VISIT THE EAST EAGLE STREET SITE HERE
338 East Eagle Street is a site in East Boston where Eversource is trying to build an electrical substation. Inherent in this research project, was the fundamental question of, to build or not to build? Spending a year studying how a public parcel went private, made clear that proposing an alternative without proper community input simply continues systemic injustices of the built environment.
Architecture can act as a public resource. This belief led to the creation of a custom-coded digital space. This space, The East Eagle Street Site, would be an educational place to gain expertise about this specific substation, learn about those responsible, in order to make the best informed next action for themselves. This was an attempt to propose an “architecture” that didn’t consumer physical resources from the ground where it dwells on.
The Chelsea Creek substation is emblematic of dangerous environmental injustices that marginalized communities have had to bear the burden of. East Boston is a neighborhood that is rich in its large latinx demographic and abundance of multigenerational families. It also feels the weight of a world’s worth of infrastructure, from the airport, to an active industrial waterfront, to jet fuel storage, and constant pollution from the runway and highway that dominate the landscape. Why put the power station in a flood plane, next to precious and well-used park, next to gallons of gasoline?
Observing closely throughout multiple interviews, urban analyses, literary research, first and second-hand storytelling, canvassing, and social media scanning, it became clear that a state entity, the Energy Facilities Siting Board, was largely responsible for steamrolling “public” energy projects without any clear community outreach processes in place. The East Eagle Street Site lays out the people involved, the history, my actions, and the goals I hoped to achieve. Also included were guidelines for how to make a future that feels good for everyone. Emphasis placed on wealth distribution in public spaces, maintenance and reinvestments to ensure long-lasting public resources, and methods to amplify typically underrepreseted histories in the design process.