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South Boston’s Macallen Building notable for its unique design

John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

When built, environmentalists heralded the 148-unit Macallen Building as Boston’s first truly green building.

By Globe Staff 

The pitched, hill-like design of the condominium building where two physicians were killed Friday altered South Boston’s skyline when it was constructed a decade ago.

The 148-unit Macallen Building was notable for more than what Globe architecture critic Robert Campbell described as an “unforgettable big brown sloping . . . pile of new condos that . . . looks like a mountain.” Environmentalists heralded the structure as Boston’s first truly green building, which won gold certification from the US Green Building Council.

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Construction was chronicled in a 73-minute feature documentary titled “The Greening of Southie.” A trailer for the film showed construction crews debating the merits of a building that shunned fiberglass insulation, sourced local materials, and embraced double-flush toilets, bamboo floors, and an expansive rooftop garden that gave it a unique, hillside-like look.

“The Macallen Building is something different — a leader in the emerging field of environmentally friendly design,” according to a synopsis of the documentary. “But green building has its challenges, and the job site has its skeptics. And when things start to go wrong, a young developer has to keep the project from unraveling. Funny and poignant, The Greening of Southie is a story of bold ideas, new environmentalists, and the future of urban America.”

On Friday evening two physicians — Lina Bolaños, 38, and Richard Field, 49 – were killed in a penthouse. Bampumim Teixeira, 30, was shot and wounded by police inside the penthouse at 141 Dorchester Ave. On Monday, Teixeira was arraigned on murder charges in his hospital bed at Tufts Medical Center in Boston.

Property records show that on July 17, 2013, Field paid $1.945 million for the penthouse on the 14th floor of the Macallen Building. The 2,025 square-foot unit has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a luxury kitchen, a 176 square-foot roof deck, and two parking spaces, according to city records. The building has three levels of parking and 11 residential floors.

In 2014, Bolanos paid $710,000 for a two-bedroom condominium across the street at 150 Dorchester Ave., property records show. City assessing records suggest that she currently did not live there.

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Construction of the Macallen Building was part of a larger project that included the redevelopment of the neighboring Court Square Press building into 130 loft-style condos. The Macallen Company made electrical supplies there in a factory between Broadway and West Fourth Street, according to a neighborhood history. The Court Square Press building is a glass and red-brick structure at the corner of Dorchester Avenue and Broadway, directly across from the Broadway MBTA stop.

The Macallen and Court Square Press buildings are part of the same condominium association, are staffed by the same security company, and share amenities. Real estate listings boast of a heated outdoor lap pool, a grilling area with deck furniture, and fitness center.

Trustees from the Court Square Press Condo Association released a statement Monday expressing shock at the killings. The physicians had been residents of their community for several years, they said.

“There are no words that can fully convey our sadness for the families of both victims,” trustees said. “At this time, our focus is on helping our residents deal with this tragedy and assisting law enforcement in any way possible as they continue their investigation.”

Current and former residents described tight security that was staffed 24 hours a day. The complex did not have doormen but employed a concierge service that had employees in the lobby who controlled access to the buildings. Residents could also enter the building through a secure parking garage.

Palladion Services had provided the concierge service until Feb. 18, when the complex switched to a new company. It could not be determined what precipitated the change. Palladion could not be reached for comment.

The new security company, Highbridge Concierge, describes itself on its website as a premium residential management company for luxury residential properties. The company’s founder, Patrick J. Knight, declined Monday to discuss the complex’s security or say how the suspect gained access to the penthouse Friday night.

“The police are in charge of the investigation,” Knight said, rejecting the suggestion that there was a lapse in security. “I can’t discuss security measures at the building. . . . That’s a private building and we would never release anything.”

Watch: South Boston suspect held without bail


Andrew Ryan can be reached at acryan@globe.com
Follow him on Twitter @globeandrewryan.