Substation Restaurant

Roslindale, MA


Peregrine Urban Initiatives, Historic Boston, Inc., Roslindale Village Main Streets, Chris Douglass


Adaptive reuse of historic MBTA Substation for 4,000 SF restaurant and 4,000 SF of retail, office & restaurant support space below


The community of Roslindale had long sought a financially viable way to preserve and retain Roslindale’s historic substation, situated at the heart of the town’s business district across from busy Adams Park. After several attempts at development by the Town, PCA was selected by Peregrine Urban Initiative to find a solution, working with Roslindale Village Main Streets and Historic Boston to knit together old and new.


PCA’s solution completes this last edge of the town “square”, reinventing the substation as a restaurant and introducing new 43-unit residential building that wraps around the station. The new residences both create 24/7 activity and help to subsidize the costs of renovations to the older building.

The design makes full use of the dramatic 34-foot height and industrial nature of the substation. The once dark cavernous space received new historically appropriate windows, casting light into the large main space with its imposing gantry crane and steel frame structure. Future insertion of a window into the large arched historic opening framed by massive copper-clad doors will open views into the activity within as well as allow views over the Village green from inside.

Steel, glazed white brick and exposed raw brick create zones within the space, ready for fit-out for a permanent new tenant. Craft Beer Cellar has moved into the lower level, with the main space currently in use as a pop-up space for restaurateurs and a range of seasonal programming.