The first new Boston police station in a decade is now open after a series of delays, replacing the precinct’s hovel on one side of East Boston with a new structure on another side of the neighborhood in which the facilities gleam and the sun catches dangling art installations.
“This has been a long time in the making,” Mayor Michelle Wu said in a ceremony at the new A-7 station shortly before cutting the ribbon with some help from a little girl. “It is finally the space, the workplace, the atmosphere that our police officers to work in every single day.”
Police Commissioner Michael Cox, joining her in christening the new building, called it a “beautiful, beautiful facility” in which the public and police, coming together in areas such as the new community room next to the atrium, can “talk, discus, solve the issues and problems of Boston.”
The Herald wrote about this $30 million project a few weeks ago as the new station continued to sit quietly empty behind a fence a year and a half after its original end date for the blocky, burnt-orange structure at 300 E. Eagle St.
The project didn’t really go over budget, but the problem was less money than it was time for the first new station that the city’s commissioned in a decade. The most recent change order, from June 2022, lists the “final completion” date as Nov. 16, 2021 — yes, seven months earlier — though it extends the pact with J&J Contractors to Nov. 15, 2022. The original date for final completion was Sept. 13. 2021.
Boston Chief Operations Officer Dion Irish, at the ribbon cutting, acknowledged the delays and said, “There were some issues with soil and COVID did have an impact, as well as in the end some smoke control issues. I think we could have done a little more with communications to keep folks abreast, but I think we did the best we could to narrow the delays.”
The now-old station, opened back in 1968, is not the finest modern work place, as multiple people were quick to note.
State Rep. Adrian Madaro, who’s from essentially around the corner from the new digs, joked that the first time he met with the new captain he was struck by the stench of the entire second floor in “one of the most decrepit police stations in the city.”
City Councilor Gigi Coletta, also from the Eagle Hill area, in praising this new spot said the local police “deserve a home free black mold or impending ceiling collapse.”
Now, though, it’s open, with a sunny atrium with huge windows and a community room meant to further integrate the station into the community, an idea both the police brass and community members who spoke said they took great pride in. An assortment of art hangs on the walls and from the ceiling, all courtesy of local artist Monika Bravo who regaled the Herald with the thought processes behind it.
On the walls there’s mosaics showing stylized bits and pieces of Eastie and the islands that made up the area before landfill turned it into a peninsula.
“Change your perspective and change your point of view,” Bravo said, not just talking about the art.