Appalachian Mountain Club Makes Move to Charlestown

The Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) has officially moved into its new organizational headquarters at 10 City Square, positioning the outdoor recreation and conservation nonprofit to better support its staff, cultivate expanded community connections, and achieve its long-term growth and mission objectives.

The company has also secured a space on Spice Street in Sullivan Square to store outdoor equipment and run training programs.

All of that and more was detailed in a presentation last week, Oct. 2, to the Friends of City Square Park at their annual meeting. AMC said they look forward to be part of the Friends and the community, and added that locating on City Square Park was part of what attracted them to Charlestown. AMC has been involved in Charlestown for decades, running programs on outdoor training with the Boys & Girls Club.

Last year, after almost a century at its Beacon Hill headquarters, AMC sold its Joy Street buildings and subsequently purchased the City Square property, which has been undergoing renovations in preparation for the move.

“The Appalachian Mountain Club’s new Charlestown headquarters presents incredible potential to expand on the organization’s enduring legacy of connecting people with the outdoors and conservation stewardship,” said John Judge, president and CEO of AMC. “As we look ahead to AMC’s next 100 years, our aspiration is to create an outdoor hub here that fosters local, urban connections to Boston open space and beyond through programming, training, access, information, and gear, while working alongside partners and organizations with similar missions.”

Centrally located across the Charles River from North Station, in proximity to both subway and bus transportation, AMC’s new headquarters is located on Boston’s iconic Freedom Trail surrounded by an array of revitalized urban open spaces, including adjacent City Square Park and John Harvard Mall, Paul Revere Park, and the Boston National Historical Park.

In addition to the City Square location, AMC has established an adjunct training and outdoor equipment center in Charlestown at 6 Spice St., adjacent to the Sullivan Square MBTA station. The space primarily supports the specialized needs of AMC’s long-running Youth Opportunities Program (YOP), which started in Boston in 1968 to give urban youth workers and teachers the resources they need to independently lead groups on outdoor adventures.

The flexible, multi-use Spice Street space accommodates program staff, outdoor leadership trainings, a gear lending library to outfit up to 15 groups at one time, and staging for hundreds of trips and trainings each year. It also offers the potential to more broadly host other AMC activities in the future.

“On the cusp of the 50th anniversary of AMC’s Youth Opportunities Program, moving to this new space is a wonderful opportunity to showcase our efforts supporting Greater Boston teachers and youth development professionals,” said Stefanie Brochu, vice president of Outdoor Learning and Leadership at AMC. “Many of the youth we work with are taking their first trip outdoors, and this center provides ease of access for their leaders to plan and implement a wide range of adventures.”

At City Square, the new space better meets the 21st-century needs of the organization, which had outgrown the functionality of its former headquarters, originally built as residential housing. Renovations to the six-floor Charlestown building, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, are part of the AMC’s long-term master plan for the site, which focuses on stewardship of an older building and a commitment to environmental sustainability.

The AMC will occupy the entire second and third floors of the building, plus half of the fourth floor. The remaining office and retail space is leased by other businesses, including Legal Oysteria on the ground floor.

AMC’s second floor features flexible program space for large groups, with high-quality AV equipment, a catering kitchen, abundant natural light, and adjacent gallery and conference room spaces. It will be available to both AMC and non-AMC groups on a limited basis starting in 2018 as part of AMC’s commitment to the community, which includes preserving the civic history of the 1890’s commercial building and meeting space, originally called Roughan Hall.

AMC’s new office layout provides more functional, flexible, and collaborative work space for staff with updated IT infrastructure. It features a combination of private and shared offices, open office work spaces and meeting areas, numerous conference rooms, a staff kitchen and social space, and a reception area.

Interior building renovations to AMC’s space, overseen by RODE Architects, were geared toward completely updating the floor layout to optimize natural light quality, celebrate the “bones” of the building, and highlight the character of the original construction by exposing brick walls and emphasizing details such as the southern yellow pine wood structure.

AMC has placed a high priority on minimizing environmental impact in doing renovations. Working with the design and construction team at Rubicon Builders of Mansfield, Mass., the organization has recycled construction and demolition waste, reused many existing walls and ceilings, and incorporated low-impact, non-toxic, and locally-sourced finishes for paint and flooring materials, lighting, and plumbing fixtures. Environmentally-friendly office furnishings were locally sourced from AIS, a BIFMA-certified manufacturer based in Leominster, Mass.

AMC also prioritized minimizing environmental impact in decommissioning its former Joy Street headquarters, working with green logistics company Re-Stream of Waltham, Mass. to reduce waste and repurpose or recycle items, which included reallocating select items to other AMC locations.

AMC is developing its long-term sustainability strategies for 10 City Square in consultation with the Concord, Mass.-based sustainable design firm, The Green Engineer, Inc. Goals include evaluating building-wide energy reduction options, such as conversion of existing mechanical systems, energy-saving renovations to the building envelope, potential on-site renewable energy sources, and green operations and maintenance practices.

In recognition of the organization’s momentous move, AMC is offering a select number of naming opportunities at 10 City Square and 6 Spice St., including program space, the gear lending library, conference rooms, and the gallery.

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