Boston Artist District Battles Gentrification

Boston's Fort Point Channel neighborhood, New England's largest artist community, is struggling to retain its identity as developers continue to transform studio space into condominiums.

"The ghosts of Fort Point have come to rest on A Street, lashed to a chain-link fence in the shadow of the hulking brick-and-timber warehouses. They are windows from the Boston Wharf buildings down the street, wooden frames and ancient glass that workers ripped out as they began to transform the 100-year-old behemoths into modern offices.

A group of Fort Point artists took 25 of the worn windows and painted, etched, hammered, glued and sprayed them, and many of the resulting pieces mourn the exodus of artists from the neighborhood. It was the latest salvo from a group of artists who have often used their work to protest the loss of hundreds of studios in the old Fort Point warehouses.

'They're marketing the neighborhood as a place where there's a funky, thriving arts community,' said Michael J. Tyrrell, an architect, artist, and one of the organizers of the "Windows onto Fort Point" project that recently went on display and will soon move inside the lobby of Midway Studios. 'Yet they're not being as aggressive as they need to be to create strategies that maintain this community.'"

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