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History of Humphreys Street Studios:

On May 3, 2001, after a year of negotiations with the seller, four partners purchased the former Daloz Cleaners buildings in Dorchester, Massachusetts, with the intention of establishing a working community of artists and artisans. The six buildings are joined in two groups within a gated compound. The size of the property is 34,000 square feet, including a courtyard and a large back yard. The buildings contain approximately 26,000 square feet of rental space. The variety of work spaces for artists include a three story mill building, a two story brick building, a lofty cement block structure with rows of skylights, and three small brick or cement block structures at ground level. The oldest building is 100 years old, the newest 25 years old. The property had fallen into a sorrowful state of neglect in recent years, and had become a cause for concern to the neighborhood.

The buildings have been emptied, cleaned, redesigned, developed, and painted. The courtyard wall has been rebuilt and custom wrought iron grills have been placed over the ground level windows. A grand new fire escape has been installed. Three of the flat roofs have been resurfaced and new skylights have been installed. More than twenty-five thirty-yard dumpsters hauled piles of waste away. All asbestos on the property was removed. New doors, windows, and wonderful iron work has been added throughout the buildings, Security hardware has been installed. Repairs to the masonry is completed. Much of the labor has been in the form of “sweat equity” contributed by the partners and a group of artists and artisans with studios at HSS. New electrical service, including separate meters for each tenant, has been delivered to all buildings. Six new bathrooms were built. Beautiful, light filled, gas heated, fire alarmed studios were completed, where approximately 40 artists and artisans now have work studios in the complex. HSS maintains a waiting list of other artists who would like to rent studios.

Information about the HSS partners:

Joseph Wheelwright and Gneal Widett are the managing partners. They have studios in the buildings. Wheelwright is a sculptor who has exhibited regularly in Boston and New York for 20 years. He carves stones and boulders into human heads, and casts tree carvings into bronze personages. A year-long exhibition of his large works is currently on exhibit at the DeCordova Museum in Lincoln. Widett owns Artistic Sign Company. He personally carves the wooden signs which he designs with his wife, the gilder Janet Lomartire, also a resident. Their work, often with sculptural accents and gold leaf lettering, may be seen above shops and restaurants throughout metropolitan Boston.

Peter Haines and James Cooper are silent partners and HSS investors. Haines is a well-known bronze sculptor who, with Wheelwright, owns a small bronze foundry. James Cooper is the principle lawyer for HSS, with offices in the South End.

 

Humphreys Street Studios | 11 Humphreys Street | Boston | MA 02125 T. 617.825.2455 E: info@humphreysstreetstudios.com

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