Bakalar and Paine Art Gallery Renovations

The Massachusetts College of Art and Design has showcased contemporary art exhibitions in the Bakalar and Paine Art Galleries for decades. These galleries are New England’s largest free contemporary art spaces, showcasing work by emerging and established artists and designers in all media, and are a public cultural and educational resource. Unfortunately, the lack of air conditioning, restrooms, and elevators prevented guests from having an optimal experience resulting in the college’s most significant private fundraising campaign, which engaged 424 donors to renovate the 110-year-old space.

Salas O’Brien provided mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering for assessment and renovations. Our team renovated several galleries on the main floor of Bakalar’s south building and the Paine Gallery, a two-story space initially used as a library for the Boston Normal School. In addition, we brought the galleries up to current standards for archival quality climate and humidity control.

Completion Year



15,000 square feet

Construction Cost

$12.5 million

Project Partners

Design Lab Architects, C3 (Rimkus Consulting)