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Massachusetts State Police Lower Basin Barracks wins the 2024 Paul & Niki Tsongas Award
Massachusetts State Police Lower Basin Barracks wins the 2024 Paul & Niki Tsongas Award

The Tsongas Award is Preservation Massachusetts’ highest honor and recognizes individuals and projects that have demonstrated the highest level of commitment to historic preservation in the Commonwealth. The award is named for the first recipient, Senator Paul Tsongas, and was expanded in 2016 to recognize Congresswoman Niki Tsongas’ contributions to historic preservation efforts across Massachusetts.

The recently opened Lower Basin (Boston) Barracks project team, consisting of Finegold Alexander and public safety specialist STV, presented the 2024 Paul & Niki Tsongas Award for the design, renovation, modernization and expansion of the historic Lower Basin Barracks for the Massachusetts State Police.

The project involved repurposing the former Charles River Lower Locks Building to accommodate the consolidation of the Brighton and Boston Barracks, formerly known as the Upper and Lower Basin Barracks, and current and planned mission requirements. The goal was to develop a public facility that balanced functionality and visual appeal. This facility is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has a prominent location in the Lower Charles River Basin. The State Police, Department of Conservation and Recreation were involved in the design, and extensive public outreach was incorporated into the planning.

The Lower Basin Barracks project was committed to sustainability and community well-being. The renovation received LEED Gold certification and includes features such as interior lighting, efficient all-electric HVAC systems, rainwater collection, and native planting. To improve resiliency, key infrastructure spaces were placed on the second floor and a bioretention area was incorporated. The redesign significantly increased parking space, reduced the number of parking spaces from 75 to 20, and encouraged public recreation.

The facility extends beyond its function as a police barracks to provide a new community meeting space, including public toilets. The project seamlessly carries the Esplanade character across the site and promotes a welcoming environment, whilst prioritising safe pedestrian and bicycle traffic and incorporating tinted glazing for sustainability and comfort.

: Copley Wolff Design Group, Inc.; Epsilon Associates, Inc.;

Finegold Alexander Architects; Kalin Associates; McPhail Associates;

RW Sullivan Engineering; RSE Associates; Samiotes Consultants Inc.;

STV Inc.; The Green Engineer

By Aurora