Community Featured

Reader Poll: What Should Be the Future Usage of the Nazzaro Center Building?

The Boston Architectural College (BAC) has been conducting a study of the potential future usage for the Nazzaro Center building, located at 30 N. Bennet St. in the North End. Students from the class presented the second phase of their project at a community meeting at the end of February, citing four stakeholders who hope to use the building.

The BAC study is independent of the City’s process for the new North End community center, and the reuse of the Nazzaro building. Results will be submitted to the City as suggestions. Watch a video of the BAC’s initial study presentation here.

At the recent meeting, the four interested parties discussed were the North End Music & Performing Arts Center (NEMPAC), the ABCD Service Center, the Eliot School, and the North End Waterfront Health Center.

NEMPAC is seeking music and performing arts space, while ABCD is looking to not only continue its role in providing meals to seniors, but also access to resources and socialization. After-school activities that may present potential cross-collaboration opportunities are part of the Eliot School’s ask, while the health center is primarily focused on opening a wellness center with services from acupuncture to nutritional workshops.

Editor’s Note: It was clarified after publication that the North End Waterfront Health Center is proposing a senior wellness center, only available for seniors.

Which do you think would the best use of the building? Or do you think it should be used for something different? Vote in our poll and add your comments in the section below!

Web polls are unscientific and reflect only those who choose to participate. polls do not have any official significance and are only intended for the interest of our readers.

16 Replies to “Reader Poll: What Should Be the Future Usage of the Nazzaro Center Building?

  1. All of these uses sound like good ones. Could the building accommodate more than one use? Also how about keeping the services that are there now in place for the neighborhood? I hope this building, which is very important to the North End’s history be preserved and made even better.

    1. I agree with Adam that all of these uses sound like good ones, but I was only able to vote for one in the reader poll.

    2. I must agree with Adam. Can we put a “Community Center” here also. I heard the new Nazarro will be down the pool. That is quite a walk for some of us people that are older. How about an indoor pool, like a Boys and Girls Club or a YMCA?

  2. I agree with Adam C. in that all of these uses sound like good ones, and hopefully the building can accommodate more than one. Let’s keep this central North End property vibrant for as many of our neighbors as possible.

  3. NEMPAC does a wonderful job and is an asset to the Northend but how many neighborhood buildings do they have to take over? The Eliot School has three buildings and the new Nazzaro Center will offer after school programs. A senior center that offers more activities including exercise classes and equipment, other classes and groups of interest) as other Boston neighborhoods have for their seniors. Combining this with an affordable child daycare center ( with maybe some joint activities for the seniors and the daycare center ) and community meeting space sounds good to me.

    1. Joyce S ~ I think there is alot of senior programs offered to the elders and I also believe there are plenty of after school programs for school age children. What I haven’t seen are things for 50something and older. These seem to be the people that have nothing to do in our neighborhood. They’re not elderly and they’re not you.
      With 3 Eliot School buildings maybe there could be added after school programs offered in a couple of these buildings, which I’m sure they already have them.
      I know that I am wasting my time with what I have to say cuz the City already knows what they are doing with this building.
      Look at the Knights of Columbus…….
      ~Just sayin!

    2. Joyce, NEMPACs total square footage of space in Fall 2020 will be 1,586 sq ft. Serving over 1,400 youth & adults per week, and wait lists growing by season, this is not enough. We hope to fulfill the community need for public arts space and also happy to continue partnering with our neighbors.

  4. We can certainly use the space for the north end waterfront health center for sure. There is always a need for medical.

  5. Many of us remember the Nazzaro Center as the “bath house” Many of the cold water flats as they were called had no showers , in fact many of the buildings had one bathroom on each floor that was shared by every family who lived on that floor. The Nazzaro Center is a piece of North End history . The health & wellness center & the services for seniors would be my choices.

  6. I agree with Joyce. NEMPAC is for sure an asset, but every time there is a new open building, they come out saying how they are entitled to it. A health and wellness center would benefit everyone!

  7. I serve on the Board of Directors at North End Waterfront Health and I am very excited about the opportunity to seek expansion of our programming and create a senior wellness center in the North End. While we are in very early stages, it is an idea that the board and staff of NEW Health look forward to discussing with our neighbors. Jason

  8. Building should benefit the entire community. I like the idea of a wellness center, not solely dedicated to seniors.

  9. What exactly is a wellness center, a place for yoga classes, no alcohol and no smoking?

  10. I vote for a wellness center.

    I have nothing against NEMPAC because I think they do a wonderful job but when was the last time they offered any free classes to our kids???
    Again, they are nice enough people but they shouldn’t be given the property when they haven’t really shown that in the past.

  11. Absolutely agree that the Nazzaro Building could serve multiple community uses in the North End once the new North End community center is constructed. Different portions of the building could be used at different times of the week and day for different functions. For example only, a wellness center could be accommodated on the lower floors with a public use space and auditorium on the upper floor, where the gym space is now. Wellness uses could occur during the day, with public and community functions (like meetings) occurring at night and on the weekends. A large public use space could even be rented for weddings and other events. Senior uses should certainly be emphasized in this area central to the North End. And all of this without changing the building exterior. Community input is vital as the City moves forward in its planning processes.

  12. Thank you everyone for your comments regarding the future use of the Nazzaro after the new Community Center is built. I am President of the Board of Directors of NEMPAC. Both NEMPAC and New Health are non-profit organizations serving the North End and the City of Boston, and both are located in a George Robert Wright Foundation building, NEW Health on Hanover Street (front portion of the building) and NEMPAC in a 560 sq. ft. building on the Prado. Our organizations benefit the North End and surrounding neighborhoods. I have spoken at various neighborhood meetings and clearly stated that if NEMPAC was awarded the Nazzaro through the public bid process, we definitely want to keep the first floor for a Senior Center. Intergenerational programs with children and seniors are a benefit to both age groups. Our primary desire is to have a performance floor (where the gym presently is) for the neighborhood, namely large school and civic meetings, NEMPAC and other arts organizations performances, dance recitals and many other uses. NEMPAC currently rents Faneuil Hall for their Opera in June and the Messiah in December. The second floor of Nazzaro could be for music studios. Yes, the City did award NEMPAC Tileston Street building, built in 1759. It has 3 floors and about 2,000 SF, and will require about $375,000 for interior construction to install bathrooms and soundproof music studios. NEMPAC must raise funds for that remodel. We are grateful to the City of Boston and the George Robert White Foundation for leasing us their buildings.
    It’s difficult to know what is the best use for Nazzaro until NEMPAC and NEW Health tell you what they plan to do with the building. Will their health services have fees, as our music instruction has? NEMPAC wants what is best for our neighborhood and for the residents of the North End. We look forward to a community meeting to discuss the future of Nazzaro and to answer any questions you may have. Thank you.

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