WATERTOWN, Mass.—The proud home of the Hairenik and Armenian Weekly newspapers—the historic Hairenik Building—is getting renovated.
The Hairenik Association started the renovation project on the first floor of the Bigelow Avenue building late last month when volunteer crews started clearing out furniture and stripping the floors of worn out carpet and tile. The foyer and stairway are getting refurbished as well, and the space will also be getting a fresh coat of paint.
The Hairenik Association has been working out of its current location in the heart of Watertown’s thriving Armenian community since 1986, after moving out of its original headquarters on Stuart Street in downtown Boston. Former Weekly editor Muriel “Mimi” Parseghian and her colleagues were the first to produce the newspaper out of the current Hairenik Building. “The Hairenik has served the Armenian American community for over 120 years continuously and is the oldest such Armenian newspaper in the world,” said Armenian Revolutionary Federation Eastern Region Central Committee chairman George Aghjayan. “During successes and failures, good times and crises, the Hairenik has been there for the Armenian people and serves a vitally important role in that capacity.”
The Hairenik Association took advantage of the current pandemic and the resulting inactive work environment to start this phase of renovations, as staff members have been working from home. “The Hairenik has continued to print and remain at full staffing throughout the pandemic and is now tackling the workspace to make it more effective for the staff when they return,” said Aghjayan, who recently led the dramatic transformation of the ARF archives as well as the fourth floor, which serves as office space for the ARF-ER and a future media lab.
“After working from home during the pandemic, I look forward to returning to the newly-renovated Hairenik and Armenian Weekly offices to reunite with Leeza [Arakelian, assistant editor] and my other colleagues again soon,” said Weekly editor Pauline Getzoyan.
The project is slated for completion in about a month. For those who would like to lend their support to the renovations, they can contribute directly to the Armenian Cultural Association of America and specify “Hairenik Renovations.” “Any donation in appreciation of the work we continue to do after 120 years would be welcome,” concluded Aghjayan.