News & Updates

Mayor Walsh Announces the Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building

Jul 31, 2014

Dudley Square’s Ferdinand Building to be renamed for life-long advocate of Roxbury community

Ferdinand-corner_20120827_reduced-(2).jpgMayor Martin J. Walsh announced that the Ferdinand Building will be renamed the Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building. Bolling was a staunch supporter of equal access to jobs and housing as a City Councilor and fought to bring economic development and investment to Roxbury. The naming will be official following a vote by the Public Facilities Commission, which may take place as early as August 6.

“Councilor Bolling never stopped fighting for Boston’s neighborhoods, especially Roxbury, holding that community together at a time of great division,” said Mayor Walsh. “A remarkable civic leader, he dreamed big for diversity and for narrowing Boston’s economic and racial divides, and working together to achieve a common goal. I’m proud to honor his legacy through this centerpiece of the City of Boston’s Dudley Square revitalization efforts.”

About Bruce C. Bolling

Bruce C. Bolling was elected to the Boston City Council in 1981 and was elected Boston’s first African-­American president of the City Council in 1986. During his 12 years on the Council, Bolling advocated for economic opportunities for women, people of color, and small business owners, and was a champion of the LGBT community. He was a forward-thinking and consensus-building leader whose work on diversity, economic development, and workforce equity continue to have an impact today.  

Among Bolling’s many policy accomplishments was the establishment of the Boston Jobs for Boston Residents policy, mandating that city residents receive 50% of jobs created by city funds, with 25% of the jobs earmarked for minorities, and 10% for women. Bolling’s work also led to the establishment of the Boston Fair Housing Commission, a city commission that addresses discriminatory housing practices.

Bolling advocated for development policies to grow affordable housing and lead to neighborhood investment. He developed the Boston Linkage Policy, which requires that downtown developers also contribute to development in Boston’s neighborhoods, guaranteeing that downtown investment generates positive impacts for the rest of the city. He also established the Neighborhood Housing Trust Fund, which contributes to the development of affordable housing across the city.

After leaving City Council, Bolling helped to create the Massachusetts Alliance for Small Contractors, and served as Executive Director until 2011.Bolling came from a family of elected officials, including his father who served as a state senator and his brother who served as a state representative.Bolling died in 2012.

About the Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building

The Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building is slated to open in winter 2015, and incorporates the Ferdinand Furniture Building, the Curtis Block and the Waterman & Sons building, into a new state of the art facility. The six-story building will house an estimated 500 municipal employees from Boston Public Schools and feature office space, as well as open space for student work, school events, and community gatherings. The building will also include 18,000 square feet of street-level space for business or nonprofit use, and more than 4,000 square feet for innovation uses on the second floor.

The City of Boston, the Property and Construction Management Department, and the Boston Redevelopment Authority have been working collaboratively to develop this project in collaboration with the local community and historic preservationists.

The City of Boston’s $115 million investment in the Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building has spurred private investment across Dudley Square. Development projects underway include a new home for Tropical Foods on Melnea Cass Boulevard and new housing on Dudley Street. There is more than $200 million in approved development in the pipeline around Dudley Square including housing, hotel, retail, and office space.

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