by Rick Winterson
South Boston has enjoyed the presence of the Blue Hills Bank in its booming Waterfront and Seaport District for several years now. But it wasn’t in the form of a bank branch. Instead, since 2014 it has been the very popular Blue Hills Bank Pavilion. But the question remained: When will the Blue Hills Bank, which is headquartered in Boston’s Hyde Park neighborhood, open a full service branch bank here on the South Boston Waterfront?
Well, after a year and a half of research, the (affirmative) answer to that question came last Wednesday evening, the 3rd. Blue Hills Bank, now in its 145th year, threw a gala event to formally celebrate its Branch Bank opening at 87 Seaport Boulevard (corner of Boston Wharf Road, across Seaport Boulevard from District Hall). And indeed, it was a gala. The hors d’oeuvres and varied wines were sumptuous; Boston Music Award Winner Louie Bello entertained; there was a constant, pleasant buzz among the many guests.
The décor of Blue Hills Bank’s new branch in the Seaport District was perhaps the most striking feature of the evening. Their theme color is a medium royal blue, beginning with the printed panels that adorn the bank’s Seaport Boulevard exterior. The interior is spacious and centered upon a polished black service counter. To the right and to the left of the main lobby are seating areas where Branch Bank clients can do their banking paperwork or simply wait their turns at the service counter. Be sure to take a good, long look at the Boston skyline depicted on metal plates on the back wall – it’s not just well-crafted, it’s a work of art.
William “Bill” Parent, President & CEO of Blue Hills Bank, opened the program. He came to the Bank in 2010. He said he was actually opposed to a branch bank at first, because of the amount of work to be done at their Hyde Park headquarters. However, it became evident that the Bank’s growth within Boston – over $2 Billion in total assets – required an expansion here on the South Boston Waterfront, and he was extremely enthusiastic about the decision to establish a Seaport Branch.
City Councilor Bill Linehan welcomed the Bank Branch’s people to the South Boston Seaport, and assured them they would be swiftly made a part of the community. District Attorney Dan Conley told a couple of anecdotes about how his father, who was from Hyde Park, had Dan open an account in Hyde Park Savings – the ancestor of Blue Hills Bank. He also spoke of how the South Boston Waterfront had changed in his lifetime.
The program closed on a high note, when Blue Hills CEO Bill Parent presented a Signature Grant of $10,000 to Patty Foley of Save the Harbor/Save the Bay. This sum came from the Blue Hills Bank Charitable Foundation. By supporting harbor advocacy interests, the Bank made it clear that as a member of our community, they will be “giving back”.
The evening ended with a blue ribbon-cutting. One guests exclaimed, “This is the coolest bank party I have ever been to.” He was right.