Finegold Alexander Architects Receives Two Preservation Massachusetts Awards

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BOSTON– Boston-based Finegold Alexander Architects announced the Lower Basin Barracks and The First Church of Christ, Scientist projects have received 2024 Preservation Massachusetts Paul & Niki Tsongas Awards. The annual awards program honors projects that display the highest level of commitment to historic preservation in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

The Lower Basin Barracks, a 15,000 SF renovation and addition project, revitalized an undersized 1908 facility in significant disrepair to support the State Police with current and future mission requirements. Preserving the historic fabric of the building, Finegold Alexander modernized the existing structure and created additional space for the consolidation of the State Police troops and closure of the Upper Basin Barracks.

Recognized on the National Register of Historic Places, this Boston landmark underwent a remarkable renovation, showcasing the firm’s dedication to historical authenticity. Finegold Alexander meticulously restored the exterior masonry and preserved the original elements despite the complex programmatic needs of a police station. The Charles River Basin transom grilles, roof profile, and detailed wood window frames, were all preserved The iconic tower, a Charles River landmark, with its dramatic copper bays, was retained and restored.

“Our team is honored to receive this recognition for our efforts to expand and preserve the Lower Basin Barracks,” said Finegold Alexander Principal Ellen Anselone. “We are proud to have played a role in restoring the historic facility that will serve the Boston community for years to come.”  

The First Church of Christ, Scientist – The Mother Church sits at the center of the Christian Science Center Plaza, the largest privately owned, publicly accessible open space in the City of Boston. This iconic building is comprised of two structures constructed at different times: the Romanesque Revival The Mother Church Original (TMCO) designed by Franklin Welch and completed in 1894; and the larger Neoclassical domed edifice, The Mother Church Extension (TMCX) designed by Charles Brigham & Charles Covery of Boston and Solon Beman of Chicago, completed in 1906.

The 192,000 square foot limestone, granite, and terra cotta structure required both exterior and interior restoration, including the ornate dome that sits 200 feet above grade and the build of the original Guastavino semi-domes. The semi-dome required a custom stainless steel cable system supporting a terra cotta rain screen. The multi-phased project spanned over eight years and added 100+ years to the building’s life.

Simpson Gumpertz & Heger (SGH) was the building envelope and structural engineer for the restoration of the building exterior, while Finegold Alexander Architects served as the architect for the interior restoration work. Shawmut Design and Construction served as the construction manager, tasked with implementing the preservation work to restore the building to its original vision while leaving behind no trace of the extensive work that was completed.

“Our firm is passionate about our historic preservation work, and it has been an honor to work with The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and our collaborative team of experts to restore and preserve one of Boston’s most iconic historic structures,” said Finegold Alexander Principal Regan Shields Ives.

As experts in historic preservation, this recognition stands as a tribute to Finegold Alexander’s remarkable ability to preserve and celebrate historic architecture to best serve local communities.   

 

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