r Letter From Eastie: Hurray! Zumix to get firehouse.
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Collaged view of Boston, from East Boston

Letter From Eastie

News and other items from East Boston, Massachusetts.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Hurray! Zumix to get firehouse.

According to the Globe the old firehouse on Sumner Street will be given to Zumix to renovate.

Zumix and the CDC found out last week that the city's Department of Neighborhood Development had selected them to transform the building into a combination after-school program, performance space, and community center. Barbara Salfity, the department's director of real estate, said officials, who reviewed the bids, were impressed by the proposal's creative use of space and an outpouring of neighborhood support.

The plan calls for transforming the 1924 building on the edge of Maverick Square into an exhibition and performance space on the first floor. A gift shop would feature Zumix-produced compact discs and wares made by local artists. The basement would have recording studios and a computer lab, while a dance studio, sound-proof practice rooms, administrative offices, and community conference rooms would occupy the second floor, according to the proposal.

Scores of letters -- some written longhand, others typed on official-looking stationery -- extolling the virtues of the plans accompanied the proposal.

The deal isn't done yet. City Hall officials will present the plans to neighborhood residents May 9 at the Umana/Barnes Middle School. After local residents weigh in, the city's Public Facilities Commission is expected to vote on the plans later in May.

Al Caldarelli, president of the East Boston CDC, said dedicating the building to public endeavors would complement plans to build more than 1,000 apartments and condominiums on the Maverick waterfront in the next few years.

I think this will be wonderful for the city. I visited the current Zumix building last year during the Eastie Open Studios event. The artwork that the kids had on display was truly amazing to see, but their current space is really pretty tiny. I'm sure they will be able to offer the kids that take part so much more in this larger space. I think it would also be wonderful to have a performace space in East Boston. As far as I know the only thing we have now is the auditorium at East Boston High. The Umana-Barnes school must have an auditorium, too, but I've never actually been there, so I'm not sure. Duh. It says right in the article:
City officials will hold a public meeting to meet the developers of the former Engine Company 40 on May 9 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the auditorium of the Umana/Barnes Middle School on Border Street in East Boston.


  • At 8:16 AM, Anonymous carmeller said…

    That is really great! I'm glad it will go to something good like that and not more condos!


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