Community members, public officials and members of the Haffenreffer family gathered at JP's Brewery complex Thursday afternoon to celebrate the restoration of a historic chimney to its former glory.
In December, metal scaffolding bearing the letters “Haf” was craned into place atop the towering chimney at the Brewery complex on Amory Street, completing the original Haffenreffer signage. The public art project was the longtime brainchild Jamaica Plain artist Robert Maloney and was aimed at restoring the chimney to its full height for the first time in 30 years, since the top of the chimney was removed for safety reasons. The project came to fruition after four years of planning and funding from the George B. Henderson Foundation.
"The concept for the Haffenreffer Chimney Restoration Project began as a pursuit to integrate my art into the context of the environment," Maloney said in a press release. "Living 200 yards from the historic brewery for nearly 20 years, I wanted to create a solution to repair the chimney signage as a way to honor the history of the buildings, while also transforming the structure in a simple way, into the 21st century. A recurring theme in my work has been finding ways to represent the passage of time as it leaves its marks on the urban landscape. This project speaks to that intent, in my own neighborhood, just steps from my home."
The Haffenreffer Brewery was founded by Rudolph Frederick Haffenreffer, a German immigrant who arrived in Boston after the Civil War. The brewery closed in 1965, having survived Prohibition and operating for nearly a century. The five-acre complex is included on the National Register of Historic Places, and was redeveloped by the nonprofit Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation (JPNDC), which owns and operates it today and reinvests rental income in programs to support local entrepreneurs and help low-income families achieve financial security.
"Our commitment over nearly 40 years has been to revive this historic complex as a job creator and community gathering place," said JPNDC Executive Director Richard Thal. "Putting the 'Haf' back on the smokestack feels like the right way to respect the Haffenreffer family that invested in this community 150 years ago."
Below are photos from Thursday's ceremony, hosted by the JPNDC and attended by several public officials, including Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, who made a city proclamation declaring Thursday "Haffenreffer Brewers Day" to celebrate the unveiling:
— Mayor Marty Walsh (@marty_walsh) March 2, 2017
— Gioia Perugini (@gperj) March 2, 2017
— Liz Malia (@replizmalia) March 2, 2017
— JPNDC (@JP_NDC) March 2, 2017