Torrent Engine 18

Torrent Engine 18 Once a Boston fire station, Torrent Engine 18 will soon be home to resident and visiting artists, the Empire S.N.A.F.U. Restoration Project, and a flexible theater/gallery/performance space for local, national, and international artists of all stripes.
(19)

Operating as usual

Timeline Photos
02/26/2021

Timeline Photos

Welcome back to #ThankYouThursday on the OVV social media channels! This week we are PUMPED to thank our great friends at Torrent Engine 18 These guys are the BIGGEST supporters of #SaveMAstages, because they quite literally saved ONCE's stage! Check out this moment in history, affectionately known at ONCE as the "passing of the stage," when our proprietrix JJ Gonson handed over a leg of our beloved stage to the guys at Torrent Engine 18 We're all about that rock n' roll symbolism her at ONCE 👀

But don't worry ONCE Army, we'll be back for that stage one day soon ;) In the meantime, thanks again to Torrent Engine 18 for #SavingOurStage!

Bernie helping with the load in #berniesandersmemes
01/21/2021

Bernie helping with the load in #berniesandersmemes

Bernie helping with the load in #berniesandersmemes

Follow Torrent Engine 18's TikTok! Will be making more spooky vids for this season🦇👻🎃
10/12/2020
Torrent Engine 18 on TikTok

Follow Torrent Engine 18's TikTok! Will be making more spooky vids for this season
🦇👻🎃

Cats are the monsters to the littler creatures #TalesFromTorrentEngine18 #HansRickheit #InsideOutside #cat #spooky

2020 has been one heck of a year so far. And for the past several months, none of our previously existing plans have tur...
06/08/2020

2020 has been one heck of a year so far. And for the past several months, none of our previously existing plans have turned out to be viable. We have no idea what the rest of the year will bring, but for now:

09/20/2019

Woo, Wiley Meow of High Energy Vintage stars in this sick ad (created by Richard Thomas Kenneth Hawke) for the firehouse flea market fair happening TOMMOROW!

We have some great music lined up for you this  Saturday -- some really amazing folks have donated their time and talent...
09/19/2019

We have some great music lined up for you this Saturday -- some really amazing folks have donated their time and talents!

This Saturday!
09/18/2019

This Saturday!

04/08/2019
I've been gradually rebuilding the website for TE18. Tonight I put up the page with all the historical pics and info.
04/06/2019
Historical Pics Of TE18

I've been gradually rebuilding the website for TE18. Tonight I put up the page with all the historical pics and info.

(Most of the information and images in this section are thanks to The Boston Fire Historical Society .

A 5ft long Torrent Engine 18 canvas print made by Mitchel Ahern
03/03/2019

A 5ft long Torrent Engine 18 canvas print made by Mitchel Ahern

Torrent Engine 18
01/29/2019

Torrent Engine 18

IMPORTANT UPDATE!SHORT SUMMARYIn 2012, Katrina and I (E. Stephen) bought a run-down firehouse in Boston and began conver...
01/10/2019

IMPORTANT UPDATE!
SHORT SUMMARY
In 2012, Katrina and I (E. Stephen) bought a run-down firehouse in Boston and began converting it to a WEIRDO TEMPLE OF CULTURE.

Lately we've been quiet because the firehouse has occupied all our resources.
To finish getting it operational, we need to raise a huge amount of money.
The last few storms caused new leaks to open in the roof, and the situation has suddenly gotten more critical. Raising money for a new roof is our next immediate goal.
Tax deductible donations may be made here:
http://www.torrentengine18.org/donate.html

LONGER VERSION:

1- HISTORY & GOALS
The Torrent Engine 18 Firehouse (TE18 for short) was built in 1869. This year, 2019, marks the 150th anniversary of TE18's construction.

In 2012 Katrina and I purchased TE18 from a church congregation.

Our goal is for the ground floor to serve as temple of art and culture, containing "The Empire SNAFU Restoration Project", (more about that later) and to serve as a gathering place, venue, and anchor for performing arts, film, music, science, and open exchange of ideas.
We intend to live-stream events and provide quality audio/video documentation to performers.

We believe there need not be a contradiction between ethically managing a "safe space" and presenting "dangerous" ideas.
In troubled times, it is the responsibility of the arts to provide a sandbox for testing the uncomfortable.

The ground-floor of TE18 is wide open, and should comfortably contain an audience of over 100 people.
The 12 foot ceilings make the room feel spacious even when packed.
It has multiple exits, a concrete floor, and is already nearly handicapped-accessible, rendering visitors safer from fire than most "underground" arts-spaces.

There are spaces around town that can fit audiences of less than 50 people. And there are a number of venues that are great for shows with 300+ people.
But I love 100ish people as an audience size, and it's a capacity that's hard to find around Boston at the moment.

Katrina and I would consolidate costs by living on the upper floor of TE18, and also have provide a guest-bedroom to performers who've traveled from a distance.

If you've known Katrina and me for a long time, you know we have a lifetime dedication to the arts, and a dedication to making things happen.
And if you know us only via our FB profiles, you probably have a feel for the blend of culture, science, social issues we find relevant.
We want to bring that mix of interests to life, with the real people sharing creating that culture in the same room together, with a focus on boston based creators, and the goal of creating cross-pollination between social circles that don't usually interact. (AKA "de-siloing")

It is also our goal to dedicate part of the space as a posthumous archive to the work of my deceased friend, and sometimes collaborator, Lisa Bufano, and to have an artist residency program in her name.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lisa_Bufano

MORE ABOUT EMPIRE SNAFU

The main room of TE18 would be the long-term home of the Empire SNAFU Restoration Project, including both the NIDUS-MONAD temple, and a workshop for continued construction of the Empire SNAFU Restoration Project.

Empire SNAFU is a massive installation with more layers than I can fully explain here. It's based on a series of visions I had during a prolonged fever when I was 12.
Empire SNAFU is a modular, multimedia sculptural temple made of discarded machinery, ephemera and animal bones, with audio and video components.
It depicts the fall of the American empire (and the potential salvation of humanity) thru the eyes of a deceased, gender-neutral, semi-autobiographical persona named SNAFU.
I worked full time on building Empire SNAFU between 1986 and 2012.
I have produced well received Empire SNAFU events all over Boston and NYC.

Empire SNAFU has never been about marketing salable objects. It's about fine-tuning a full-sensory physical experience for the people who experience it.

https://www.instagram.com/empires.n.a.f.u/

WHAT THE F**K DO WE DO NEED SO MUCH MONEY FOR?

When we bought TE18, we knew it needed repairs. But despite research and inspection prior to purchase, we were not prepared for all the hidden expenses. We made enormous progress in the first few years, but the past few years have been slow going.
(Perhaps someday we'll write a book about all the catastrophes we've been thru with TE18.)

TE18 has beautiful bones and enormous potential, but as is, we basically have a moist, unheated, brick barn.
TE18 desperately needs a whole new roof, including repairs to damaged woodwork and masonry before the new roof can be installed.

Our next fundraising goal is to raise $150,000 to deal with all the roof related issues, other water infiltration issues/drainage issues, and black mold remediation.

Having reasonably watertight structure will buy us a lot of time, and make other stages of continuing work on the building practical.

The building also requires all new windows, doors, flooring, plumbing, drainage, regrading, electrical, handicapped accessibility features, insulation, soundproofing, heating and ventilation etc…

It is our goal to rehab TE18 to be green and energy efficient, with solar panels, maybe small wind turbines to take advantage of the constant sea-breeze, and possibly a greenhouse for vegetables.
Building green is the right thing to do, (and is somewhat legally mandated)
Its economical in the long run. But the initial expense is high even with the aide green building grants.

If we're lucky with donated labor, materials, equipment, etc, we might get TE18 full functional for less than $500,000. But we can't count on that. And the truth is, for work of this magnitude, it's usually best to pay skilled labor a fair rate for a job well done.
It is quite likely, our total required budget would be close to 1 million dollars

One million is a comparatively small budget for a project of this scope.
For instance, back in 2011, the restoration of another Boston firehouse of similar age and size, cost 2.5 million dollars.

The Out of The Blue Art Gallery had to vacate their space in Central Square, because the landlord was charging $120,000 per year just to rent.

Gutted triple-deckers around Somerville routinely sell for over a million.

If you want a million dollar property in "move-in" condition around Boston, most of the options are 1 bedroom condos.

The Boston ICA blows thru a million dollars every time it sneezes.

If we succeed, we'll be providing a lot of bang for the buck.

FUNDRAISING GOALS

In artist/musician dollars, a million dollars is huge money, and to achieve that goal we must reach beyond our immediate circles of friends and community

We're NOT seeking bank financing or loans. It's unlikely we could sustain both a weird, non-profit art space and a million dollar loan.

It is our intent to begin with smaller fundraisers and let their success or failure determine our path.

People always ask how they can help.
What we need most is actual help raising money.
We welcome anyone who can help us with publicity, or who has skills in seeking fundraising and grant writing.

Connections to influential or famous people are useful too. Public endorsements from famous weirdos are important, even if they don't donate cash.

If you have a cousin with a backhoe, bobcat, or dump truck, that is also useful!
We will be compiling a wish list of other stuff we potentially need.

I will be organizing some planning meetings for interested parties in coming months.

DIFFICULTIES

Katrina and I are exhausted from running in place to cover expenses and we lack the resources get off that treadmill.

The years since we bought TE18 have been rough.
I'm in my mid 40s. I've had some serious physical health problems that were exacerbated by doing demolition on TE18.
If you've been thru something similar, you know it's never easy when your body forces you to reassess what you're capable of.
In the years since we got TE18 I've also watched multiple friends whom I loved and respected die from a variety of causes.
Asking for help is one of the most difficult things.
And grief and survivor's guilt bring a very real form of paralysis.
As I scroll thru my newsfeed and read of the catastrophes directly hitting my friends, and the world at large, it's easy to fall into a doom spiral.
I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I still wrestle with that paralysis daily.

But I am still alive, and I believe that the creation of art and culture are a necessary part of the process of improving human life.
Even if art can't save us, it makes our time here more bearable.
And with luck, some art survives to let people of future generations know that they are never alone.

Making art is the only thing I've ever been any good at, and the only thing that makes me feel as though there's a place for me in the world.

I haven't had a studio space since we bought TE18.
My mind is still full of unbuilt art. We are all only here for a short time, and especially in the wake of watching other artists die, I feel the need to disgorge those ideas into the world before I'm gone too.

For me, constructing Empire SNAFU, and having a space where interaction can occur with other performers and audience are interwoven facets of a single dream.

One fear obstructing me is that if I get the nuances wrong while fundraising for TE18, it might later seem that I was operating under false pretenses.
(As in: "What a f**king con! They said they were making a community center, but instead, that person is using the place to make their own weird art!")

My gut feeling is that to avoid any appearance of impropriety, it's probably best if I fundraise as an individual, seeking artist grants.
And when things work out, people can be pleasantly surprised that the insane temple of art also serves as a place for creative community to grow.

The old "art infrastructure" doesn't support living performers and artists.
New cultural models need to evolve.

IF we can clear the initial hurdle of having a functional, usable building, we have a rare opportunity to create a sustainable cultural center in an urban area, without being vulnerable to the whims of landlords.

We know the odds are stacked against funding the arts, but we believe it's worth it to keep fighting for a future for Boston's artists, performers, dreamers, thinkers, and weirdos.
As much as this project is a long shot, Katrina and I still stand better odds of making it work than most people.
But regardless of how much we both believe in the dream, we cannot keep going without actual help and influx of resources.

Tax deductible donations may be made here:
http://www.torrentengine18.org/donate.html

#WeirdWestParty
11/30/2018

#WeirdWestParty

#WeirdWestParty #HolyCrow
11/30/2018

#WeirdWestParty #HolyCrow

11/30/2018

Thank you Jasmine for the #WeirdWestParty pics!

11/03/2018

Decor for Torrent Engine 18 #WeirdWestParty tomorrow!

Congratulations 4 Corners Yoga + Wellness! They aren't affiliated with Torrent Engine 18, but they are right around the ...
07/25/2017
Meet Karuna O'Donnell & Christine Rose of 4 Corners Yoga + Wellness in Dorchester - Boston Voyager Magazine | Boston City Guide

Congratulations 4 Corners Yoga + Wellness!
They aren't affiliated with Torrent Engine 18, but they are right around the corner from us, (right next to the MBTA #23 Bus stop.)
We wish this local Dorchester business the best of luck on their mission!

Today we’d like to introduce you to Karuna O’Donnell and Christine Rose. 4 Corners Yoga + Wellness began as an inspiration in co-founders Christine Rose and Karuna O’Donnell’s shared bodywork space at The Meeting Point, A Center for Multidimensional Healing, in Jamaica Plain. Their individual busine...

04/27/2017

If any of the UMASS volunteer crew who helped us dig and SMASH, on April 22nd see this post, please post your pics of it here!

Torrent Engine 18's cover photo
12/10/2016

Torrent Engine 18's cover photo

Katrina Galore in full #Eleven costume at #StrangerThings party #latergram http://ift.tt/2du8WKr
09/26/2016

Katrina Galore in full #Eleven costume at #StrangerThings party #latergram http://ift.tt/2du8WKr

This is Circa News' lovely recap of the Stranger Things party at the firehouse!Side note: the article is now corrected, ...
09/26/2016
Boston bar's 'Stranger Things' party nailed everything

This is Circa News' lovely recap of the Stranger Things party at the firehouse!

Side note: the article is now corrected, but despite the title, the firehouse is not a bar, it's an arts venue. (We didn't even so much as put out a bottle of cheap wine.)

Boston theater/bar/museum Torrent Engine 18 threw a "Stranger Things"-themed party on Friday and featured every key aspect of the show: Christmas lights over an alphabet, waffles, and an extremely creepy "Upside Down" area. The only way it could have been more authentic would be if the cast showed u...

In one night, you devoured every Stranger Things episode in a frenzy of nostalgia and Cheetos.Now experience Stranger Th...
09/09/2016
Stranger Things: The Party

In one night, you devoured every Stranger Things episode in a frenzy of nostalgia and Cheetos.

Now experience Stranger Things: The Party.

In one night, you devoured every Stranger Things episode in a frenzy of nostalgia and Cheetos. Now experience Stranger Things: The Party.

Spooky brick interior shots were all shot at Torrent Engine 18. Get haunted by Brian Carpenter & The Confessions
11/24/2015
Brian Carpenter & The Confessions

Spooky brick interior shots were all shot at Torrent Engine 18. Get haunted by Brian Carpenter & The Confessions

Our new video This Lonely Road is premiering today on Relix! Directed by Joshua Black Wilkins with Jessica Elizabeth Cole.

Rock Breaking Party with Bonfire, Pot-luck Cookout, & Movie After-Party at Torrent Engine 18 firehouse this Saturday 10/...
10/16/2015

Rock Breaking Party with Bonfire, Pot-luck Cookout, & Movie After-Party at Torrent Engine 18 firehouse this Saturday 10/17!

NOON: PHASE ONE - SMASHING SH*T!!! We have a patch of asphalt that needs to be clobbered & and wheel-barrowed to the dumpster. Wear sensible shoes. Bring gloves, goggles, and SledgeHammers & PickAxes if you got-em. (If anyone has an actual JackHammer that would be cool too.) We have some tools and wheelbarrows on site. We also have a few small barbecue grills and a fire pit. Bring beverages and fire-friendly food! If you aren't up for hard labor yourself, come hang out and keep the rest of us company!

EVENING: PHASE TWO - MOVIETIME! Showing of the lost polish sci-fi Mind-F*ck - "On The Silver Globe" (see trailer in comments)
As always, remember this a construction site. Wear clothes you don't mind getting filthy, and use common sense about not injuring yourself. Also, our only "plumbing" is a Port*A*John so plan accordingly.

Do you or a family member have a RV/mobile trailer in decent condition that you can spare? We, i.e. Katherine Bergeron a...
04/25/2015
Torrent Engine 18 | Seeking RV/Mobile Trailer! Do you or a family...

Do you or a family member have a RV/mobile trailer in decent condition that you can spare? We, i.e. Katherine Bergeron and E. Stephen Frederick, are seeking a RV/mobile trailer that we can live in on the Torrent Engine 18 grounds until the upstairs of Torrent Engine 18 is practical to live in.

Ideally, we want a RV/mobile trailer on extended loan, or gifted outright. We may be able to do a nonprofit tax write-off for you. Or if the price is low enough, we might be able to purchase. Email us at [email protected] to talk more.

Since Torrent Engine 18 is already a huge project, we’re looking for an RV/mobile trailer that is basically in move-in condition (i.e. not another complicated project).

By gifting/loaning us an RV/mobile trailer, you are allowing us to put more of our time, energy, and money towards the firehouse. With lower overhead and better access to the firehouse, we can get repairs done faster and bring you more Torrent Engine 18 events.

Seeking RV/Mobile Trailer!Do you or a family member have a RV/mobile trailer in decent condition that you can spare? We, i.e. Katherine Bergeron and E. Stephen Frederick, are seeking a RV/mobile...

Address

30 Harvard St
Dorchester Center, MA
02124

Walk 16 minutes from the FeildsCorner stop on the Redline. Walk 8 minutes from the Four Corners/Geneva stop on the Fairmount Commuter rail line. Walk 1 minute from the "Washington St @ Harvard St" stop on the #23 Bus.

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Comments

oh heeeeeellll yeah!
Such a beautiful building! 😍