Archives: October 2013
With the rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of H. H. Richardson’s Hayden Building now complete, we would like to share more of what we learned through our research and how we exhibited the building’s storied past.
We set out with the premise that not only were we rehabilitating this historically significant structure but we were also preserving the ideas and time periods that shaped it. We began the project with extensive research on the evolution of the neighborhood over the last 140 years and even traced the building’s commercial occupants as seen here.
The character of a place is established by the people that inhabit it regardless of the building, which for the Hayden Building shifted radically. Because the neighborhood centered on the production of textiles during the end of the 19th century, its occupants were mostly clothing and hat shops. After a mixture of businesses during the 20th century, the Hayden Building became a focal point of adult entertainment in the 1960’s as the neighborhood turned into the Combat Zone, Boston’s red-light district. On the edge of Chinatown and the Theater district, this Nationally Registered Historic Landmark was gutted by fire in 1985 and remained vacant until its reuse today.
We endeavored to create a symbiotic relationship between new and old, telling the visual story of past and present at the same time. Contrasting old worn elements with layers of new refined elements heightens the awareness of both. It is in these relationships that emerges the richness of place and understanding of time. HBI afforded us the opportunity to visually tell this social history of the Hayden Building within its common spaces combining traces of history with modern living.
Entry / Lobby
The Hayden Building defines the beginning of Richardson’s exploration of how Read More…