Thursday, July 12, 2012

VHB: Sustainable Growth in the Fenway and Beyond

Since 1979, Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. (VHB) has supported many of the nationally and internationally renowned institutions and notable private developments throughout the Fenway and the Longwood Medical & Academic Area as they have grown and transformed in response to demographic, technological, and social change. VHB helps enhance the built and natural environment through planning, engineering, transportation, and environmental services. 

VHB has contributed to the Institutional Master Plans forNortheasternUniversity andWheelockCollege, guiding them through the permitting processes as they plan future improvements. In support of theMuseum of Fine Arts Master Plan, VHB helped reconstruct Museum Road from a one-way to a two-way street. 

For the century-old Fenway Park, VHB contributed a variety of services, from the design of a new drainage system for the reconstruction of Fenway Park's playing field, to traffic and parking studies to enhance vehicle and pedestrian safety and circulation, and even streetscape improvements on roads abutting the park, including the installation of a statue honoring Red Sox Hall-of-Famer Ted Williams and the "Teammates."

VHB has also served as the transportation, permitting, and civil engineering consultant on behalf of Samuels & Associates, Inc., a developer investing in the revitalization of the heart of this historic area, developing projects such as 1330 Boylston, Trilogy, and the Fenway Triangle mixed use project. These projects have allowed for the expansion of Fenway Health, which has served the community for more than 30 years, as well as traffic and circulation benefits, helping the neighborhood evolve into a thriving urban village. For Meredith Management, VHB is supporting the smart-growth, transit-oriented Fenway Center, which is being designed to transform unused air space over the Massachusetts Turnpike into a variety of residential, office, retail, and parking uses. 

Be it an institution of education, healthcare, art, or culture, each client is guided by a unique mission. VHB's mission is to help translate a clients' visions and ideas and make them a reality.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Perkins+Will Boston: Fenway Cultural District Initiative

Perkins + Will Boston is committed to engaging its professional resources and leadership to benefit the social needs in the built environment where design can make a difference. Perkins + Will Boston donates 1% of its billable time and advanced design thinking to initiate and execute projects that benefit, enhance and enliven the greater Boston community.

The goal for 2012 is to enhance shared civic and communal places. Perkins+Will believes, in order to be vital, cities must have beautiful surprises that provoke human interaction, developing temporary spaces and unique backdrops that support programs that enhance a sense of place and engagement.

The Fenway Cultural District Initiative, in partnership with the Fenway Alliance, will develop a temporary design installation in Evans Way Park. Fenway has just been designated as Boston's first state-recognized cultural district. Perkins+Will will design and fabricate an installation to commemorate this historic event. The installation will be installed in early September and will serve as a backdrop to OPENING OUR DOORS 2012 in the Fenway Cultural District on Monday, October 8, 2012.

Perkins + Will offers architectural expertise in Healthcare, Education, Sports and Recreation as well as performance and community projects and we are looking for opportunities to give back to Boston and the surrounding communities.

Brian Healy, Design Director and Principal
Kim Poliquin Project Designer, LEED AP
Perkins + Will SRI Leadership

Sunday, July 1, 2012

HOUSE OF BLUES: Enriching young lives through the Arts

Why learn about the blues? Because blues music and the story of how it developed is part of a larger story about the people, the music and the history of this country.  

More than 5000 students per school year from Boston and beyond visit the House of Blues Boston, and experience the International House of Blues Foundation's educational music and art programs. Students explore aspects of American history and culture through blues music and traditions of related folk art. The programs engage students and teachers (grades 5-12) with interactive arts related learning experiences; all programs are offered at no cost to students and teachers from the Boston Public Schools.  

The annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration invites students from the Boston Public Schools to perform works inspired by the life and teachings of Dr. King on the Music Hall stage. This year 145, students representing 8 Boston Public Schools performed, special guest Boston City Councillor Tito Jackson read excerpts from Dr. King's speech "I've Been To The Mountaintop".

The House of Blues grew out of founder Isaac Tigrett's love for the unique American art form known as the "the blues". Weaned on this music during his early childhood in Tennessee, one of Isaac's goals was to introduce the world to the music of the rural south, including the blues, rhythm and blues, gospel, jazz and roots-based rock & roll. House of Blues - Boston draws close to half a million people to the Fenway Cultural District every year for an unparalleled music experience, an evening in the exotic Foundation Room, a unique private function and the inspiring educational programs that enrich young lives through music and art.  

BOND Construction Participates in City Build Program

BOND recently visited with students at Brighton High School as part of the CityBuild education program sponsored by Urban Neighborhood Design Alliance. CityBuild is a curriculum enrichment program for Boston high school students that introduces students to the fields of design, development, and construction by providing a hands-on learning experience. The program offers students the opportunity to learn about the construction process from design through construction by engaging with professionals working on construction projects throughout  the City of Boston.

Members of the BOND Tata Hall project team alongside Harvard Business School representatives visited Brighton High School to give students a classroom overview of the firm's $80M Harvard Business School Tata Hall project.  Tata Hall will house HBS participants in the Business School's Executive Education Program. 

BOND's visit to Brighton High School provided the students with a series of hands-on learning experiences that tied their classroom learning experiences to construction in the field.  BOND's Superintendent on the Tata Hall project, Jim Keefe,  provided the students with a hands-on excavation support lesson; the students put clips of the demonstration on You Tube. "Participating in the CityBuild program is extremely rewarding for our staff at BOND," said Bob Murray, President of BOND.  "It is important that we all give back to the communities we live and work in and it is our hope that each of the Brighton High students were able to apply some of what they learned from our visit to their studies in the classroom."  

BOND was founded in 1907 and has been involved in some of the region's most high-profile construction projects in both the building construction and civil and utility sectors of the construction industry.  BOND's building division provides a full-range of construction and general contracting, from pre-construction services and construction management to lump-sum contracting, fast-track, and design build.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011



By Johanna Kaiser, Town Correspondent

The Fenway neighborhood is on its way to being known as an official destination for art and culture.

The Boston City Council today announced its support of the neighborhood's efforts to become the city's first state-recognized cultural district.

The neighborhood, which is home to a host of colleges and cultural organizations, including Massachusetts College of Art and Design, the Museum of Fine Arts, and Boston Symphony Orchestra, has been working to create cultural district around the Avenue of the Arts through the
 Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency promoting access to the arts .

The distinction would give the neighborhood funds to foster tourism and support neighborhood art organizations and programs. The council approved
 a resolution supporting the distinction, a necessary step toward the title of Fenway Cultural District.

The Fenway Cultural District Committee must now submit a complete application to the Massachusetts Cultural Council for approval.

State lawmakers approved the initiative to create cultural districts across the state in 2010 and the program began in April 2011.

"We have an opportunity to blaze a trail," Councilor Tito Jackson, said at the City Council meeting. Jackson said designating the area will increase tourism, the fourth largest industry in the city, and bring revenue to the city.

"It's not about competition with one another, it's about all ships rising," he said.

The effort to has been spearheaded by the
 Fenway Alliance, a group of 21 neighborhood cultural and academic organizations, that created the Fenway Cultural District Committee and hopes to oversee the district.

"It's amazing when you see [representatives from these organizations] all in the same room together," said Councilor Michael Ross, who co-sponsored the resolution with Jackson. Ross added that the amount of artistic and cultural resources in the city was "on par with multimillion people city, easy."

The council's resolution did address
 concerns about community involvement.

The resolution said the proposed district would encourage participation by people with disabilities, as well as low income, minority, and immigrant residents. The sidewalks and pathways in the area must also be travelled on easily by people with disabilities and the elderly.

That means avoiding popular brick paths that are often bumpy or broken. The district's proposed overseers would also encourage residents and business owners from surrounding areas to participate in all aspects of the district



There’s a new culture district in town and it’s in the Fenway neighborhood! Last week, the Boston City Council announced its support for the neighborhood’s efforts to become the city’s first state-recognized cultural district.

Congratulations to the Fenway Alliance who spearheaded the effort. Boston can now look forward to more design, art, and cultural events in one of the busiest sections of the city!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


(Boylston, MA)—Governor Deval Patrick today announced $7.4 million in grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund (CFF) to support building projects for nonprofit arts, heritage, and science organizations across the Commonwealth.

The new CFF investment will support repairs, improvements, and expansions for 54 cultural organizations that plan to invest nearly $275 million in their projects. Grants will range from $14,000 to $250,000. A full list of new grants can be found online.

“These grants will create new jobs in arts, culture, and tourism -- three pillars of our state’s creative economy,” said Governor Patrick. “These investments will support our cultural organizations and allow them to serve the public with quality programs that will enrich our communities for generations to come.”

CFF fuels a nonprofit creative sector that employs 27,100 people, spends $2.1 billion annually, and generates another $2.5 billion of economic activity across Massachusetts, according to a recent study by the New England Foundation for the Arts.

Organizations that received past CFF grants are spending more than $800 million on their building projects, and providing more than 11,000 building jobs, including architects, engineers, contractors, and construction workers. They also plan to add more than 1,150 new permanent jobs after their capital projects are complete.

CFF grants have also helped restore many of our nation’s most historic landmarks and treasures, which in turn have brought more cultural tourists to Massachusetts. In 2008 and 2009, more than 14 million people visited organizations receiving these grants; nearly one third came from out-of-state.

State Senator Stephen Brewer of Barre spoke about the value of CFF investments for one of those organizations in his Central Mass. district. “OldSturbridgeVillage has been a staple in the community for many years and is a driving force for visitors to the area,” said Brewer, who chairs the Senate Ways & Means Committee. “I applaud the Village for its hard work and the many improvements they have already made to make the visitor experience one to remember. The infrastructure improvements that will be made possible by this grant will ensure that the buildings, roads, and structures here will be preserved for generations of visitors to come.”

“We thank the Governor for his commitment to investing in our nonprofit cultural sector through CFF,” said Anita Walker, MCC Executive Director. “We are also grateful to Senator Brewer and his colleagues in the Legislature for providing the authority for these investments. Support for this program is strong because it is real economic stimulus for a sector that adds so much to our quality of life.”

“From Cape Cod to the Berkshires, investing in the Commonwealth’s cultural institutions makes economic sense,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. “Working to maintain and improve these facilities will continue to draw visitors to Massachusetts and provide creative outlets and activities for residents. I thank Governor Patrick and the Legislature for their support of this program; MassDevelopment is pleased to partner with the Cultural Council on issuing these grants.”

About MCC
The Massachusetts Cultural Council is a state agency supporting the arts, humanities, and sciences to improve the quality of life in Massachusetts and its communities. The MCC pursues this mission through of grants, services, and advocacy for nonprofit cultural organizations, schools, communities, and artists. Learn more at

About MassDevelopment
MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development authority, works with businesses, nonprofits, and local, state, and federal officials and agencies to create jobs, increase the number of housing units, eliminate blight, and address the overarching challenges that limit economic growth, such as transportation, energy, and other infrastructure deficiencies. Learn more at