Many thanks to Senator Anthony Petruccelli and Rep. Jay Livingstone for introducing today S. 1966: An Act Enabling the Department of Conservation Management to lease real Property. This would allow the 1818 Powder Magazine to go under DCR’s Historic Curatorship Program, giving DCR the option of leasing out the structure to a “curator”/3rd party, in exchange for their converting it to its next use.
At the turn of the 20thth century, the Olmsted Brothers were hired to convert the Magazine—built to store gun powder—into a bathhouse for Charles River swimmers. Later, in the 1950ies, MDC converted the bathhouse into a garage/office. The stone block building has now sat derelict for decades. In 2014, though, with the help of the City of Cambridge and over 100 individual donors, DCR will stabilize the structure, giving it a new roof, windows, doors and security lighting. It is essential that a concession be lined up to activate the space to bring life to it before it becomes vandalized again. The Historic Curatorship Program will allow for this without expending State dollars. A lease/conversion option like this one, makes reactivating the Magazine and park a possibility, even in this tough economy. Thank you Olivia Fiske, Marge Amster, Gina Foote and Cathie Zusy for sharing testimony and to Renata von Tscharner and Marilyn Wellons for submitting letters of support. And we are so grateful to Sen. Petruccelli and Rep. Livingstone for their commitment to improvements at Magazine Beach. More as we know more….