The Saint Polycarp Village site was formerly owned by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston and was used by the St. Polycarp Parish until 2002. SCC purchased the 3.5 acre property in March 2006 to revitalize this neglected and underutilized parcel of land at a key entrance point into Somerville.
Somerville Community Corporation
Davis Square Architects
Project received the following awards:
HUD Doorknocker Award for Achieving Sustainable Housing • US Green Building Council “Innovation in Green Design”, Honorable Mention • EcoHome Design Magazine Merit Award for Sustainability • Boston Society for Architects Design Award
The site and area had been underutilized and neglected since the Church closing. The site represented a unique development opportunity to create a mixed-use urban environment, and to connect this area along Butler Way with the Winter Hill neighborhood.
The challenge was to phase the project, achieve the necessary funding, design and construct the 3 phases while beginning to occupy, and to ensure the projects were viable, affordable, and energy-efficient.
Two historic stone buildings still occupied the site: the Church and the Rectory. The intent was to repurpose these now-defunct buildings for occupancy, while maintaining them on the site to preserve the historic character.
Designed by Davis Square Architects of Somerville, Curtis Construction was hired to work with the team to develop the site as high-quality housing with opportunities for landscaped open green space—to create more of a protected campus setting in this previously concrete maze which runs parallel to the elevated highway.
The project features a total of 84 apartments of various types of affordable housing in an area where rental costs are rapidly increasing in response to the popularity of Somerville as a community with good public transportation and proximity to Boston and Cambridge.
Incorporating solar photovoltaic panels, a vegetated roof, triple-paned windows, spray-foam insulation, and many other environmentally sound features, the buildings are a welcome addition to the neighborhood.