4th Annual Holiday Market on Birch Street

The Vendor Application for our 4th Annual Holiday Market on Birch Street is open through Thursday, October 31st. Click here to apply to be a vendor!

We are also seeking sponsors for this event. Click here to learn more about sponsorship opportunities for the Holiday Market. If your business is interested in being an event sponsor, email manager@roslindale.net to learn more.

Turtle Swamp Beer Garden Coming Out Party + Glass Curtain Reveal – 9/14/19

Turtle Swamp Beer Garden Coming Out Party + Glass Curtain Reveal – 9/14/19

August 2, 2019  – The George B. Henderson Foundation generously awarded Roslindale Village Main Street a $30,000 grant for the installation of a window within the Substation’s monumental door opening. RVMS, which has an ownership interest in the building, sought the grant to facilitate the completion of the expensive historic restoration. The grant will also cover select masonry restoration. RVMS and its Substation partners, Peregrine Group and Historic Boston Inc., expect the changes to the building to spur additional interest in the area.

On Saturday, September 14th at 11:30am, Roslindale Village Main Street and Turtle Swamp Brewing will host a coming-out party and ribbon-cutting at the Roslindale Substation to recognize the George B. Henderson Foundation as well as celebrate obtaining zoning as the first permanent beer garden in the City of Boston. Following the celebration, Turtle Swamp Beer Garden will be hosting live music as part of Roslindale Porch Fest, which kicks off at 1:30pm.

More than any other structure, the Roslindale Substation is an iconic symbol of Roslindale’s more recent revitalization. The installation of the window (which is technically considered a glass curtain wall) will be the final element integrating this unique, repurposed building into the urban landscape. Once installed, the light and activity of the interior will spill onto the streetscape. 

“The glass will visually open up the building to the public and allow patrons to enjoy their drinks while viewing Adams Park,” says RVMS Substation Committee Co-Chair Adam Rogoff.

Additionally, the masonry work will serve to visually highlight the remarkable brickwork and improve the long-term integrity of the building.

The Roslindale Substation, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was built in 1911 to convert alternating current (A/C) electricity from the Boston Elevated Railway’s South Boston power plant to direct current (D/C) power for use by the trolley system in the Roslindale area. Service was discontinued in 1971 and in 2016 underwent a $2.5 million renovation conceived and undertaken by Historic Boston, Inc., Roslindale Village Main Street, and Peregrine Group, LLC of Rumford, RI. Previously, Trillium Brewing hosted the Trillium Garden at the Substation, an inspiration that sparked interest in making the Substation a home for beer halls.

The George B. Henderson Foundation previously awarded a $40,000 grant towards other historic windows inside the Substation.

More information about the history of the Substation and its redevelopment is available on the RVMS website and the HBI website.    

About Roslindale Village Main Street:

The mission of Roslindale Village Main Street (RVMS) is to promote Roslindale Village as an appealing destination and the dynamic center of our community. As an independent non-profit organization, we bring together local volunteers, businesses, and public agencies to strengthen the Village’s economic vitality, physical appearance and unique local character.

Web: https://roslindale.net/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ roslindalevillagemainstreet

Twitter: @rosmainstreet

Instagram: @rosmainstreet

About Turtle Swamp Brewing:

At the start of the 20th century, 24 of Boston’s 31 breweries were in JP or Roxbury, pulling in pure, clear water from the Stony Brook. By 1964 they were all gone. Turtle Swamp Brewing founders John Lincecum and Nicholas Walther were aware of the area’s brewing history but weren’t opening their new business out of nostalgia. “Nostalgia isn’t quite the right word,” says Walther. “We both love Jamaica Plain, and the fact we own a brewery right in our own neighborhood means we can add to the history. But we chose to work and live here because of what JP is now — a diverse, exciting, livable community.

Turtle Swamp Brewing, with a vibrant taproom and growing production brewery , is proud to bring a long tradition of great beer back home to Jamaica Plain.

Web: https://turtleswampbrewing.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TurtleSwampBrewing/

Twitter: @TurtleSwampBrew

Instagram: @turtleswampbrewing

Substation Update: The Henderson Foundation Grant & Turtle Swamp Beer Garden Zoning Approval

The Henderson Foundation Grant & Turtle Swamp Beer Garden Zoning Approval

The Henderson Foundation generously awarded RVMS a $30,000 grant for the installation later this summer of a window within the Substation’s monumental door opening!  RVMS, which has an ownership interest in the building, sought the grant to facilitate the completion of the expensive historic restoration. The Henderson Foundation grant will also cover select masonry restoration. RVMS and its Substation partners, Peregrine Group and Historic Boston Inc., expect the changes to the building will spur additional interest in the area.

More than any other structure, the Roslindale Substation is an iconic symbol of Roslindale’s early success, decline and more recent revitalization. The installation of the window (which is technically considered a glass curtain wall) will be the final element integrating this unique, repurposed building into the urban landscape. Once installed the light and activity of the interior will spill onto the streetscape. The glass will also allow patrons at the Turtle Swamp Beer Garden to enjoy their libations while taking in excellent views of Adams Park and Roslindale Village.  The masonry work will serve to visually highlight the remarkable brickwork and improve the long-term integrity of the building.

On Tuesday, Turtle Swamp Brewing was approved to be the first officially zoned Beer Garden within the City of Boston! Click here to read more in Universal Hub’s article. Watch the newsletter for updates on the Substation and more information about Turtle Swamp’s programming and upcoming events.

Birch Street Plaza: Pop-up to Permanent

Birch Street Plaza Pop-up to Permanent

Roslindale Village Main Street (RVMS), the City of Boston, A Better City, business owners, and other community partners came together  to transform Birch Street in Roslindale into a street for people. This spring, we began work with a landscape architecture firm, Merritt Chase, on the design of the project. Based on the community’s and businesses’ input, the “Birch Forest” concept was selected. This design included trees, planters with seating, and movable chairs.

In early May, Merritt Chase tested the design concept on the street as part of a week-long pop-up event to speak directly to community members and business owners. This pop-up plaza acted as an experiential community meeting where business owners, residents, and visitors could give feedback directly to the City, RVMS volunteers, and the architects. On the weekend, there were games for young people, a street fair, and live music. The response from everyone was overwhelmingly positive.  We collected a total of 238 surveys and 80% were in support of the project.

This summer we will be going through the City of Boston’s approval process to review the final design. Our plan is to work with the City to implement a 1-3 year semi-permanent pilot plaza within a year of this pop-up to be installed sometime between Fall 2019 and Spring 2020.

Project Timeline

  • Open Birch Street event (4 separate one-day Saturday events): Summer 2018
  • Holiday Market on Birch St. (1 weekday evening event): December 2018
  • Pop-up Plaza (1 week): April 29th to May 5th
  • Design process: Winter:  Spring 2019
  • City approval process: Summer 2019
  • Plaza installation: By Spring 2020

Project Team

  • Roslindale Village Main Street
  • Birch Street and abutting business owners
  • City of Boston
  • Merrett Chase
  • A Better City

Questions / Comments?

If you have questions or comments about this tactical public realm project, please email the City of Boston’s Public Realm Director Jacob Wessel at jacob.wessel@boston.gov.

Birch St. Pop-Up Plaza Schedule & FAQs

Birch St. Pop-Up Plaza Schedule & FAQs

This week (April 30th – May 5th) Birch Street between Corinth & South Streets will be closed to cars and opened for people as we install and test the future locations of plaza elements including paving, seating, and trees. The Birch Street Pop-up Plaza is free and open to the public. We have asked people to provide feedback on the temporary pop-up design. Visit the space and give us feedback! Here is the full program schedule for the week:

WEEKDAYS DURING THE DAY:
Tuesday, April 30th – Friday, May 3rd
* Enjoy a cup of coffee, breakfast, or lunch on the patio seating provided on Birch Street.
* 12:00pm-2:00pm – Meet and greet with the designers from Merritt Chase during their outdoor office hours.
* 11:30am-1:30pm or 5:00pm-7:00pm: Give feedback directly and in-person by chatting with volunteer from WalkUP Roslindale or RVMS.

LIVE MUSIC
Thursday, May 2nd, 5:00-7:00pm: Steel Pan Drum Performance with Charleston Sarjeant
Friday, May 3rd, 5:00-7:00pm: Local musician and performer Yoni Gordon
Saturday, May 4th, 5:00-7:00pm: Chamber music with Resident Musicians & Students from musiConnects
Sunday, May 5th: 3:00-5:00pm: Singer-songwriter duo performance by The Boston Imposters

SIDEWALK SALE SATURDAY
Saturday, May 4th, 10:00am-2:00pm: Shop the street at local businesses and from local artists and makers. Lists of businesses participating: Boston Cheese Cellar, Birch St. House & Garden, Joanne Rossman- Purveyor of the Unnecessary & the Irresistible, Solera, A Shrine to Wine, Roslindale Soap Company, Fire Garden Pottery, Pop Teez, and Christoph Gervais – Twisted Tree Photography.
* 9:30am-11:00am: Outdoor office hours with City Councilor-at-Large and Roslindale Resident Michelle Wu
* 11:30am-1:30pm or 5:00pm-7:00pm: Give feedback directly and in-person by chatting with volunteer from Walk UP Roslindale or RVMS.
* 12:00pm-2:00pm – Meet and greet with the designers from Merritt Chase during their outdoor office hours.

FAMILY-CENTERED SUNDAY
Sunday, May 5th, 10:00am-12:00pm: Entertainment for all with big, giant, beautiful bubbles thanks to Mr. Vinny the Bubble Guy.
10:00am-12:00pm: Dig for Dinos on Birch Street with Birch St. House & Garden and Proof Handmade! They will have an excavation site set up on the plaza. While kids are digging for fossils, shop Proof Handmade, a local line of STEM inspired clothing for infants, toddlers and young children. There will also be an outdoor photo booth set up with dinosaur props.
* Corn-hole, hula hoops, jump ropes, and colorful chalk will be available for fun on the street
* 11:30am-1:30pm or 5:00pm-7:00pm: Give feedback directly and in-person by chatting with volunteer from Walk UP Roslindale or RVMS.
* 12:00-2:00pm: Meet and greet with the designers from Merritt Chase during their outdoor office hours.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How long will the Birch Street Pop-up Plaza be installed?
• 6 days, between Tuesday, April 30th and Sunday, May 5th.

Is the Birch Street Pop-up Plaza temporary?
• Yes, what you see this week is temporary. We are testing the location of future seating elements, trees, and paving for the future semi-permanent Birch Street Plaza.

When will the future semi-permanent Birch Street Plaza be installed?
• Late 2019.

Will the future semi-permanent Birch Street Plaza be made out of milk crates?
• No. The milk crates are temporary and are being used to quickly and inexpensively test the location of future wooden seating elements. Similarly, the tape you see on the ground is testing a future paving pattern and the wooden dowels are testing the location of future trees. The milk crates and the wooden dowels will be re-used/recycled by the City of Boston.

What will the future permanent Birch Street Plaza look like?
• A picture of the draft design is on the front of the feedback card and includes seating, trees, new paving, and overhead lighting.

How can I provide feedback?
• The design team is collecting feedback on the draft design this week. Do you have ideas for the future permanent plaza? Jot down an idea or provide a sketch on the feedback card, take a picture of your card and email the picture to Roslindale Village Main Street at director@roslindale.net.


Will parking be removed for the future permanent Birch Street Plaza?
• Yes. 12 legal parking spots will be removed for the future permanent Birch Street Plaza. Public parking in Roslindale Village is available in the municipal lot, accessible from Taft Hill Terrace, a three minute walk from Birch Street. There is also enforced 2-hour street parking to encourage parking turnover.

Who is responsible for this event?
• The Birch Street Pop-up Plaza and the future permanent Birch Street Plaza process and project is being led by the City of Boston, A Better City, and Roslindale Village Main Street. Merritt Chase has been hired as the landscape architects to lead the design and installation. Funding for the project has been generously provided by the Barr Foundation.

What has been the planning process for Birch Street Plaza?

• Roslindale Village Main Street (RVMS) has been working with the community since Summer 2018 on the pedestrianization of Birch Street, with the goals to benefit the greater Roslindale Village community and to bring more foot traffic to Birch Street.

• In Summer 2018, Birch Street was closed to traffic seven times for Open Birch Street events. Surrounding businesses provided positive feedback, including reporting increased sales and foot traffic during the events. RVMS has additional data on attendance and feedback, available upon request. Prior to 2018, Birch Street had been closed for seasonal one-day events including the Holiday Market, the Emerald Society 5K, and the Fall Festival.

• In January 2019, RVMS, the City of Boston, and A Better City hired Merritt Chase as the landscape architects to design the Birch Street Pop-up Plaza and the future permanent Birch Street Plaza.

• In February and March 2019, Merritt Chase and the stakeholder team met with Birch Street business owners and Roslindale Village residents to gather input and present initial design options.

• This week, the team is gathering feedback from the larger community and will incorporate the feedback into the final Birch Street Plaza design. The design for the future permanent Birch Street Plaza will be finalized in Summer 2019.

Volunteer & Business of the Year – 2018

RVMS Volunteer & Business of the Year

Each year, Boston Main Streets districts select a Business and Volunteer of the Year of the prior calendar year (in this case, 2018), and recognize their contributions to the community during an award ceremony with the Mayor in June or July. This year, we were able to celebrate both our business and volunteer of the year at our Annual Meeting on Tuesday, March 19th at the Roslindale House.

Both entities were voted on by our Board of Directors due to their demonstrated creative community engagement and supported the mission of RVMS throughout 2018.

BUSINESS OF THE YEAR: JOANNE ROSSMAN: PURVEYOR OF THE UNNECESSARY & IRRESISTIBLE

Joanne Rossman (6 Birch Street) has been a Roslindale Village business for the past 19 years! She is highly involved in many of our events — especially our Holiday Market on Birch Street. She has a fabulous storefront that adds to the quirky character of our neighborhood. Joanne also has fab marketing skills and holds unique events like pajama parties, book readings, and JP Honk performances. Her shop is absolutely a destination for gift-givers and the curious-minded.

VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR: VINNY FIEG

Vinny has given an inordinate amount of time as part of our Marketing Committee during 2018 on a year-long video series — a visionary project that highlighted many of our local businesses, as well as engaged with business owners, our board members, and volunteers. He committed to setting up, filming, editing, and publishing a set of themed videos each month for all of 2018. The final products are incredibly well-done and contribute significantly to our effort to showcase our neighborhood and support local businesses.

Open Birch & A Better City

Open Birch & A Better City

In December 2018, A Better City, in collaboration with RVMS, local business owners, and the City of Boston’s Public Realm Director released a Request for Qualifications for an Urban Design Proposal to pedestrianize Roslindale’s Birch Street. We are excited to share that we’ll be working with the firm Merritt Chase, whose previous work includes Bow Market in Somerville and Lawn on D (while with the design firm Sasaki Associates).

Local business owners on and around Birch Street in Roslindale Village have the vision to transform the north, short business section of Birch Street into a permanent, fully landscaped, useable, and pedestrianized community space. RVMS is happy to advocate and support this effort alongside the business owners in the district. As a first step in this process, local business owners and RVMS are looking to reclaim incrementally this segment of the street by closing it to vehicular traffic and installing a semi-permanent pedestrian plaza.

RVMS agrees with local business owner Joanne Rossman as she states that, “Birch Street has long been a forgotten street, which only seems to be used for day-long parking. Converting Birch St. to a pedestrian plaza would give an openness to the area, create a wonderful space for spring, summer, and winter events, as well as enhancing Roslindale’s pedestrian access to all the shops on Birch St. and in the Square — and to the beautiful Arnold Arboretum. I can’t wait for this vision to be fulfilled.”

The closure of Birch Street to vehicles is not new to the businesses and residents of Roslindale. In 2018 alone, there were 7 closures of the street to vehicular traffic, including last summer’s ‘Open Birch’ by RVMS to highlight the potential of Birch Street as a pedestrian plaza; the RVMS December Holiday Market; the Roslindale Business Group’s September Fall Festival; and the annual staging of the the Emerald Society’s Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day 5K road race.

“The Holiday Market, Fall Festival, and Open Birch have all shown how Birch St comes alive when it is transformed into a pedestrian area. The creation of this permanent space in the heart of Roslindale gives visitors and residents a place to sit and relax away from traffic, as well as providing a venue for events — just like these — run by RVMS, the City of Boston or local businesses,” says Boston Cheese Cellar owner, Adam Shutes.

We are so excited to be part of this process. RVMS and other stakeholders in the community will be meeting with Merritt Chase for the first time soon, and we’ll keep you up-to-date on the progress of this blossoming proposal of the pedestrianization of Birch Street!