Louis D. Brown Peace Institute
The Louis D. Brown Peace Institute, founded by Clementina Chéry in 1993 after the tragic death by gun violence of her son Louis, has for over thirty years carried on Louis’s legacy of peacemaking work in Roxbury, across Boston, and around the region. At this new location, the Peace Institute’s Center of Healing, Teaching, and Learning will provide services in a safe and impartial space where healing can happen, and where providers from near and far can come to learn how to respond effectively and equitably to murder, grief, trauma, and loss.
Proposed to be sited on two vacant, city-owned parcels in the heart of the Four Corners and Bowdoin-Geneva neighborhoods, the new facility embraces its context at the wooded heart of a residential block with the aspiration of creating a peaceful oasis, a truly safe space, and a restorative and respectful neighbor to the surrounding community. The site massing scheme preserves existing mature trees in a new center-block restorative landscape, creates a new multi-use public space through a thoughtfully designed and programmed permeable parking area, and introduces an appropriately scaled, context-conscious piece of new architecture designed through a process that centers beauty, equity, and sustainability as integrated priorities.
Tucked into the center of the block and accessed by a Memorial Community Path designed to serve as a transitional and restorative space, the first floor of the building hosts a variety of community programs, including a library, chapel, learning space, community kitchen, multipurpose community room, café, and a welcoming wraparound porch that connects the front door to a multi-use forecourt able to host a broad range of social, community, and Peace Institute events. Permeable paving, lush planting, and welcoming lighting will create a new community space whose usage evolves throughout the day, week, and year.