Thursday, July 28, 2011

Lenox Building Shines in Fields Corner



The art deco details of the Lenox Building in Fields Corner literally sparkle these days now that work is largely complete on a rehabilitation project carried out by the Cappelletti family with the help of HBI, Fields Corner Main Street (FCMS), and the City of Boston.

The work of polishing this diamond in the rough included a thorough cleaning of the 1920 building’s brick and cast stone façade combined with the restoration of its original sign band (now evenly lit by attractive and high-tech fixtures), the removal of unattractive solid metal security grates, and the total reconstruction of the corner retail space’s storefront window systems.

Yet to come are colorful flat and blade signs for existing tenants that will make the façade look even livelier.

Colorful signs for tenants are coming later.

This rehab project was identified as a neighborhood priority in HBI’s 2008 Historic Neighborhood Centers district work plan for Fields Corner, and HBI has been pleased to work closely with Linda and Jerry Quin—members of the Cappelletti Family Trust, which owns the building—to bring this to fruition.

“The Lenox Building project is exactly the type of project we look for,” said FCMS’s Evelyn Darling. “Willing and committed owners, a high-profile building in need of renovation, and a project scope that is manageable.”

The Cappelletti family, HBI’s Jeff Gonyeau, and Evelyn Darling worked with architect Derek Rubinoff to design improvements that were sympathetic to the structure’s playful art deco architectural details. For example, the muntins of the new corner storefront glass as well as the number and placement of the new sign band lighting echo the rhythm of the second floor windows and the cast stone flourishes of the parapet.


“The result,” noted Evelyn Darling, “is much more than we hoped or anticipated. The project has restored an architectural gem of a building and created a highly desirable corner storefront for new retail.”

Contractor Kevin Piccinin of K&B Contracting—who also recently completed the Golden Building façade rehabilitation just a block down Dorchester Avenue—did another fine job on this project.
 “We think we have mastered the art of working on busy Dot. Ave.,” said Piccinin.

The $100,000 total investment was supported in part by grants from the City of Boston’s ReStore Program, which awards matching grants to building and business owners who improve their storefronts and signage.

2,300 square feet of new, prime retail space are soon to be available for rent at the Lenox Building. The Cappellettis are optimistic that this desirable corner location will attract an exciting new business to Fields Corner, demonstrating the economic impact of preservation-focused building improvements.


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