Roslindale Neighbors: Check-in with RVMS

The Gazette recently checked-in with Alia Hamada Forrest, executive director of Roslindale Village Main Street (RVMS), about happenings in the district, which include upcoming Halloween events and figuring out future uses for the Roslindale Substation.

RVMS is an independent nonprofit that aims to bring together local volunteers, businesses, and public agencies to strengthen Roslindale Village economically and aesthetically.

The Roslindale Substation has been undergoing a revitalization that has been many years in the making. The substation was originally built to house transformers to turn AC power into DC for streetcars and has been vacant since 1971. It has been the focus of numerous proposed renovation projects over the years, before construction finally begin on it in 2014. A craft beer store recently opened in the cellar and a restaurant was planned for the main space.

But Forrest said that restaurateur Chris Douglass has pulled out of the restaurant project. She said it’s “really disappointing,” but the community has been brainstorming about what could go there instead. Forrest said some ideas thrown about have included a winter farmers market or a brewery. She said doesn’t know how practical those ideas are yet, as manufacturing equipment for the brewery might not fit and it’s unknown if the large crates of food for the market would be easily transported into the space.

In the meantime, Forrest said RVMS has been using the space for community uses, such as showing films. The organization recently held a viewing of “The Wizard of Oz” and will show “Ghostbusters” on Oct. 30 at 7 p.m.

“We are trying to activate the space while it is empty,” she said.

There will also be a pair of festive celebrations on Oct. 28. A Day of the Dead celebration for children will be held at the Roslindale Branch Library, starting at 9 a.m. The children will have a parade from the library to Adams Park at 10 a.m.

Adams Park, which hosts the farmer’s market every Saturday between 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., will also host an adult Halloween costume and dance party. The fun begins at noontime.

To learn more about RVMS and its programs, visit its website at



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