Curley Community CenterSouth Boston, MA

The Curley Community Center hosts a wide range of recreation activities and community events for the neighborhood of South Boston, and surrounding communities. designLAB is working closely with the City of Boston Public Facilities Department to complete a full interior renovation of the building, so that it will better support contemporary user groups and needs. The building also supports staff space for the Boston Centers for Youth and Families, and various other community groups.

In addition to fixture and equipment upgrades throughout the 50,000 SF, quarter mile-long seaside structure, the renovations include new HVAC systems, lighting, and plumbing. Because the Curley Center is located within the floodplain, the team is working to develop dry-proofing methods that will protect the historic building in anticipation of sea-level rise. Resiliency efforts include waterproofing the slab and walls; abandoning and sealing the existing basement; installing doors with removable flood barriers; and moving critical mechanical and electric equipment to the upper levels.

Built in the 1920s, the historic building is central to the urban fabric of South Boston. Purpose-built as a bathhouse by Mayor James Michael Curley, the Curley Center has been a locus of activity for nearly a century. Today, the center hosts a wide range of programs, from fitness classes, to summer campus, to daily senior lunches, and year-round beach access, along with traditions such as the L Street Brownies’ New Year’s Day Plunge. The re-imagined Curley Center will continue to support these programs for its ever-growing community, while also tackling issues of transparency, accessibility, safety, equity, and resiliency. This project is targeting LEED Gold.