of Boston and Roslindale Village is honored to now be counted among them. Some notable Henderson Foundation restoration projects include lighting the Chinatown gateway (2002), the Mallard Family Sculpture (a.k.a. “Make Way for Ducklings”) in the Boston Public Gardens (1998), and the casting of the “Bacchante” statue at the Copley Branch of the Boston Public Library (1993). You can view a full list of their projects, including more selected projects of note, at .

Construction Slated for Portion of Substation Redevelopment Project

The Substation Redevelopment project is moving forward as RVMS and our partners Historic Boston Inc. (HBI) and Peregrine Group have been putting some of the final pieces of the plan into place.

Construction of the residential units portion of the project is slated to start the week of July 28th, and with that, the Higgins Funeral Home (which abuts the substation building) will be slowly taken down. Folks may notice the first signs of this process occurring with construction fencing going up and some light mobilization of equipment at the site occurring.

The Higgins Funeral Home parking lot has been officially closed to the public for some time now and will continue to be closed during construction.

For public parking in Roslindale Village, please use the Taft Hill Municipal Parking lot (located behind the Greater Roslindale Medical & Dental Center, just off of South Street) or park all day long at the MBTA Commuter Rail lot off of Roberts Street for just $4.

Stay tuned for more updates and detailed timelines as we approach next week. The RVMS e-newsletter is a great source of up-to-date information as well as our webpage dedicated to the Substation Redevelopment project.

Final Phase of Substation Building Development Plans in Place

Over the winter, RVMS and its partners Peregrine Group and Historic Boston, Inc. have continued to meet regularly to put in place some of the final pieces of the substation development project. We’ve met with the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) as well as Mayor Walsh to provide helpful information on the project and have further identified and developed a use for the substation building portion of the project. Peregrine Group and restaurateur, Chris Douglass (Ashmont Grill and Tavolo Restaurant),  are currently in advanced negotiations for a restaurant concept on the main floor of the substation building while RVMS and other community partners are working to find a use for the ground floor. 

Construction on the residential units is slated to begin in June of 2014 with restoration and construction on the substation building starting soon there-after.

Stay tuned to this webpage for updates on construction and other community issues of note.  You can also get in touch with the office at or at (617) 327 4065 during regular business hours.

The Substation Project Moves Forward

By Matt Robare 
Posted Jan. 28, 2014 @ 11:39 am 

Roslindale, Mass.

Twelve years of planning, public meetings and permitting work came to an end Monday morning when the Boston Parks Commission unanimously approved the Roslindale Substation project, which is across Washington Street from Adams Park in the heart of Roslindale.

A joint venture between Roslindale Village Main Streets, Historic Boston Inc. and a development company called Peregrine Group, the substation project includes two parts: the rehabilitation of the substation itself into a space for a restaurant and the construction of a 43 unit apartment building on an adjacent lot currently occupied by the Higgins Funeral Home. Six of the units will be affordable. The substation was originally built to house transformers to turn AC power into DC for streetcars and has been vacant since 1971. It’s owned by the City of Boston, was recently added to the National Register of Historic Places and the exterior is not very friendly: the massive, arched windows have been bricked up and there are some murals on it.

“This place was a museum to the Industrial Age,” said Steve Gag, the president of Roslindale Village Main Streets.

Main Streets will work with Historic Boston to restore the exterior – replacing the windows and refurbishing the huge bronze doors. Jeffrey Morgan, HBI’s director of real estate development, said restoration work still needed to be funded, but he was hopeful it could be done out of money made from renting out apartments and the restaurant space, although he said some Roslindale residents have expressed an interest in crowdfunding. Gag said they don’t have a tenant lined up for the restaurant yet, but were exploring  options. One goal, Gag said, is to avoid a chain outlet. 

“We’re all looking forward to eating there,” said Parks Commissioner Antonia Pollack.

“It sounds like a model of how urban development can be done,” said associate commissioner Charles Titus.

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