Community People

Bob O’Brien to Retire as Executive Director of the Downtown North Association

The Downtown North Association confirmed today that Bob O’Brien will be retiring this summer as their Executive Director after twenty- five years in the post. The Downtown North Association is a not-for-profit coalition of all elements of the diverse and mixed-use West End community, which extends from City Hall Plaza to the Charles River, between the North End and Beacon Hill.

“The last quarter-century has been a period of great change, notable growth and major development throughout the West End community and in both the public and the private sectors,” noted DNA President Louise Fackert of Bay Cove Human Services.

“That has involved the start and finish of the CAT and MBTA North Station Improvements projects, which resulted in the removal of the elevated highway and transit viaducts that has so long divided and blighted our neighborhood; the continuing redevelopment of the historic Bulfinch Triangle as well as the area north of Causeway Street, the Nashua Street Quadrant, Charles River Park and the Government Center Garage; planning and development of a new Boston Garden, which has hosted the 2004 Democratic National Convention, Bruins and Celtics Championships and countless other national and regional events; a new Suffolk County Courthouse and the continuing redevelopment of our medical and academic campuses; ongoing reconstruction of the Longfellow Bridge and the Charles River Shoreline parkland system; and by no means least, the commitment to a new supermarket, a new public elementary school and replacement of the Leverett Circle pedestrian bridge.”

DNA Chairman Richard Bertman of CBT Architects emphasized that “All of these plans and projects have created a West End for the new 21st Century, based on a remarkable neighborhood that was virtually destroyed by urban renewal in the mid-20th Century. The Downtown North Association has been a participant in most of those undertakings and a leader in many. DNA has also been a model of communication and collaboration within the West End and throughout the downtown communities of Boston and Cambridge. For all of that the Association and the community, among others, are indebted in no small part to the contributions of Bob O’Brien. He will be missed.”

The process of replacing the DNA Executive Director will begin immediately and Bob will continue
to serve as a consultant to the organization and his successor for as long at that is requested and required.   For those who may be interested in this position, please contact DNA President Louise Fackert (, DNA Chairman Richard Bertman (, and/or Executive Director Bob O’Brien (

One Reply to “Bob O’Brien to Retire as Executive Director of the Downtown North Association

  1. I had the pleasure of working with Bob O’Brien at the North End Union. Bob was a professional and upbeat guy, always smiling. Enjoy your well deserved retirement, I am sure we will bump into you around Boston…

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