Monday, December 21, 2009

Globe Article on Design of BCEC

The Boston Globe
Expanded convention center must do more than get bigger
By Robert Campbell, Globe Correspondent | December 20, 2009
Article Link

Does Boston need a bigger convention center?

Do convention centers really do anything to improve the life of a city? Any city? Boston in particular? And is bigger better?

Already, Boston is home to a behemoth of a convention center with 12 acres of indoor space. The building near the South Boston waterfront, designed by Rafael Vinoly, is only five years old.

Four weeks ago, the Convention Center Authority held a press conference. It launched what journalists call a trial balloon. What if, proposed the Authority, we doubled the center in size? That way, we would be able to compete with other cities for the biggest conventions. All those conventioneers would need hotel rooms, restaurants, much else. They’d spend money. They’d bring economic growth to a part of the city that’s long been pretty stagnant.


Boston’s convention center can’t do all those things. But the principle holds. Any addition should be thought of not as a deadly, single-purpose monolith, a vast pile of hotels and meeting rooms, but rather as a mixed-use neighborhood in which lots of different things happen, as they do in San Francisco and Philadelphia. It should incorporate shops and restaurants at its edges, where they can engage the neighbors, including pedestrians as well as conventioneers. It should mitigate the inhuman vastness of its barren site by inserting some public streets. Good cities are made of good streets. The city should mandate these benefits.

If the convention center accomplished some of that, it might even do good for the South Boston waterfront. So far, this huge new piece of Boston feels like a badly designed New Jersey office park. The streets are too wide (they’re highways in the city, really) and they are hopelessly disorienting. The signage is misleading and the buildings are too far apart to create interesting frontages. Who has ever taken a walk for pleasure in this part of Boston?

Boston’s biggest selling points are its human scale, its walkability. Those are the qualities that attract visitors. Maybe a better convention center could bring some of these merits to a South Boston waterfront that needs them desperately.

Robert Campbell, the Globe’s architecture critic, can be reached at
© Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Boston Snow Emergency Declared

Mayor Thomas M. Menino today declared that a snow emergency and parking ban will go into effect at 10:00 p.m. Saturday, December 19, 2009. Mayor Menino would like to remind residents of the following:

* The City of Boston encourages businesses to ask employees to work from home when possible, take public transportation, and be prepared for potentially dangerous driving conditions. Everyone is encouraged to use public transportation.
* City of Boston afternoon and evening activities are subject to cancellation.
* Move cars from main arterials during snow emergencies. A listing of main arterials can be found at
* Do not park cars within 20 feet of an intersection. Parking too close to an intersection can restrict emergency vehicle access.
* Do not throw snow back into the street. "Throwbacks" force the city to remove snow from the same street twice.
* Shovel out fire hydrants and storm drains close to your home.
* Property owners are reminded to shovel snow from sidewalks that abut homes and businesses.
* Do not double park.
* Keep wheelchair ramps clear.
* Lend an extra hand to elderly and neighbors and others in need.

During declared snow emergencies, discounted parking is available at several parking lots and garages to cars that display Boston resident parking stickers. A list of locations is available at The city's Know Snow program will be in effect this afternoon to alert residents of the snow emergency.

The City of Boston Storm Center will open at 10:00 p.m. Saturday, when the snow emergency goes into effect. Residents with storm-related questions or concerns should call the center at 617-635-3050, starting at 6:00 p.m. Saturday

Monday, December 14, 2009

Barlow's Open For Business

The neighborhood's latest bar, Barlow's, opened last Thursday to a good crowd. They did a good job with the build out, keeping a number of the original elements of the building including the floor and re-using support beams for the bar and to frame an entryway. The space has an open, but warm feel to it. And the walls are adorned with a selection of pieces by Fort Point artists, curated by Joanne Kaliontis.

241 A St.
Boston, MA 02210

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Reception Tonight: Paintings by David Moore

Bob's Your Uncle, in association with FPAC, presents a reception this evening for paintings by David Moore:

Artists' Reception
Wednesday, December 9th
5-9 PM

Bob's Your Uncle
25 Channel Center St.
Fort Point, Boston 02210

More information about the artist can be found on his site:

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Special Senate Election Tuesday

REMINDER: The primary for the special election to fill Ted Kennedy's Senate seat will take place on Tuesday, December 8th. Please make the effort to get out and vote!

Democratic candidates
Martha Coakley, Massachusetts Attorney General
Stephen Pagliuca, a managing director of private equity firm Bain Capital and managing partner of the Boston Celtics basketball team
Mike Capuano, Representative for the 8th district
Alan Khazei, co-founder and former CEO of City Year

Republican candidates
Scott P. Brown, State Senator from Wrentham
Jack E. Robinson III, candidate for U.S. Senate (2000), Secretary of the Commonwealth (2002), and U.S. House (2006)

Friday, December 04, 2009

Made in Fort Point Holiday Sale, Opening Today

FPAC's 11th Annual Holiday Sale is today through Sunday.

Stop by the Holiday Opening Today for complimentary holiday snacks:

Holiday Sale Opening
Friday, December 4th, 5-7 PM
12 Farsworth Street

The Fort Point Arts Community Holiday sale is a unique opportunity for artful holiday shopping, or to just treat yourself!

***20 talented local artists will be set up, displaying their wares over the three-day event.
***The newly expanded FPAC Store will be open featuring works of art, craft and design by over seventy-five fort point artists.
***Art at 12 presents SMALL WORKS: artworks by Fort Point Arts Community members from December 4th through the holidays.

Find jewelry, paintings, prints, pottery artists’ books, photography, handcrafted clothing and accessories, furniture, lighting, prints, holiday ornaments, cards, and much, much more! Something for every budget.

For more details, see

Monday, November 30, 2009

South Boston Arts and Cultural Center Fundraiser, 12/15

The Harpoon 5:30 Club is partnering with the South Boston Arts & Cultural Center (SOBACC) Task Force for a night of food, fun, and drinks.

Harpoon Tasting Room
306 Northern Avenue
Tuesday, December 15th, 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm

Complimentary food will be provided by Cafe Arpeggio and complimentary beverages will be provided by Harpoon. Tickets are only $15 at the door. Additionally, if you bring a letter stating your support for SOBACC, your ticket is only $10.

For more information about SOBACC and the fundraiser, see

Friday, November 27, 2009

IAG Meeting for 319 A St. Project, 12/8

Please be advised that there will be a 319 A Street Rear Project Impact Advisory Group (“ IAG”) Working Session meeting on Tuesday, December 8, 8:00-9:30AM, at Made in the Fort Point, located at 12 Farnsworth Street.

All members of the community and media are welcome to attend IAG Meetings.

For details on the project, see this post.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Channel Cafe in Herald

I meant to post this earlier: there's a nice review of the Channel Cafe in the Herald.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Convention Center Proposes $1B Expansion

Mass. officials have announced a $1B expansion plan for the BCEC, which will double its capacity. Much of the development would build out West, into Fort Point:

News coverage:

Mass. Announces Convention Center Expansion Plan link
BOSTON (AP) ― State officials have announced plans to double the size of the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, even though they have not said how they will finance the project.

The plan announced Monday calls for a 400,000-square-foot exhibit hall behind the main center, a new 1,000-room hotel, a 5,000-seat auditorium, and a 65,000- to 75,000-square-foot ballroom.

Convention center union blasts expansion plan
By Thomas Grillo and Jay Fitzgerald | Tuesday, November 24, 2009 | | Business & Markets

Boston Herald Link

A proposal by the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority to expand its sprawling South Boston complex is being blasted by a top labor official despite months of secret meetings in a failed effort to shore up support.

No details about how the expansion would be paid for were revealed in the 80-page report or a five-page press release.

Despite a 21 percent decline in events over the last three years, MCCA officials said yesterday that the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center in Southie could support a 1,000-room hotel in addition to the existing Westin Waterfront, 400,000 square feet of added exhibit space, as well as 125,000 square feet of added meeting space, up to 75,000 square feet to accommodate a variety of uses and a 5,000-seat auditorium - to be built next to the Fort Point Channel neighborhood.

Convention center aims to double its capacity
Plans call for campus with new exhibit hall, hotel, ballroom, more
By Casey Ross, Globe Staff | November 24, 2009 link

The Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, already the largest building of its kind in New England, would double in size under an expansion plan unveiled yesterday by state officials, eventually becoming a 1-million-square-foot tourism “campus’’ on the South Boston Waterfront.

The blueprint adds a 400,000-square-foot exhibit hall behind the main center, a 1,000-room hotel, a 5,000-seat auditorium, and a 65,000- to 75,000-square-foot ballroom elsewhere on the property.

The announcement kicks off a yearlong planning process in which a 25-member committee of public officials and business leaders will try to finalize the build-out. But already some major hurdles have emerged: The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority does not own much of the adjoining land on which it plans to build, nor have state officials determined how to pay for a project that could top $1 billion.

One official acknowledged state and city leaders will have to examine whether to raise travel and tourism taxes and fees to finance construction.


Convention industry has slumped, but Boston fares better
By Katie Johnston Chase, Globe Staff | November 24, 2009 link

Heywood Sanders, a professor of public administration at the University of Texas at San Antonio and a prominent critic of convention centers, is skeptical about the need for more space. He points to recent convention center expansions in Las Vegas and Orlando that generated minimal increases in business.

“The actual performance and the reality has been far, far less than the promises and forecasts,’’ he said. “And at the very least, that should raise the question about what an expansion might well do for Boston.’’


Saturday, November 07, 2009

Articles on 319 A St. Proposal

REMINDER: The BRA meeting about this project is tomorrow (Monday, 11/23).

Boston Herald:
High-rise planned for Fort Point area

A Boston development team has proposed a 25-story residential tower in the city’s Fort Point Channel neighborhood.

The project at 319 A Street Rear by Archon Group and Goldman Properties would be the neighborhood’s tallest building, at 240 feet, and include 232 apartments.

Under the plan submitted yesterday to the Boston Redevelopment Authority for the 315,000-square-foot residential high-rise, a five-story former warehouse at the site would be demolished to make way for the new building.


Boston Business Journal:
Developers submit revised 25-story residential plan for Fort Point Channel

The city of Boston received a proposal late Thursday from two out-of-state developers that details a substantially scaled-back blueprint to convert a Fort Point Channel warehouse populated by artists into a 25-story residential tower in South Boston.

The plan, submitted by New York-based Goldman Properties and Archon Group, the real estate arm of Wall Street titan Goldman Sachs, would comprise 315,000 square feet, of which 259,000 square feet would be dedicated to residential space. That footprint is considerably smaller than the developers’ prior plan to build two buildings at the site.



25-story tower planned for Fort Point

A Boston developer wants to build what would be the tallest building in the Fort Point Channel neighborhood, a 25-story, 232-unit apartment building and parking garage on A Street.

Goldman Properties filed plans yesterday for property currently occupied by a five-story warehouse that contains artist studios. Goldman did not indicate when it intends to begin construction, saying the economic climate must improve first.


Proposal for Tower at 319 A St.

Goldman Properties and Archon have submitted a new proposal for a 240' tower at the rear of 319 A St. It would include 230 rental apartments and spaces for ~100 cars. The comment period ends Dec. 7 and there's a community meeting the Monday before Thanksgiving:

Community Meeting for 319 A St Rear
November 23rd, 20009
6:30 - 8 PM
Boston Convention Center, Room 102A

A pdf of the proposal is available on BRA's page for the project.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Menino Wins Re-Election

Mayor Menino has defeated Michael Flaherty and will serve a fifth consecutive term as mayor. Menino took 57% of the vote to Flaherty's 42%.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Mayoral Election Tomorrow, 11/3 - GET OUT AND VOTE

Please remember to get out and vote tomorrow. Politicians do track how much of each neighborhood votes.

For most (all?) residents of Fort Point point, our polling place is the Condon School at 200 D Street.

The polls will be open from 7 AM to 8 PM.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

City of Boston iPhone App

The City of Boston has released an iPhone app called 'Citizens Connect'. It allows residents request service for a variety of issues including:

* Removing graffiti
* Filling potholes
* Fixing Traffic Lights

It takes the GPS coordinates and allows you to send a photo and note describing the problem. Once an issue has been logged, it goes into the normal Mayor's hotline system.

The app can be downloaded from the iPhone App Store. More details on the City's Website:

Made in Fort Point Opening, 11/5

Adam Yothers is the featured artist for November at Made in Fort Point, the FPAC store. There will be an opening on November 5th.

Adam runs printing studio Dyslexicpress which he describes as:

"'The Dyslexic Press,' besides being a provocative name, is about the printing of a visual language. Dyslexia is an impairment comprehending written language. While not dyslexic myself, I'm interested in exploring the visual language generated by our culturally loaded imagery and iconography."

Opening for Adam Yothers
Thursday, November 5, 5-7 PM
Made in Fort Point
12 Farnsworth Street, Boston MA

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Louis Boston Moving to Fan Pier

Louis Boston is moving to Fan Pier. The high-end retailer which has been on Berkeley and Newbury Streets in the Back Bay since 1988, has signed a 10 year lease. The build out is part of temporary retail buildings Fan Pier developer Joe Fallon had petitioned for the right to build in September. The 22,000 sf., two-story building will be located across from the ICA, where the 'Puma City' was built for this summer's Volvo Ocean Race events and will open this Spring.

The BBJ and the Globe have coverage:

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Fort Point Open Studios this weekend!

FPAC's 30th annual Open Studios is this weekend. Come explore Boston's oldest arts community: tour studios, meet artists, see art installations throughout the neighborhood, and participate in art activities for all ages.

Friday (10/16): Preview, selected studios open 4-7 PM
Saturday and Sunday (10/17-18): all studios open 11 AM to 6 PM

Open Studios is free and open to the public.

There is free parking (look for signs on A St. near Binford St.) or take the redline to South Station stop and walk down Summer St. over Fort Point Channel.

Open studios locations map: FPAC_map.pdf

-Photos from last year
-Participating artists
-The FPAC Gallery
-Studio Soto

Gillette Opens New Headquarters

New headquarters about the best Gillette can get
By Jenn Abelson, Globe Staff | October 14, 2009

Gillette, the Boston shaving giant, yesterday unveiled its $50 million renovation and expansion of the World Shaving Headquarters in South Boston.

The manufacturing and research complex, totaling more than 1.65 million square feet, will soon accommodate between 400 and 500 employees who previously worked at the Prudential Center corporate headquarters. The 44-acre site features perks including a convenience store, coffee bar, and an “Art of Shaving’’ shop that with an onsite barber.

Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino toured the renovated building yesterday, admiring the 9,000-square-foot fitness center and exercise bicycles that connect to the Internet.

All of the corporate employees will complete their move by Nov. 1, trading large offices and views of the Charles River for the more low-key South Boston digs. The new offices feature open layouts, and even top executives will have offices without doors, similar to the design at Gillette’s parent company, Procter & Gamble Co.

The renovations also include an upgraded cafeteria, two-story glass lobby, and state-of-the-art video conferencing facilities. Gillette, which once occupied more than 19 floors in the Prudential, announced two years ago that it planned to vacate the tower when its lease expired in 2009.

“It’s like coming back home,’’ said Chip Bergh, P&G’s president of global grooming. “This is where it all began.’’

Friday, October 09, 2009

Neighborhood Safety Meeting, Mon 10/19

Please Join:


for a

Public Safety Neighborhood Meeting
Monday, 10/19/2009
6 - 7 PM
Lobby of 33 Sleeper Street
Dockside Condominium

For more information, please contact:
Casey Flynn-Hines
Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Opening Thursday: Made in Fort Point

This Thursday evening (10/8) come see the newly-redesigned Made in Fort Point, FPAC's Store located at 12 Farnsworth Street.

October's featured artist is Sylvia Stagg-Giuliano (

Opening Reception featuring Sylvia Stagg-Giuliano
October 8th, 5-7pm
Made in Fort Point
12 Farnsworth Street (next door to flour bakery)

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Fort Point 2009 Open Studios, 10/16-17

FPAC's 30th Annual Open Studios

The weekend of October 16th: Pick up a map and explore the studios of over 150 artists. The historic warehouse buildings of Fort Point house artists and craftspeople working in all media: tour studios, meet artists, see art installations throughout the neighborhood, and participate in art activities for all ages. All of our buildings are in easy walking distance of each other.

Friday Preview: 10.16: 4-7pm
Saturday and Sunday 10.17 & 10.18: 11am-6pm

Free to the public
Free parking (look for signs on A St. near Binford St.)

Artists include:

Jose Santos

Christine Vaillancourt

Kate Gilbert Miller

View all participating artists

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Film Shoot on Congress Tomorrow

On Monday (9/28), 20th Century Fox is filming on Congress St. for a movie with Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaaz called "Untitled Wichita Project". The shoot will take place on Congress St. around the Fire Museum and also inside the museum itself. It will start at 6 AM and continue until as late as 9 PM. At times, until 3 PM, traffic will be stopped intermittently. If you have issues with noise or other problems, contact the location manager, Jonathan Persky: 310.923.4557.

Russia Wharf Developer Under Fire for Removing Promised Public Space

Boston Properties recasting Russia Wharf plan amid outcry

Boston Business Journal - by Michelle Hillman

Boston Properties, under fire for allegedly reneging on a promise to produce ample public space at its Russia Wharf development, is back at the drawing board after a state agency said it wants more public amenities on the project’s ground floor.

The Boston Harbor Association has accused Boston Properties of abandoning its pledge to provide free public-performance space on the first floor of its Russia Wharf development, a story first reported by the Boston Business Journal earlier this week.

Earlier this year, after receiving approvals to build a much taller building in exchange for free, public amenities, Boston Properties filed a request with the DEP to instead locate a restaurant on the first floor. Critics said the developer is trying to cut off public access to the waterfront and save money.

DEP grants licenses to developers under Chapter 91 regulations which protect and promote public access to the waterfront.

Russia Wharf, which is under construction, was allowed to exceed height regulations that cap development along the waterfront at 155 feet.

Read full article:

Temporary Retail Buildings Proposed for Fan Pier

Fan Pier builder thinks temporary

Boston Business Journal - by Michelle Hillman

Fan Pier developer Joseph Fallon has petitioned a state agency to allow him to erect two temporary buildings while he waits to build out the 3 million-square-foot-project in earnest.

Fallon is asking the Department of Environmental Protection to let him build two structures similar to modular facilities that would house retail, restaurants, public restrooms and a water transportation ticketing office. The buildings would be between 22,000 square feet and 45,000 square feet and would sit on the water’s edge in the place of two permanent buildings slated for parcels overlooking a marina. The parcels are approved for residential, hotel or office uses.

The entire 21-acre site is approved for eight buildings including office, research, residential, retail and hotel space.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

BRA Mtg for: Dirigo Spice, 141 West 2nd St.

BRA Notice of Project Change

The Boston Redevelopment Authority will host a public meeting regarding the project for 141 West Second St, “Dirigo Spice”.

September 30th
Lithuanian Club
368 West Broadway Street, South Boston

Project Proponent: Tom FitzGerald
Project Description: The project is undergoing Small Project Review pursuant
to Article 80 of the Boston Zoning Code. Tom Fitzgerald (the “Proponent”) is requesting
to add an additional story to the already permitted three (3) story project, construct
a 60x60 common roof deck and include additional parking (the “Proposed NPC”).
Close of Comment Period: Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Jay Rourke
Boston Redevelopment Authority
One City Hall Square, 9th Floor, Boston, Ma 02201
phone: 617.918.4317
fax: 617.742.7783

Mayoral Election Tuesday - Vote!

Reminder: The mayoral election is this Tuesday. Make sure you get to the polls; it's an important election and also important for politicians to see that Fort Point votes!

Mayoral Election
September 22nd, 2009
7 AM - 8 PM

The polling place for most (all?) of Fort Point is the Condon School at 200 D Street (map).'s overview of the election:

The candidates' official sites:

Kevin McCrea -

Sam Yoon -

Michael Flaherty -

Thomas Menino -

Fox has short interviews with each candidate:

Russia Wharf Developer Goes Back on Public Space Agreement

Boston Properties, developer of Russia Wharf, has gone back on promises for a 'town square' and public performance spaces. From the Boston Business Journal:

The Boston Harbor Association alleges that Russia Wharf’s owners, Boston Properties Inc., is going back on its promise to locate free public performance space on the first floor in favor of putting a restaurant there instead, said Vivien Li, executive director of the association. According to the BHA, Boston Properties was granted the right to build a taller building in exchange for public space on the ground floor.

The Boston Harbor Association wrote a letter to the state Department of Environmental Protection in April commenting on changes Boston Properties requested. The changes have to be approved by DEP since the agency grant licenses for waterways development under Chapter 91.

Li has been in discussions with Boston Properties for the past six months about the changes. In her letter, Li wrote that Boston Properties asked to reduce the size of a ground floor “Town Square” by 200 square feet to 6,100 square feet, has moved a “Multi-Media Presentation Area” of 3,800 square feet from the first to second floor. Li said the areas will not be visible from the street and therefore relatively hidden from the public. Also, Boston Properties has added a 2,800-square-foot outdoor terrace as part of the Multi-Media Presentation Area which will make year-round lectures and screenings difficult.

Li said she only wants Boston Properties to hold up its end of the bargain. She said the developer received approved to exceed height regulations and built between 100 feet and 150 taller in exchange for providing the public spaces. Boston Properties did not respond to requests for comment.

“We’re just saying, ‘Do what you agreed to do,’ ” said Li.

“What should have been a free, robust public space is now being chopped up,” Li added.

There was no mention of the flap during the “topping off” ceremony held on Tuesday. The ceremony commemorates when the last beam of structural steel is set in place.

Russia Wharf is a the 854,000-square-foot project on the edge of Boston’s Financial District, the Rose Kennedy Greenway and the Fort Point Channel. The ceremony was attended by Mayor Thomas M. Menino and Boston Properties Inc.

The $500 million, 31-story mixed-use project includes 60,000 square feet for retail space as well as 5,000 square feet for artist-work space and 65 new units of housing, according to a press release from Menino’s office. Russia Wharf is preleased to Wellington Management and is one of the few office buildings under development in Boston. Wellington Management Co. LLP is leasing approximately 450,000 of the 750,000 square feet of office space in the building and will bring 1,500 employees to the neighborhood.

“This project will be a tremendous addition to our downtown waterfront, bringing new residential, office, retail and artist work space to the area,” Menino said in a statement. “Even in this economic climate, Boston still has projects that are moving forward.

Construction began early last year. CBT Architects was hired to oversaw the design for the historic rehabilitation of the 19th century buildings. The project is expected to earn LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification and will be complete in 2011.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Mayoral Debate Tonight, 7 PM WBZ

You can watch on TV or their website:

More info on the candidates and the debate:

Monday, August 31, 2009

Meeting for Distillery Development, 9/8

Please be advised that there will be an Impact Advisory Group (“IAG”) Meeting regarding the proposed Distillery Redevelopment, which is located at 516-524 East Second Street and 2 Dorchester Street, in South Boston, on Tuesday, September 8, 2009, 6:30 PM – 8:00PM, at the St. Vincent De Paul's Church, in the Parish Hall, corner of E Street and West Third Street, South Boston.

All members of the community and media are welcome to attend IAG Meetings.

Kristin Kara
Senior Project Manager
Boston Redevelopment Authority
One City Hall Square
Boston, MA 02201
Phone: 617-918-4263

Monday, August 24, 2009

Permit Issued for Demolition of Tenders House

As posted last fall, the city approved the demolition of the Tenders House that sits in the middle of Fort Point Channel and used to house the original steam engine and gears to swing the bridge open.

The permit to do the work was just issued:

8/01/2009 8 NORTHERN AVE


Sunday, August 23, 2009

BRA Greenway Mtg, 8/10

The Boston Redevelopment Authority invites you to attend the fifth public meeting on the Greenway District Planning Study:

Thursday, September 10, 2009
6-8 PM at the BRA
Boston City Hall, 9th Floor, Board Room

BRA staff and the consultant team will present development and massing alternatives for Chinatown and the Leather District, Dewey Square and Financial District, and Government Center and the North End. The team will also present an overview of corridor-wide building uses and environmental impacts.

If you have any questions, please contact:

Peter D. Gori

Lauren N. Shurtleff

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Gillette Plant Lights

You may have noticed that the lights at the P&G / Gillette plant were recently made much brighter and went from yellow to white. The lights are not shielded and shine into a number of people's windows.

I've contacted P&G about it and will post updates as they come. Please add a comment if it affects you or you have information.


I talked with the community liason at P&G, Brian, told him the problem and sent him a photo with the lights. He said the firm that manages the lights for them switched to higher output bulbs. He's seeing if they can find a way to re-orient the fixtures so they're pointing down or turn them off. I will update this post with the info.


Gillette / P&G has turned off those lights. I'd like to thank them for listening to the community.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

HAZMAT Unit Responding to Incident on W 2nd St.

The Firefighters Local 118 reports:

This morning a street sweeper saw vehicles dumping in an abondoned building. When firefighters went to investigate a number become ill. Local news coverage:


HAZMAT: Level 3 incident at 251 W 2nd St in South Boston, Hazmat Unit, BFD and EMS on scene, decontamination taking place, avoid the area.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

New Shepard Fairey on Melcher St.

A new Shepard Fairey has been installed on the corner of Melcher and A Streets, replacing the one that had been there which was torn down over time:

Friday, August 07, 2009

Channel Cafe in the Globe

Great Globe Article on the Channel Cafe:


Channeling your appetite

By Sheryl Julian, Globe Staff | August 5, 2009

If I lived in Fort Point Channel, you’d probably find me at Channel Cafe several times a week. Actually, I’d probably take my laptop and move in. I last reviewed it in 1996, when it was Cafe Three Hundred and the only thing I minded about the place was the fact that it wasn’t open for dinner. Local artist Ana Crowley now owns the cafe, which is one flight down in a 19th-century art-filled warehouse. A year ago, Channel opened for dinner at the end of the week.

If you’ve been to the highly stylized Persephone, practically across the street, that’s not Channel Cafe. In fact, think 180. This is practical, pared-down fare, nothing fancy, all very well done in a hip, two-story, artsy space.

Everything was relatively quiet until four months ago, when Brian Van Etten took over the kitchen. The restaurant serves as a Community Supported Agriculture drop-off spot, and Van Etten gets to participate. Just as any family would look over the contents of the CSA box each week and decide what’s for dinner, so does the chef. “Today I have zucchini, some amazing basil, a ton of pickling cucumbers,’’ he told me last week. When I slipped into the restaurant that night, the zucchini had been turned into crisp, feathery fritters sitting on a julienne of jicama with a little tartar-like sauce.

Van Etten’s specials board is the place where he’s featuring the harvest. Smoked herring toasts ($4.95), an unusual and delicious nibble, was on offer one night, as was a beautiful fillet of striped bass ($17.95), nestled on scallion mashed potatoes, surrounded by a tangy caper beurre blanc.

On the regular menu, delectable fish tacos ($9.95) came in soft flour tortillas with ripe avocado and hot peppers. “Tofu mojo’’ ($14.95) was a grilled tofu steak with a zesty, oniony tomato sauce. Steak salad on romaine lettuce ($15.95) boasted large morsels of chewy skirt steak, with roasted tomatoes, chickpeas, and gorgonzola. Pulled pork with crisp jicama slaw ($10.95), on a plump, yeasty, homemade bun, which got delightfully soaked with pork juices, was perfect, and a generous and juicy ground sirloin burger, the “channel,’’ on the same wonderful bun, was smoky with thick bacon strips. Fat sweet potato fries with aioli (below) were divine.

Two affable servers wait on the whole cafe. Fridays there’s a rotating DJ, Saturdays live music. There’s talk of expanding to Wednesday nights.

Van Etten, who works in a small kitchen with one other person, is energetic. One Saturday recently, when he had a few minutes on his hands, he took a baking book off the shelf; it opened to brioche doughnuts. He tried them, they were a huge hit, and now they’re on the menu, sprinkled with cinnamon-sugar ($4.50). One night, there were none left, but our waiter managed to get us some cinnamon-covered doughnut holes.

Now you see why I want to move in?

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Sportello Now Open Daily

Sportello Now Open Daily!
Open Sundays and Offering Continuous Service Beginning Sunday, August 9th

Now there is now a new option for Sunday lunch and dinner in the city! Beginning this Sunday, August 9th, Sportello, Chef Barbara Lynch’s Fort Point restaurant and bakery will be open daily for lunch and dinner. Come check out the summer menu, filled with seasonal favorites including Chilled Tomato Soup with Poached Shrimp and Piperade and Corn Risotto with Chanterelles and Pancetta. To make reservations, please call Sportello, 617.737.1234.


For a quick breakfast, lunch, or dinner to go Sportello’s bakery has plenty of choices, from an egg sandwich with sharp Vermont cheddar, tomatoes confit, and peppery arugula on house-made scali bread or a croissant to freshly baked cupcakes, native blueberry tarts, roasted eggplant parmesean, and a new $10 lunch box (sandwich, beverage, chips, and a cookie)!

Hours of Operation
lunch: 11:30a - 5:30p everyday
dinner: 5:30p-10:00p sun-thurs, 5:30p - 11:00p fri & sat
bakery & retail: 7:00a - 7:00p mon - fri, 11:30a - 7:00p sat & sun

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Dorchester Beach Festival This Saturday

Dorchester Beach Festival
11 am - 4 pm
Savin Hill &
Malibu Beaches

For details, see:

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Tonight: South Boston Grows Fundraiser at Harpoon Brewery

Come for fun and drinks in support of South Boston Grows... South Boston Grows is Southie's 1st community garden project and aims to improve community green space and to increase knowledge of growing edible plants with the long term goal of increasing access and exposure to and intake of fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs in South Boston. See you at Harpoon!

Tuesday, August 4, 5:30PM

Harpoon Brewery
306 Northern Ave
Boston, MA 02127 US


Herald Article on Achilles Closing

Fort Point shop folds as projects stall
By Thomas Grillo | Monday, August 3, 2009 |
| Business & Markets

Michael Krupp shut down his Achilles Project, a funky restaurant-
boutique in Boston¹s Fort Point Channel, over the weekend, blaming in
part stalled development projects.

Krupp - whose business combined a designer clothes shop with a cafe
called Persephone - criticized what he called ³local politics and a
lack of congruency among developers² for the failure of the Seaport
District to take off.

³Fort Point was heralded as the next up-and-coming neighborhood, but
nothing has happened,² he said. ³There¹s a half million square feet of
vacant space with no one living in it for no apparent reason. We¹ve
lost lots of jobs in the area and that¹s had an impact on our business.²

Steven Hollinger of the Seaport Alliance for Neighborhood Design, and
a longtime Fort Point resident, said developers can¹t be blamed for an
economy that has stymied demand for office and residential space.

³It¹s hard to make an argument that developers should be doing more
when the economy is preventing them from doing anything,² he said.

Lincoln Property Co.¹s $32 million redevelopment of two vacant
warehouses at 316-322 Summer Street - into 140,100 square feet of
office space with ground floor retail - is on hold until a large
tenant can be found, according to John Miller, Lincoln¹s senior vice

Last fall, the Boston Redevelopment Authority approved the first
residential building within the proposed Seaport Square project on the
South Boston waterfront. The project is expected to include 34 one-
and two-bedroom units in a six-story building with ground-floor
retail. But Gale International, the developer, has been caught in the
credit crunch and the project has stalled.

Some work has moved forward. The Channel Center, a mixed-use property,
recently completed renovations with about 100,000 square feet of space
still available for rent.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Achilles Project: Shot in the Heel

UPDATE: The Achilles Project is, in fact, going out of business. While they had a rocky relationship with the neighborhood, it's always sad when a business someone has worked hard on goes under.

There were rumors going around Twitter that Achilles Project / Persephone Restaurant was closing. It was started, I think, by Citysearch Boston:

@CitysearchBOS ok, it's officially out the bag (via @urbd) so i'm gonna announce that @AchillesProject will be RIP this wknd. sad news.

Achilles' responded via their twitter account @achillesproject:


However, they haven't said anything more and Citysearch stands by their 'tweet':

@CitysearchBOS @IndieIsMe the cards will fall this wkend but i'm 99.99999% cross-source confirmed that @AchillesProject is singing a swan's song."

Meet Kevin McCrea, 8/10

From Dan Osterman:

Kevin McCrea is running for the office of the Mayor of Boston! You may have met him several years ago when the Fort Point Neighborhood Group (FPNA) Working Group hosted a "meet the candidates" night, when he ran for an open At-Large City Council seat.

If you haven't already met Kevin, help me welcome him to our Fort Point neighborhood Monday night, August 10th at 7pm - at Bebe's and my place at #52, 249 A Street. He will speak about his candidacy and be available for discussion.

Read about some of Kevin's positions on his site and on his blog:

Many of Kevin's ideas are driving campaign issues in this race.

Refreshments will be supplied by Sagarino's. By all means pass this along to friends who you
think might be interested. Thanks.

Friday, July 24, 2009

fpac Summer Party - Wed., 7/29

The Fort Point Arts Community invites fpac members and our friends and neighbors to the 3rd annual fpac Summer Park Party

Wednesday July, 29th
5:30-8:00 p.m.
Wormwood Park

The Channel Cafe will be grilling, Beverages from Sagarinos, Treats from Sportello And terrific homemade morsels by YOU!

Please bring food or drink to share

Catch up with old friends, meet your neighbors--
We hope to see you all there!

Please rsvp to let us know what you will be bringing, find out what we need, or offer to help out. Email Gabrielle

Wormwood Park

Sometimes affectionately called Postage Stamp Park, our park is in great shape this year! Special Thanks are due to neighbors Caroline Muir, Wendy Bergman, Valerie Burns, and many others: the park is blooming with all sorts of wonders. Even better reason to come out and celebrate summer.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

'Greening of Southie', Coolidge Corner Theatre, 7/20

Film screening of The Greening of Southie

The Green Roundtable and Wicked Delicate Films present The Greening of Southie on July 20 at 7:00 pm at the Coolidge Corner Theater (290 Harvard Street, Brookline).

The film tells the story of Boston's first residential green building through the eyes of the construction crew that sets out to build it. A question-and-answer session with the filmmakers and The Green Roundtable's executive director Barbra Batshalom follows the screening. Tickets, which are $9.75 per person, are available at

Free Music Tonight on the Channel

Come see a great concert this evening:

Boston Virtuosi's Channel Cello Band: Cynthia Forbes and Cameron Sawzin with Cello Chix Rebecca Thornblade and Susanna Porte.

Thursday, July 16th
5:30 - 7:30 PM
Children's Wharf Park
Between Congress St. and Seaport Blvd.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Music on the Channel Next Two Thursdays

Come listen to Fort Point's own Cam Sawzin perform this and next Thursday:

Claudio Ragazzi, Fernando Michelian, Cameron Sawzin, and Gerry Mordis
5:30-7:30 PM
Thursday, July 9th
Children's Wharf Park

Fabulous Argentinean guitarist and composer Claudio Ragazzi and pianist Fernando Michelia, violinist Gerry Mordis and I will be performing in the July 9th Friends of Fort Point Channel Summer Concert series at Children's Wharf Park. Claudio recently wrote several pieces for the film score for Francis Ford Copplola's latest film and played all the guitar on it as well. This very unusual concert is a mixture of sophisticated tango, jazz/fusion and contemporary music, featuring beautiful melodies and infectious rhythmic patterns, and all the the music was arranged for this ensemble by Claudio. Hope the wind doesn't blow it off the stands- it's difficult enough!

Boston Virtuosi musicians are developing collaborations with other ensembles, and the rock-out electric cello concert on July 16th featuring the cello chix will also include elegant acoustic and tonally rich classical music with the unique sound of a cello quartet. The Channel Cello band is comprised of Cynthia Forbes, Becca Thornblade Susanna Porte and I, and will be performing at the Fort Point summer music series on July 16th. Hope you can join us!

Drink nominated for Spirit Award


chef barbara lynch’s drink nominated; drink team travels to 2009 spirit awards this july

June 26, 2009, Boston, MA
…Next month, Drink Bar Manager John Gertsen and his team will head down to New Orleans for the third annual Tales of the Cocktail Spirit Awards. Drink, which opened in fall 2008, has been nominated as the “best new cocktail bar in the world” along with Brooklyn’s Clover Club and London’s Quo Vadis. The winner of the award, which recognizes a newly opened cocktail bar displaying creativity and well executed drinks, is selected by the Tales of the Cocktail committee. Dale DeGroff, Claire Smith, and Dave Wondrich are among the committee’s members.
“We are incredibly honored and excited to be one of the three bars nominated and we can’t wait to head down to New Orleans,” said Drink Bar Manager John Gertsen (a 2008 nominee for “mixologist/bartender of the year”). “Tales of the Cocktail is a lot of fun and brings together such an incredible crowd of bartenders, journalists, suppliers, and enthusiasts; we’re really looking forward to it.”
For several years, Tales of the Cocktail has celebrated individuals and establishments that have shown an outstanding talent for advancing the craft of the cocktail and recognized both national and international contributions to the cocktail culture. Three years ago, The Spirit Awards, sponsored by Pernod Ricard, were introduced to Tales of the Cocktail to formally recognize industry leaders and innovators.
The awards will be announced at the Tales of the Cocktail Spirit Awards Dinner on Saturday, July 11th in New Orleans.

About Drink
A bar entirely dedicated to the craft of the cocktail, Drink blends time-honored techniques and the classic cocktails of the prohibition era with modern innovation and the very best artisanal ingredients. Located in Boston’s Fort Point, the space reflects the rough-elegant industrial feel of the neighborhood and preserves the history of the building. In addition to cocktails, Drink also offers a thoughtful collection of white, red, and sparkling wines, small grower champagnes, and a seasonal selection of beer along with a canap├ęs menu.
348 Congress Street
Boston, MA 02210

Made in Fort Point July: Dan Osterman

July's featured artist for Made in Fort Point is Dan Osterman: new paintings and drawings

Made in Fort Point, the FPAC Storefeatures art, design and fine craft by members of the Fort Point Arts Community.

12 Farnsworth St. (off of Congress Flour Bakery )
Monday through Friday 11am-6pm
Saturday 11am-4pm
The FPAC Store telephone number is 617-388-5919

The artist will be in the store on Mondays. Stop by, check out his work, and say 'Hi'.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Berkeley Seeks Vending Carts at 343 Congress

There will be a hearing at 9:30 AM on Tuesday, July 14th on the appeal of Berkeley Investments, Inc seeking with reference to the premises at 343 Congress St. from the terms of the Boston Zoning Code (see Acts of 1956, c, 665) in the following respect: Variance Article(s) 8 (8-7) Place two food vending carts at location.

The hearing will be held at:
Inspectional Services Department
1010 Massachusetts Avenue, 4th Fl. Boston, MA 02118

If you wish to express an opinion in regards to the above proposal either in favor or in opposition, please detach the lower portion of this announcement or mail to:

Board of Appeal
1010 Massachusetts Avenue, 4th floor
Boston, MA 02118

Members: Christine Araujo-Secretary Angelo Buonopane Peter Chin Michael Monahan Anthony Pisani Robert Shortsleeve

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Finding Home Arists Panel Tonight

Dear Artists and Others,

If you can, please come to the gallery at 7pm tonight (Thursday!)for the Artists Panel for the "Finding Home" show at 12 Farnsworth. Up till the 27th!

We also wanted to let you know that you can download the exhibition poster & postcard on our website:

The Odysseus Project is on Facebook! You can join the group and invite others here:

Dan Osterman


Co-curators Anne Loyer and Joanne Hardy present the second event of the Odysseus Project exhibition series: The Odysseus Project Artist's Panel. The panel will take place at 7pm on Thursday, June 18th at Art @ 12. Moderated by participating artist Ken Hruby, Associate Professor of Sculpture at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, the discussion will shed light on issues of war as experienced by the panel’s veterans and artists. The panel includes Ethan Berry, Gabrielle Keller, James O’Neill and Greg Cook.

Please join us for this free event tomorrow night!

The Odysseus Project Artist Panel

June 18th, 2009


Art @ 12

12 Farnsworth Street, Boston MA


To set up an interview with Anne Loyer contact communications coordinator, Randi Heylek, at (773) 636 8383 or

ABOUT THE ODYSSEUS PROJECT: The Odysseus Project seeks to promote open discussion between veterans and non-veterans, artists and non-artists, artists-veterans and the Boston community. Through this exchange we hope to encourage art as a means of communication in the effort to bridge the gap between those who have experienced war and those who have not. The Odysseus Project grows from a desire to learn about the experiences of veterans returning home from military service, and the effects of this experience and war on the wider culture.


On view through June 27th, 2009 at Art @ 12, 12 Farnsworth St. Boston

Hours M-F 11-6, Sat 11-4


This exhibit is made possible by the Fort Point Artists Community and the Joiner Center for the Study of War and Social Consequences.

dParty at 35 CC Friday - kick-off for common boston

the kick-off party for this weekend's common boston is Friday evening:

dParty, Fri, June 19th, 6-9pm
Thompson Design Group, 35 Channel Center St.

The Common Boston cocktail party, held at Thompson Design Group, celebrates good work by community advocates and local architects, and lubricates good conversation between them.

During the party, we’ll be debuting the work of the Neighborhood Photography Project, including images by photographers and community members in Ashmont, Jamaica Plain, Fort Point Channel, and Chinatown. Also on display during the event, Studio Soto will present an exhibition of photographs by Mobius Artists Group member Bob Raymond, who has been documenting Mobius’ activities for nearly thirty years, and an installation by Wenxiong Lin.


Common Boston Weekend 2009 is June 18 through 21!

Common Boston Weekend—Boston's only free, public festival of neighborhoods and design—celebrates the city June 18 - 21st.

Conceived as a community celebration of architecture and design, Common Boston Weekend consists of more than 40 open buildings, neighborhood tours, exhibits and events concentrated around four Boston neighborhoods: Ashmont, Jamaica Plain, Chinatown and Fort Point Channel. Highlights include open architecture studios, a guided walk through Franklin Park, an audio tour of Berkeley Street Community Gardens, bike tours of Jamaica Plain and Dorchester, and food tours.


- Join us for a Forum at the Quincy School on designing the city for families, Thu, June 18th, 6:30 - 8:30pm
- Come to Pecha Kucha night featuring Common Boston and the BSA, Wed, June 17th, 6:30pm

Visit for a complete schedule of events. All events are free and open to the public.

Boston Virtuosi, next Thurs, 6/25

Fort Point-based Boston Virtuosi is kicking off their summer series next week with an evening concert:

Boston Virtuosi
Thursday, June 25th, 5:30 PM
Children's Wharf Park
(between Congress St. and Seaport Blvd)

Members of the string quartet perform with many of the major organizations in Boston, including the Boston Pops, Masterworks Chorale, Boston Classical and Handel Hayden Society orchestras. They include Rebecca Katsenes and Jane Hemenway violins, Scott Woolweaver Viola and Cameron Sawzin, cello. The eclectic program will range from Mozart Divertimento #3 to “Layla” by Eric Clapton- with red hot tangos, bluegrass and a taste of Cole Porter in between.

New Market in the Seaport

J. Pace and Son have opened a new location in the Seaport:

1 Park Lane
S. Boston MA 02210

Mon-Fri: 7AM-9PM
Sat-Sun: 7AM-7PM

We offer a wide selection of the finest fresh meats, cheeses and produce, freshly baked cakes, breads and pastries, and an extensive collection of imported specialty food items, coffees, dried beans, olives, pasta, olive oil and vinegars.

All stores offer a complete selection of freshly prepared dinners. Our West End store carries a full line of wine, beer and liquors. Our South Boston location features a selection of wine & beer.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Greenway Mtg, Mon 6/22

Greenway District Planning Study

Monday, June 22nd
6-8 PM at the BRA
Boston City Hall, 9th Floor, Board Room

The Boston Transportation Department will present initiatives to sustain the long-term success of the Rose Kennedy Greenway District relative to multi-modal transportation access, parking and traffic management.

If you have any questions, please contact:
Peter D. Gori

Lauren N. Shurtleff

Nominations for the FPNA Board


The FPNA Board of Directors and Election Committee invite you to participate in the annual election process.

Nominations are due on or before Friday June 19th

Please Submit via email to:


OR snail mail: FPNA, PO Box 52122, Boston, MA 02205

Please include the name, address, phone and email information for the individual(s) you are nominating.

The FPNA Community includes:

Dockside Place
300 Summer Street
346 Congress Street/ FP3
249 A Street
346 A Street/ Mondo Condo
21 Wormwood/ Fort Point Place
25 Channel Center
35 Channel Center
15 Channel Center/ Midway Studios

Nominees will be asked to provide a brief statement of their background and interest in serving on the board for the Candidates Night / Election event on Wednesday June 24th.

Please Save the Date:

Wednesday June 24th
Site: To Be Announced

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

New Grocery Store at Broadway T Gets Financing

Boston Invests in Growth $40M Loan Fund
Gloria's Market 9 West Broadway, South Boston
·         Gloria's Market, developed by the Pappas family, is a re-imagination of the chain of stores started by Constantine Pappas at the turn of the 20th century in Boston's North End
·         The full service market will have fruit, produce, meat, fish, dairy, dry goods, prepared foods and will offer free delivery on purchases over $25.00 so that shoppers can leave their car at home and walk to and from the store without having to worry about carrying their purchases
·         The Market will offer food sourced from local farms, local fisherman, local dairies, as well as a selection of fine imported foods, most of which will be organic
·        When fully operational, Gloria's Market will employ approximately 30 people, 28 of whom will be brand new hires
  • Gloria's Market build out is seeking to achieve a LEED Silver Certification

The Shops at Riverwood 854-912 River Street, Hyde Park
·         A Finard Properties project, this more than 100,000 square-foot shopping center development is the result of an extensive and lively community process. The community was even invited to vote on the name of the center, which comes from combining area street names: "The Shops at Riverwood"
·         On the site of the old Bay State Paper Mill, the project began in May 2008 with the demolition of the mill building. Site preparation began in spring of 2009
·         Not only will the development of the site include the rehabilitation of the original powerhouse and smokestack but the project also will feature new and improved access to the nearby Neponset River. It won't be long before people will be dining al fresco by the river
·         The Shops at Riverwood, when fully completed, is expected to create more than 300 permanent jobs and provide much-needed retail currently lacking in the neighborhood 
·        The first tenants to cut ribbons in the new shopping center will be Price Rite, a national grocery chain, and Sovereign Bank
W Hotel and Residences 100 Stuart Street, Boston
·         The W Hotel and Residences is a $200M mixed-use project, and includes 235 hotel rooms, 123 residences, a restaurant, spa, and 'destination' bar
·         The downtown development also includes $3.7 million in planned community benefits, including funding for the Midtown Cultural District and childcare in Chinatown
·         The W Hotel and Residences will create more than 275 construction jobs and approximately 300 new permanent jobs (a recent job fair attracted 800 people)
·         Once completed, the W Hotel and Residences will increase Boston's tax base annually by  $3.2 million
·        The W Hotel and Residences plans to open in the fall of 2009

Lucy A. Warsh
Director, Media and Public Relations
Department of Neighborhood Development
City of Boston
P: 617.635.4802
F: 617.635.0561

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Boston Police Seek Help ID'ing Suspect in Channel Center Heist

Video of the suspects:

A reward of $1000 has been offered for information leading to the recovery of the stolen items. For more details, see the official alert:

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Comments on Municipal Harbor Plan

This is a reminder that comments regarding the South Boston Municipal Harbor Plan Amendment, which was submitted to the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs on May 15, 2009, are due by 4:30pm on June 19, 2009. Comments should be addressed to:

Office of Coastal Zone Management
251 Causeway Street, Suite 800
Boston, MA 02114
Attn: Brad Washburn

Copies of the Plan are available on the BRA website:

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Theft at 25 Channel Center

The Herald and the Boston crime log have coverage of a burglary at 25
Channel Center over Memorial Day weekend. Two thieves took a Flamet
painting, jewelry, and a laptop from an 8th floor unit and $213,000
worth of jewelry from an 11th floor unit.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Viewing Deck at 470 Atlantic Ave.

Waterfront site must open to public

State fines owners of wharf building

It was a secret jewel along the waterfront, providing a picturesque view of Boston Harbor and the city's skyline. But according to the state Department of Environmental Protection, the historic building at 470 Atlantic Ave. and its public viewing space wasn't supposed to be a secret at all.

The department has fined the owner of the plush Independence Wharf building, at the corner of Seaport Boulevard, more than $21,000 and also issued a series of compliance orders for holding out from the public its grand view of Boston and its harbor, on the site of one the country's largest acts of civil defiance, the Boston Tea Party.

"A renewed commitment on their part is necessary to open this site up to the general public, in a way that provides a public benefit for the city, its residents and our visitors," Glenn Haas, assistant commissioner of the agency, said in a statement.

In addition to the fines, the owner of the building - Independence Wharf LLC - must open up 2,856 square feet of space on the ground floor of the building as a public accommodation. The owner must post proper signage designating the 14th floor, with its observation deck and indoor viewing area, as public space.

The company must also post proper signage outside the building along the Harborwalk encouraging public patronage of the ground floor and viewing deck.

"The current property owners recognize they have a responsibility to provide, and in fact encourage, the general public to access this historic Boston site," Haas said in a statement.

A spokesman for the building's management company, Cushman & Wakefield, said yesterday that management would not comment on the settlement. Independence Wharf LLC is based in Connecticut.

The orders were based on a 2001 license the state granted Independence Wharf LLC allowing it to operate office space at the 14-story structure, which is built on the waterfront. Under state law covering filled tidelands, the state must preserve the public's rights to access natural resources such as the sea and the shore. The 2001 license included a public access agreement based on the law that required the observation deck and ground floor accommodating area.

The agency said it found the violations during a May 2008 inspection. In addition to the fines, the owner must provide, within 30 days, a publicly accessible interior space on the observation deck with signs directing the public to the area. The owner must also submit a plan within 90 days detailing how it will open up the 2,856 square feet to the public, and must complete the plan within six months.

And, the company must pay $35,000 in license fees that it has not paid since the license was granted in 2001. The site is where Samuel Adams and other patriots of the American Revolution boarded three British tea ships in 1773 in a protest of English rule.

Yesterday, a small sign on the Harborwalk alerted passersby that the observation deck is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, instructing anyone interested to "see security guard in lobby for information."

Winston Van Buitenen of Connecticut, and Greg Beck of New York, two businessmen touring the waterfront, said they did not believe the building is public from the look from the outside. "It doesn't present itself that way," said Buitenen.

Matt Pitarresi, 23, of South Boston, said he walks by the building daily to work and other Boston destinations and never knew about the observation deck. "If it's supposed to be public access, it should be," he said. "Anywhere you can get up high and view the city, people appreciate it."

Lynne Stubblefield, a 43-year-old South Boston woman who walks by the building on the way to her job in Charleston, said she has seen been to the observation deck before: when the building had just been renovated. But, "I don't think many people know about it," she said.

"It's a pretty area to look at, there's a lot of stuff to see," Stubblefield said. "People should know about it. It's waterfront property and a lot of people would like to see it."