Why Friends of the Boston Seaport?
There are so many amazing things about the Boston Seaport - the thriving art culture, lively restaurants, bars and cafes, breweries lining the axis of the Seaport, District Hall, the Massachusetts Fallen Heroes memorial, Boston Harbor access, incredible views of the Harbor and downtown Boston, the spectacular Harborwalk, green spaces and parks, hotels and high-end condos, new businesses and buildings and public spaces keep coming, and it goes on and on. Does anyone remember what it used to be like? Okay! The transformation is nothing short of astounding.
How did this happen? How did a post-industrial swath of landfill, mostly abandoned for parking lots become one of Boston's hottest neighborhoods? It's a long, fascinating story, with a lot of different organizations, public and private playing big roles. But for now, let's focus on the businesses and start with some of the originals that have managed to thrive through the modern era.
Harpoon Brewery started with the dream of three college buddies and Brewing Permit #001 issued in 1986 by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. And has it grown! Outgrowing the brewing capacity in the original Seaport facility, Harpoon expanded into in Windsor, VT by purchasing the former Catamount Brewery in 2000. Not just about the beer, Harpoon has continuously sponsored events, from the first Octoberfest at the brewery in 1990, to four different festivals that run every year. And the charitable arm, Harpoon Helps, now runs four different events per year as well, including the Harpoon 5-Miler and the Harpoon Flannel 5K. Okay, a word about the beer. They introduced one of the first IPAs to New England - Harpoon IPA - in 1993. It quickly became their flagship beer and truly made Harpoon into the uber successful, employee owned brewery that it is today! Definitely go check out their website to see the incredible variety of beer they produce and of course, as they say, love beer, love life!
The Barking Crab is one of many awesome restaurants with a phenomenal bar scene in the Seaport area. However, it's one of only two with an attached marina! It's been around for a while too. It started life in 1994 as an outdoor restaurant open in the warm summer months right on Fort Point Channel. Sooo successful, it expanded into the Neptune Lobster and Seafood Market next door at 88 Sleeper Street to become the favorite seafood shack in the area (and maybe the world!) for both tourists and locals. The food is amazing, the bar scene is amazing, the views of downtown Boston are amazing. In a word, the place is amazing! What are you waiting for? Get down there and enjoy yourself! One last point: technically, the Barking Crab is part of Fort Point they say, but check out the boundaries of the Seaport District in Google maps. Just sayin 🦀 🦀 🦀
In 2005 the Fallon Company transformed what had been essentially parking lots right on the Boston Harbor into the truly amazing buildings we see on Fan Pier today. From the initial building at One Marina Park Drive, and the two Vertex Towers, to the luxury condos at 50 Liberty Drive and 22 Liberty Drive and the new Mass Mutual building under construction, the Fallon Company (and Mass Mutual) have created some really awesome buildings to match unparalleled views. And the public parks created (award winning) are quite fabulous! Of course don't forget Fan Pier Marina, a destination for boats of all types, including luxury yachts and tall ships from around the world. Fallon has sponsored some amazing events over the years right on the harbor - Red Bull Cliff Diving off the ICA (not kidding!), Extreme Sailing Series, Volvo Ocean Race, Tall Ships in 2017, and the New England Warrior Benefit with a first-ever Blue Angels demonstration over Boston Harbor, and more. Let's do some of these again! The vision of Joe Fallon and the Fallon Company to see what was possible and make it happen created serious momentum that is still playing out in the Seaport today.
The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston has over 80 years of history in Boston. Its influence and impact in the art world and contemporary culture has been enormous. Edvard Munch, Andy Warhol, Laurie Anderson and many others were introduced to U.S. audiences by the ICA. And since 2006, it's been located on the Boston Harbor in the Seaport. The building, designed by architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro, is itself is a work of art! The ICA has lots of programming and so many events, including some on their gorgeous 3500-square-foot outdoor plaza during the warmer months. You should check out its website and calendar for details. And please consider becoming a member to support this jewel of the Boston art world. Of course, it should be mentioned, the current Yayoi Kusama: Love is Calling exhibit is a must see!
One of the big movers and shakers in the Seaport these days is WS Development. They transformed the parking lots at Fort Point's north and east boundaries into gleaming buildings and restaurants, and retail shops, and hotels, and, and, and! Let's just say, WS has been a huge engine of the Seaport's transformation for at least 10 years and counting. Their highly successful community building and event sponsoring arm @seaportbos is very active especially in the section of the Seaport between Northern Ave and Seaport Blvd (so far!). A comprehensive list of everything they do is way beyond the scope of this post, so please check out their website for all the info and a calendar of events. The Okuda San Miguel Air Sea Land sculptures along the center of Seaport Blvd they sponsored are a fabulous addition to the art culture of the Seaport. If you haven't seen them yet, it's probably time! Check out this this very cool animated aerial tour that overviews and sweeps in to see the details of the whole WS plan for the Seaport. Some details have evolved since that was created, but definitely worth a look. Much more is coming!
It's a very interesting moment in the history of the Boston Seaport. With the density of businesses, buildings, people, and opportunities for culture and fun these days, the Seaport seems to have reached a critical mass. Our vision is to foster collaborations within the neighborhood community and develop events that span across the Seaport. And always with charitable causes a central mission. Think about the possibilities! We are for sure.
If you want to help, please get in touch with us, we're always looking for more Friends of the Boston Seaport!