The Fenway Catalyzer

BLDUP | By Chris Bonarrigo
February 7, 2017

For decades, massive asphalt parking lots dominated the landscape around Fenway Park, punctuated by gas stations, auto-repair shops and a series of national fast food chains. With the exception of cheers emanating from nearby Red Sox games, this was a relatively sleepy part of the city. Today, this version of the Fenway neighborhood is a distant memory that has been overtaken by a truly stunning transformation. At the heart of this regional rebirth was a project that was not architecturally revolutionary, but one that was unseen in the area and would set the stage for a next-generation Fenway.

The Fenway Triangle Trilogy started construction in 2004, after a comprehensive rezoning process by the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA), then called the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA). The 1 million square foot project soon established itself as the first significant stock of 21st century housing in the area. A series of ground floor retail spaces tied the development to the street level and related well to the already retail-oriented Landmark Center next door. The design approach was particularly impactful at this location because of its’ ability to activate the pedestrian realm at Brookline Avenue and Boylston Street simultaneously. Fortunately, the Fenway Triangle Trilogy launched prior to the looming recession that would stunt real estate growth across the country. It revealed that the Fenway neighborhood would be receptive to new growth and that future mixed-use development could thrive.

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