Our History

District Hall is the result of a collaborative public-private partnership. Envisioned by the City of Boston and the Boston Planning and Development Agency (formerly the Boston Redevelopment Authority) it is the central gathering space of the Innovation District, the home for Greater Boston’s innovation and entrepreneurship communities.

Boston’s Innovation District is an economic development initiative to transform 1,000 acres on the South Boston Waterfront into an environment that supports collaboration and entrepreneurship. By strategically clustering companies, developing new housing models, and building public infrastructure, this effort fosters a lively, 24/7 community full of new ideas and creativity.

To facilitate the success of the initiative, the City called for a central gathering place for this new neighborhood – a “living room” for the community. District Hall was designed to be fill this need and anchor the District, creating a physical space and public resources to connect, support, and strengthen innovators while expanding the reach, visibility, and benefits of Greater Boston’s innovation economy.

District Hall was founded through a unique public-private partnership in response to the City’s call. The building was privately funded and built by Boston Global Investors as the first project in their 23 acre master plan for Seaport Square. The City invited the Cambridge Innovation Center to create an active innovation hub concept. Cambridge Innovation Center then provided initial design, legal, and financial support for the project and accepted ongoing responsibility for the lease. The Venture Café Foundation was involved in the initial planning process and continues to manage operations and programming since District Hall’s opening in 2013.

Our hospitality partners are Gather and Brew, both operated by The Briar Group. The building and the restaurant were designed by Hacin + Associates. Cambridge Innovation Center was also on the design team and continues to provide operations advice. WS Development has since taken the lead in developing Seaport Square, and is a key partner in neighborhood development efforts. Without the generous support of our founding sponsors John Hancock, Foley Hoag, Microsoft, and Suburban Integrated Facilities Resources; our in-kind sponsors IdeaPaint, Philips Color Kinetics, Bose, Haworth, and Digital Sky; our Silver Sponsor Keryx Biopharmaceuticals; and our other fantastic partners, District Hall would not be the unique space it is today.

To learn more about the founding team and the generous partners and sponsors who made District Hall possible, please click here