OFFICER Magazine awarded a Gold Medal to the new Massachusetts State Police Lower Basin Barracks in the publication’s fourth annual Station Design Awards. The honor for the new station, which houses the State Police-Boston Barracks, was announced in the magazine’s November/December 2023 edition.
The new barracks, which sits at the edge of the Charles River Esplanade and has jurisdiction of one the MSP’s busiest patrol areas, won the top honor in the Facilities III category, for new stations with square footage of less than 25,000. The project, led by the MSP Facilities Section, the state Division of Capital Asset Management, Finegold Alexander Architects, and general contractor Daniel O’Connell’s Sons, married a newly constructed modern police building with the existing historic façade of the old barracks building.
“The renovation and addition to the historic 1908 Lower Basin Barracks for the Massachusetts State Police (MSP) revitalized an undersized facility that had been in significant disrepair,” OFFICER noted. “Through the historic preservation of and new addition to the Charles River Basin Lower Locks Gatehouse Building, the team modernized the existing structure and created much-needed additional space to accommodate MSP’s H Troop consolidation and closure of Upper Basin Barracks.”
The new barracks is the base of operations for Troopers assigned to State Police-Boston, including those formerly assigned to the old State Police-Brighton Barracks. The two barracks were consolidated as construction of the new station began in 2019. The new building sits on the site that was occupied by the old Boston Barracks, and before that, a Metropolitan District Police station. The Barracks is adjoined to the historic gatehouse that controls the locks between the adjacent Charles River and the entrance to Boston Harbor.
Among the new building’s many highlights are its sustainable and community-oriented features.
“The new double-station facility right-sizes the barracks and creates a site that is welcoming and accessible to the public,” the magazine said. “The thoughtful site design maximizes parkland for public recreation; integrates safe pedestrian and bicycle circulation throughout; maintains access along the water’s edge; and provides uninterrupted views of the Charles River. The project clearly delineates restricted access areas from public open space. The new conference space is available for use by local community groups, improving public engagement. With the goal of minimizing the building’s carbon footprint, the design features an all-electric HVAC system.”
The new 19,700 square foot barracks opened in spring 2023. At the formal opening of the new facility, State Police Colonel John E. Mawn Jr. expressed gratitude for “the support of Governor Healey and her administration and embrace her priorities by committing our Department to be good stewards of the environment.”
"A project like this one does not come to fruition without tremendous efforts of many people, and we are grateful to all of them, from Finegold Alexander Architects to general contractor Daniel O’Connell’s Sons and the numerous subcontractors, to the support provided by the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security and the Division of Capital Asset Management,” Colonel Mawn said to officials and partners gathered for the official opening.
Colonel Mawn also noted that the community room in the new barracks is named for retired Trooper David Green, who lost his life when he confronted a rampaging gunman in his hometown of Winthrop in the summer of 2021. Trooper Green spent a large portion of his career at the State Police-Boston Barracks.
"Trooper David Green, though retired, still felt a sense of duty and lived by a code that demanded he investigate whether what he was hearing outside was a threat to his neighbors and his community," Colonel Mawn said. "He died a hero, a protector, still answering the call to serve others. For that reason, we are naming the conference and community room in this Barracks in his memory. May he continue to always to watch over and protect those Troopers assigned here who carry on his mission to serve others.”
A leading national policing-focused publication, OFFICER covers leadership issues, technology, training, career development, facilities, vehicles, equipment and gear, and specialized skills and disciplines within the law enforcement field.