BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Musicians who use the Sound Museum Rehearsal Complex in Allston are getting a new swing space in Dorchester following the building's closure at the end of the month, the City of Boston announced Wednesday.
The Sound Museum at 115 North Beacon St. provided local musicians with practice, storage, and recording space for more than 30 years. In 2021, the building was bought by developer IQHQ, which plans to demolish it to make way for a new life sciences building. Tenants were notified in mid-December that they must vacate the building by the end of January.
Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, along with the #ARTSTAYSHERE Coalition, announced Wednesday that they have secured an interim rehearsal space at 55 Morrissey Blvd. in Dorchester, the former Beasley Media Group building that is now owned by Center Court Mass. LLC. Displaced artists will be able to move into the new space starting in March and use it for up to two years, while a permanent home is built in Brighton.
Using an independent committee review process, the #ARTSTAYSHERE Coalition, which seeks to prevent arts and cultural displacement in the Greater Boston area, selected nonprofit music recording/rehearsal outfit The Record Co. as the interim operator of the new site.
"Vibrant artist communities are a necessary part of what makes Boston a dynamic, welcoming city," said Mayor Michelle Wu. "I’m grateful to the #ARTSTAYSHERE Coalition, Center Court Mass. LLC, and the Record Co. for reaching an agreement to preserve this community of music-makers. The City is working with IQHQ and the Sound Museum to ensure that space for recording artists is available until the new site is ready, and we’re excited to help secure a permanent new home for this community in Allston Brighton."
Ethan Dussault, of the #ARTSTAYSHERE Coalition, spoke with WBZ NewsRadio about the transition and the reactions from musicians.
"Unfortunately, in these types of spaces, there can be a lack of organization, so I think the message has been confusing for a long time, and it's been very difficult to reach all of the musicians who are being affected by this," Dussault said. "But the ones we do reach are elated. They are very happy to know that there will be a seamless transition to the space in Dorchester, for those that can take advantage of it, and that's most of them. Not everybody will be, unfortunately. It's just not the right part of town, or maybe they've already found a new space or what have you, but it's a positive response overall."
According to City officials, the Dorchester space will offer over 80 rehearsal rooms at an affordable rental rate, include free parking for musicians, and is easily accessible via public transportation at the MBTA’s Red Line JFK UMass station.
Despite the elation over securing a new home for musicians in the Boston area, the loss of the Sound Museum still hits hard.
"It's been like one of the few regular things in my life in Boston, because it feels like Boston, just everything is constantly changing," musician Olivia W-B of the band Rong told WBZ.
"A lot of amazing stuff was done inside that building," said Dussault. "A lot of great bands have been through there. There are a lot of stories in there. It is music history for Boston and it is devastating when buildings like this go away. Unfortunately, it's not the first one. There's been a history of these buildings going away, and each time it's devastating to the individual in terms of severely inhibiting their expression, their relationships that they've built with the community around them and the people in their bands. Yeah, it's a very sad thing when these things go away."
Musicians can apply for a room at the Dorchester space here.