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24 Farnsworth Street, Boston

Opening of new UUA headquarters delayed

Three-day delay expected as fire department tests sound insulation products at 24 Farnsworth Street.
By Kenneth Sutton

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The opening of the new Boston offices of the Unitarian Universalist Association, including Beacon Press, has been delayed until Thursday, May 22, as the Boston Fire Department evaluates two products used as sound insulation.

“It’s disappointing that we were not able to all move in this morning at 9:00 as planned,” said the Rev. Harlan Limpert, chief operating officer of the UUA, on Monday, May 19, when the UUA had hoped to begin operations at 24 Farnsworth Street. “But in a project this size—the first move in almost 100 years—this three-day delay is small potatoes.”

The UUA has been renovating the first three floors of 24 Farnsworth Street for use as its new headquarters since September. It moved staff out of 25 Beacon Street, its historic headquarters, and 41 Mt. Vernon Street late last week.

Limpert said the fire department is requiring additional testing for one sound insulation product and is reviewing the results of tests of another sound insulation product.

Although the Boston offices will remain closed on Tuesday and Wednesday, “most of our Boston-based staff are able to perform major portions of their jobs remotely,” Limpert said. Many UUA staff already work remotely from sites across the country. The UUA’s email and telephone systems are working, although telephone calls may be sent to voicemail with a default prerecorded greeting.

Update 5.21.14: The Boston Fire Department issued the certificate of occupancy Wednesday morning, May 21. Limpert confirmed in an email to staff that the new offices will open at 9:00 Thursday morning.

With additional reporting by Christopher L. Walton. Photograph (above): The reception area and grand stair at the UUA’s new headquarters at 24 Farnsworth Street (© Dea Brayden/UUA). See sidebar for links to related resources.

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