Boston, MA has been an American Field staple since we founded the movement in 2012. But before our fifth season officially kicks off, we’d like to shed some light on a Boston building that we’re proud to call home.
The Innovation and Design Building, or simply IDB, is a gorgeous 1.4 million square foot, eight-story, acre-long, innovative industrial building in Boston’s Seaport/Innovation District.
The IDB complex was constructed by the U.S. Department of Defense in 1918 as a waterside storehouse for the South Boston Army Base. During World War II, 50,000 people worked around the clock at the base repairing American ships and distributing a wide range of military supplies.
In 1983, the land was acquired by the City of Boston, where they established the Boston Marine Industrial Park and paved the way for a space that could fuel Boston’s creative and entrepreneurial spirit. Today, this park is home to more than 200 businesses, over 3,000 employees and hosts one of the country’s largest working dry docks
In 2013, the IDB was purchased by American Field sponsor, Jamestown L.P. Thanks to their thoughtful stewardship and ambitious plans for revitalization, the IDB is now at the center of a dynamic mix of companies and industries. These include the world's largest start-up accelerator program for early-stage entrepreneurs, a makers community of skilled artisans and craftspeople, architecture and creative service studios, specialized manufacturing facilities, research and development firms, and New England's premier antiques market.
Future plans for this breathtaking space include activation of the ground floor with the addition of food vendors, shipping container kiosks, and seating, and the creation of new event spaces and programming—amenities which will help IDB businesses recruit top talent in their fields.
At American Field, we’re proud of our role in helping Jamestown L.P. rebuild one of Boston’s most historic neighborhoods. Our events are poised to drive new interest in the Innovation District, the IDB and the many ways #MadeinUSA has a role in Boston.
When asked about hosting American Field, Jamestown L.P. President Michael Phillips said, “It raises awareness about the variety of goods that are being made in urban manufacturing centers across America. [The event is] a perfect complement to the current mix of tenants at IDB, which includes many influential contributors to Boston’s thriving maker community.”
A special thank you to Jamestown L.P for providing us with information on IDB and for their unwavering support of our movement.