Machine / Ramrod in Fenway to be demolished

This past Thursday applications were filed with the city to demolish the commercial buildings in the Fenway at 1252-1268 & 1270 Boylston Street. Some may recognize the address which is the home of Boston’s gay bar Machine / Ramrod  in Fenway. The series of small buildings that currently comprise this block will be demolished to make way for a 15-story,  225,000 square foot mixed-use project that will include 451 rental units above a ground-floor retail podium designed for a broad range of neighborhood-oriented culinary, lifestyle, and experiential tenants. The rental units will range in size from studios through 3 bedrooms. 15% of units, 68 in total will be affordable.

In recognition of the site’s important heritage and affiliation with the LGBTQ community, the building will also include the Boylston Black Box, a 10,000-square-foot LGBTQ-centric venue for the performing arts. The Boylston Black Box will be anchored by a 156-seat theater and will also include dedicated flex and community areas to serve as safe spaces. The Boylston Black Box will be delivered and operated on a not-for-profit basis.

12 responses to “Machine / Ramrod in Fenway to be demolished

  1. I spent many fun nights in both the Ramrod and the 1270 back in the late 1980s and early 1990s when I lived in Boston. This is quite sad.


    • @ J.P.: I know what you mean, a lot of guys are sadden by the demolition of the last space where gay folks could gather and socialize. All the gay bars in puritanical Boston are gone now; Quite sad indeed.


  2. A wise investor would keep the nightclubs. So many have been wiped out of existence in this pandemic. HK in NY just lost Therapy amongst numerous others that have been shuttered. They literally cannot survive. To invest in a plan that includes a night club that there will be a demand for when things return to normal would be the best course of action, and quite profitable in the future.


  3. The Ramrod is Boston history, an institution. The promise of some sort of performance space that will probably disappear like so many other public/private cultural spaces doesn’t cut it! Boston’s LGBT bar scene is under assault, it’s dying. Shame on the city for letting this happen.


    • @ asmerrimac: I agree but again there always have been a majority of straight politicians and power people that never really accepted or quite liked gay people or public spaces where guys could come together. So if they can hack it, they likely will. So many gay bars and saunas have been closed under a slew of excuses in the past. From health code violations, to bars serving underage men, to selling the property for more money, etc. Right now we are living what started with Ronald Reagan in the early 1980’s; Abuse of power, greed and capitalism at it best!


  4. Robert Richey



  5. People want a bar/night club to go to. Gay nightlife will be over with machine gone. I’ve worked at Machine/ramrod for about 20yrs. The place is a Boston staple. Most people don’t want a theatre. People enjoy talking with friends meeting new people over acouple drinks and some dancing. Please keep that in mind.


  6. LGBT+


  7. 1270 boylston was also home to a gay bar the 1270. It had 4 floors plus a rooftop bar.


    • @ Walter: I remember those days, the rooftop bar would be open where one could see the sky and stars on warm, clear summer nights. After a steamy dance you could come up to the open rooftop bar to cool off and enjoy drinks and chat with other folks. That was in the mid 1980’s.
      The 1270 bar opened in 1969 and for some reason closed towards the end of 1989. Then I think a straight baseball bar opened afterwards.


  8. NOOOOOOO! That was home for me!



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