In early fall of 2005, Urban Edge and Boston Neighborhood Network (BNN) entered into a partnership and purchased a former MBTA electrical substation. The planned gut-rehab will house BNN’s new, consolidated production facilities and administrative offices. For the past 20 years, BNN has been celebrating technology by and for the people of Boston’s neighborhoods. As a nationally recognized public access media arts center, BNN provides training and access to emerging communications technologies to Boston’s neighborhoods and operates Boston’s Public Access Channels, studio and edit facilities, and a multi-media lab.
Located in the heart of Roxbury’s Egleston Square, immediately adjacent Urban Edge’s Egleston Crossing, the former substation was built in 1909 to convert power for the elevated trolley line until the elevated transit line was relocated in 1986. Since that time, the substation has remained one of Egleston Square’s most prominent vacant and underutilized properties.
Resembling a large Italian basilica, the existing building includes one large single-story main hall with a basement and a two-story side wing.