Wentworth has long held a reputation for being a good neighbor in the City of Boston. This time, the university is assisting city staff to help revitalize a Roxbury property dating back to the 1870s.

The work at the Eliot Congregational Church grew out of Boston’s Community Preservation Act, which uses revenue from a 1 percent surcharge on property taxes to fund projects
that further historic preservation, parks and
open space, and affordable housing. While
other area churches have been converted into
condos in recent years, this project will allow
Eliot to maintain its foothold in the community.
“The goal is for Wentworth to serve as a
technical and design resource for nonprofit
organizations submitting proposals for funding
under the act,” says Chuck Hotchkiss, dean
of the College of Architecture, Design, and
Construction Management.
As a pilot project, Wentworth students in a
graduate architecture studio this fall have been
asked to work with the church to explore
design elements for various use on the
church property. This collaboration has since
broadened to include students, faculty,
and staff from several Wentworth programs.
Professor Michael Mozill and David Mareira,
executive-in-residence in the Business
Management program, for example, have
worked with Sam Knollmeyer, BSM ’18,
whose capstone project looked at possible
uses for a commercial kitchen located in
the church: as an incubator for food-based
start-up businesses, as a food preparation
site for food trucks, or as a vehicle for providing
meals to the affordable housing residents.
“[The building] needs love and care. And
that’s what Wentworth students are giving
it,” Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh said
in August. “They’re taking all the skills that
Wentworth teaches and using them to
help the community expand its vision and
take care of its own.”