The Ropewalk Building: A Case Study in Historic Preservation
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CitationCosgriff, Eileen. 2018. The Ropewalk Building: A Case Study in Historic Preservation. Master's thesis, Harvard Extension School.
AbstractAs part of the revitalized Boston Naval Shipyard, now known as the Charlestown Navy Yard, the Ropewalk Building has sat vacant since the base closed in 1974. The building is a significant historic structure, as demonstrated through various National Park Service, state and local recognitions. Yet renovations for reuse are in the planning stages. Why is this building vacant in an affluent neighborhood and what caused its renovation delays now that 24 years have passed since the base closed? Delays in renovating point to power struggles within the federal and local governments, inadvertent destructive action taken by the Department of Defense prior to base closure and separately by actions taken by the Boston Redevelopment Authority after closure, and delays in generating the foundational requirements for materials management. Other burdens have contributed that any redeveloper would be tasked with including: creating a reuse design for a uniquely shaped structure, managing a design to the preservation specifications, the administration required to manage the application process, and the depth of available capital for sufficient financing. With a redevelopment project in process, perhaps other options that would benefit the public, and conveyed a more comprehensive story of the building’s operations, could have been considered for reuse if the custodian solely focused on obligations to maintain the City's historic integrity, and not generating revenue.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37365419