Why is this building empty?

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jass

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I recently learned that this building sits abandoned, which is a big surprise as it sits in a prime spot, looks good, and has an owner who needs space. BU owns it, and it would make a good dorm.

Anybody know the story behind it?

















 

statler

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I love that building. I always look in the door when I walk by.
It's old school Kenmore Sq.
This sounds goofy but could you imagine the stories it could tell?
Looks like it's a BU building (like everything else). Maybe they don't have the capital to fix it up?
A shame if they let it decay.
The convenience store facade is a disgrace to the building, but at least it's active.
 

Ron Newman

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When I lived in that neighborhood, the storefront was New England Music City, a popular local chain. Remember record stores?
 

JimboJones

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Well, no surprises here, right?

Location & Ownership Information
Address: 541 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA 02215-2005
Owner 1: 533-541 Boston Univ
Owner 2: Kenneth G Condon
Owner Address: 881 Commonwealth Ave 4th Fl,Boston, MA 02215

Property Information
Use: OTHER UNIVERSITY Style:
Levels: 6 Lot Size: 0.07 Acres (3062 sqft.)
Year Built: 1899 Total Area: 20671 sqft.
Total Rooms: 0 Living Area: 17718 sqft.
 

justin

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^It clashes with Hotel Comonwealth. It needs to be torn down and replaced by sometihing more like the dominant style of Kenmore Sq,
 

itchy

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BU's probably letting it sit fallow so it can fall into disrepair (oops! I guess it's just old!). That way, they'll "have to" tear it down and build a nice, new modern dorm to complement the beautiful property next door. Only then will we have a proper entryway to the glory that is the BU campus.

Maybe I'll try to get my BU friends to start agitating in the school paper to get their administration to start using that building so they can't claim it needs to be knocked down.

By the way, are they going to raze the awful dorms around Nickerson Field any time soon? I somehow seriously doubt it...

(On a less sarcastic note, does anyone know why it is the more modern clunkers never get torn down but the beautiful old buildings -- even if they're pretty big themselves -- do? Is it easier to get permits, or is it a lot cheaper? Or do certain developers/institutions have a Satanic mission against things that are nice?)
 

statler

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^^ Modern buildings have open floor plans and are easily adapted to modern uses.
Older building have lots of interior supports and are a pain in the ass to retrofit.

That's why you see a lot of facadectomies.

Plus plywood and concrete are a hell of a lot easier and cheaper to repair than carved oak and stone.
 

statler

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I just sent an email to Professor Claire W. Dempsey who is listed as Director, Preservation Studies Program on BU's website.
I directed her to this thread and asked if she had any info on BU's plans for the building.
It's a long shot but I thought it worth a try. We'll see.
 

Ron Newman

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If you call the building superintendent phone number on that sign, what do they say? Is any construction or interior demolition going on inside?
 

jass

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If you call the building superintendent phone number on that sign, what do they say? Is any construction or interior demolition going on inside?
The real number is blocked off and I dont want to call the emergency number.

From what I could see, nothing has been happening in the building. Only recently did I notice it was empty, and in the past 2 years I havent seen any activity.

Hopefully we get a reply from the BU professor
 

kz1000ps

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This is probably my favorite building in Kenmore Square, and it would be a bloody shame if it became a victim of negligence. Stupid eeeediots!

Side note: does anyone besides me like the 1940s-era two-story bank at the corner of Comm Ave and Beacon? The site cries out for something taller, but I really like that art moderne style.
 

Scott

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Is that the building that used to have a Harvard Coop and a night club during the '80's?
 

Scott

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Are you sure? Memory is a funny thing so I wouldn't bet my life on it although I do remember the dance club was Celebrations (in Kenmore Square).
 

Ron Newman

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I remember clubs called Lucifer, K-K-K-Katy's, and Yesterday. They later changed their names. I think the whole thing later became the BU Bookstore Mall which is now Barnes & Noble.
 

bosdevelopment

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I was under the impression that this building as home to Blaine! Hair Salon School. They must have just vacated. Don't worry.. BU won't let it sit empty for long....
 
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