Shawmut Design and Construction, EYP, and The Guild Transform Vacant Lot into a Community Destination


BOSTON – Shawmut Design and Construction and EYP partnered with The Guild, a community-driven social enterprise owned and led by people of color, to convert a vacant 5,600-square-foot lot in Dorchester into The Guild Sanctuary on Coleman, an outdoor community space in celebration of Earth Day on Friday, April 22.

Part of a larger community-led master development of The Guild to expand its vision of cultural expression, capacity building, and opportunity creation, the volunteer event is the organization’s latest model for community development and cross-sector partnership to build capacity, community-owned assets, and economic opportunity for all.

“Thanks to the amazing support of our fantastic partners and neighbors, the Sanctuary on Coleman will be an oasis of community wellness, connection, and cultural expression,” said Jhana Senxian, founder and chief executive officer of The Guild. “As with all of The Guild’s venues, intergenerational residents will come together to program, steward, and enjoy the beauty, talent, and love of our community”

“Together with EYP and The Guild, we were incredibly proud to transform an underutilized space into a community-oriented destination that will benefit the neighborhood and create opportunity for years to come,” said Ron Simoneau, executive vice president at Shawmut Design and Construction. “This transformation will enable synergies and holistic uses as The Guild continues to extend its stewardship and programming into the natural environment.”

“Working together to create The Guild Sanctuary on Coleman is an excellent example of what we can accomplish through strong partnership, a spirit of community transformation, and a shared vision,” said Mike Collard, managing principal at EYP. “We’re honored to join our partners and the Dorchester community in this wonderful project.”

Volunteers from Shawmut, EYP, The Guild, and greater community transformed the former vacant lot through an extensive clean up and landscaping effort before building and installing a privacy fence, 2,000 square-foot deck platform, seating area, sun shades, and information board. The new public outdoor space creates a community-focused green hub for gardening, health and wellness activities, a venue for art and cultural design, and more programing activated by The Guild for the surrounding neighborhood. Partners from around the Boston business community donated materials and services — including Starlite Building Services, Steelco Fence, and Brightview Landscape.