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'Call and Response: Radiating Safety' by L'Merchie Frazier

This public art project will complement the newly constructed Fire Station 42 in Roxbury.

This project is in the fabrication phase.

Project details


The City of Boston and the Boston Fire Department demolished and constructed a new fire station at 1870 Columbus Avenue, near Egleston Square. The $19.6 million new Fire Station 42 includes:

  • three apparatus bays
  • housing for two companies and a district chief
  • a training room, training deck, and training stair
  • an open and transparent fitness room, day room, and kitchen
  • an elevator and three fire poles, and
  • a workshop and technical and operations areas.

In 2018, the Office of Arts and Culture released a Call to Artists for public art for the new fire station. 

Artist team

In 2019, this commission selected the artist Ralph Helmick for the commission. In May of 2020 Ralph presented a preliminary design to the Boston Art Commission. He then decided to not develop the design any further given the Commission's feedback.

Ralph took some time to explore a number of different potential paths forward for the project, and ultimately established a new structure for the project with artist L'Merchie Frazier serving as the lead artist in a team of four. The project team then began developing a new preliminary design, which was approved by the Boston Art Commission at their October 2022 meeting.


Three potential sites were identified as initial suggestions for the location of the artwork. The artist ultimately chose the facade of the building as the site.


This project has a budget of $300,000 for a site-specific, impactful, focal design feature. The art should enrich the connection between the Boston Fire Department and the surrounding Egleston and Roxbury communities.

Fire Station 42 is the first new Boston fire station in 30 years.

Preliminary design for "Call and Response: Radiating Safety"
Preliminary design for "Call and Response: Radiating Safety", courtesy of the artist.

Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture staff, representatives from Boston Fire Department, and artist team participating in scaling test at Fire Station 42.

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