Historic JP buildings win awards


Photo by Bruce T. Martin The American Brewery after being converted into a prize-winning residential building.

Two Jamaica Plain redevelopment projects have won historic preservation awards from the Boston Preservation Alliance (BPA). Only eight projects are being honored citywide with the 2008 Preservation Achievement Awards.

JP’s award-winners are the American Brewery Lofts condominium project at 251 Heath St. and the BNN Charles J. Beard II Media Center at 3025 Washington St.

The annual awards honor developers who find a new use for a historic property while keeping its past alive. Winning projects are considered “outstanding achievements in historic preservation and compatible new construction in Boston,” said a BPA award announcement.

The JP projects are in prestigious company on the list of award-winners, which include the Liberty Hotel project downtown and the renovation of Dorchester’s Blake House, Boston’s oldest surviving house.

American Brewery Lofts is a reuse of the 1891 American Brewery complex, part of the former Stony Brook Valley brewery industry. Its redevelopment into 79 condo units preserved much of the Queen Anne-style building. The project has suffered slow sales and controversial, expensive design changes, but that has not changed its preservation element.

“The preservation of the area’s industrial history is magnificently evidenced through this restoration project,” said BPA Executive Director Sarah Kelly in a press statement.

American Brewery Lofts was developed by Connecticut-based Commonwealth Ventures and Rhode Island-based Procaccianti Group, with designs by Elkus Manfredi Architects.

The BNN Media Center is a former MBTA train power station built in 1909 in the heart of Egleston Square. It was left vacant in 1986 when the old Orange Line was relocated.

Urban Edge, the Jackson Square community development corporation, teamed with Boston Neighborhood Network (BNN) TV to renovate the building into BNN’s TV studios and offices.

“The synergy of green building practices and historic preservation coupled with community revitalization efforts make this a highly significant project for the Egleston Square neighborhood and the city of Boston,” Kelly said in a press statement.

The BNN Media Center was designed by JP’s Payette and Associates.

The awards were presented at the BPA’s annual auction and awards event last night. For more information, see www.bostonpreservation.org.

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