Finegold Alexander to Design Innovation School

Finegold Alexander - 585 Commercial st

Finegold Alexander Architects announces it has been awarded the go-ahead to design and completely transform 585 Commercial Street in the North End of Boston for grades 2 through 4 of the Boston Eliot Innovation School.

The firm previously worked with the city to design the first and second floors of the building, in order to house the Upper School students during the construction of its permanent location on North Bennett Street. When complete in 2016, the 585 Commercial Street location will become the permanent location for grades 2 through 4, one of three Eliot Innovation School buildings in the North End.

“The Eliot Innovation School is truly a success story, and Finegold Alexander Architects is thrilled to serve as the conduit to add inspirational architecture to this story,” said Rebecca Berry, Senior Associate at Finegold Alexander Architects.  “At 585 Commercial Street, we have multiple opportunities to draw upon the building’s views of the Boston waterfront to infuse a sense of tranquility, delight and wonder to the student learning experience.”

Originally built in 1962 as a home for the US FDA, the property later served as a law office and  Roche-Bobois, a high-end furniture showroom. It was later used as Romney headquarters during his 2000 Presidential campaign. The new design will include classrooms, a multi-purpose/cafeteria space, and media center in the three-story school structure.

Finegold Alexander was originally hired by the city in 2012 to design and oversee the expansion of the original Eliot School at 16 Charter Street.  The school gained popularity after Principal Traci Walker-Griffith took the helm in 2007 and transformed the school from a failing facility to one of Boston’s top elementary and middle schools with a waiting list for kindergarten that is larger than the original student body. The school was featured on The Today Show when co-host Matt Lauer visited the transformed school in 2010 to conduct interviews on the importance of kindergarten. When the three buildings are complete, the schools will hold upwards of 800-1000 students, as compared to 157 when Walker arrived in 2007.

The Eliot Upper Innovation School project, for grades 5 through 8, is also well underway, designed and overseen by Finegold Alexander. This extensive project encompasses a complete gut renovation and expansion of three connected historic structures that formerly housed the North Bennett Street School.

To read about the project at High Profile, click here.

The Eliot School was featured in BisNow’s October 13th Boston Deal Sheet – click here to see the full article.