What a great way to start the week. For the past nine months, many of us at Arrowstreet have been working very closely with the folks at the Women’s Lunch Place to renovate their current space, thereby improving the quality and comfort of guests’ visits.
About 20 years ago, the Women’s Lunch Place moved into the confines of their existing facility at the historic Church of the Covenant building on Newbury Street. They have been operating diligently and faithfully in the CMU-walled basement of this historic building everyday since (except during the renovation, as they were temporarily relocated to the Old South Church). We quickly discovered the challenges of integrating the program of the Women’s Lunch Place with the constraints of the space, but were able to overcome these challenges consistently in exciting ways as we discovered what lay behind the old CMU walls during demolition. Many beautiful arches and areas of granite were uncovered, and we made design decisions as these opportunities arose to enhance the comfort and beauty of the space, adding value wherever we found the chance.
Finally, on Monday morning, September 12, 2011, it was time to open the doors. Scott Pollack and I arrived early on behalf of Arrowstreet. After so many hours of effort over the past several months in programming, design, and construction, we wanted to make sure it was just right- every seat and table in the right spot to make the right first impression when the guests came walking through the door. We had a personal interest in seeing how guests reacted to the space when they saw it for the first time.
Then the yellow ribbon was cut and the guests flooded in. I had goose bumps as I saw their reactions. Eyes were wide; there was singing, dancing, clapping, and cheering. Many guests approached us with compliments and sincere thanks. It’s not everyday that we get to see how our work affects others, so this was a grand re-opening I won’t soon forget.
More photos and information available on the Women’s Lunch Place’s Facebook page.