Dorm Tower @ Emerson College | 1-3 Boylston Place | Downtown

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In a letter of intent filed with the Boston Redevelopment Authority on June 5, Associate Vice President of the college Margaret A. Ings wrote that the school hopes to expand into "the Estate nightclub at 1 & 2 Boylston Place, Sweetwater Cafe at 3 Boylston Place, the Tavern Club at 4 Boylston Place, and two other structures owned by the Tavern Club at 5 & 6 Boylston Place."

According to the letter, the proposed area would include a residence hall for about 750 students, a dining facility, a fitness center, academic offices, an equipment distribution center, and the Emerson College Police Department. The letter says that the project will be comprised of 260,000 feet of "new construction" and will be 280 feet tall. In addition to the college's new facilities, around 7,500 square feet of the newly constructed area will be used as an expansion of the Tavern Club.
http://mobile.boston.com/art/30/yourcampus/news/emerson/2013/06/emerson_college_announces_plans_to_expand_into_boylston_place?single=1
 

Arborway

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Re: Emerson college expansion into Boylston Place

NOT COOL.

Tearing down Sweetwater is a stupid, stupid idea. People are going to oppose that.
 

BostonUrbEx

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Re: Emerson college expansion into Boylston Place

Bye bye retail? Yay, glad these schools are revitalizing downtown.
 

palindrome

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Re: Emerson college expansion into Boylston Place

According to the letter, the proposed area would include a residence hall for about 750 students, a dining facility, a fitness center, academic offices, an equipment distribution center, and the Emerson College Police Department. The letter says that the project will be comprised of 260,000 feet of "new construction" and will be 280 feet tall. In addition to the college's new facilities, around 7,500 square feet of the newly constructed area will be used as an expansion of the Tavern Club.
.
 

itchy

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Re: Emerson college expansion into Boylston Place

Well, that is massively dumb. Talk about your moves that are clearly, clearly bad for the city.

Is there anyone in the city government who isn't so stupid / obsessed with other crap / influenced by establishment interests like universities that they would be willing to derail this?
 

AmericanFolkLegend

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Re: Emerson college expansion into Boylston Place

Why is new housing and increased density "massively dumb"?
 

itchy

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Re: Emerson college expansion into Boylston Place

Because it would kill off a vibrant, interesting area with a number of nightlife venues that are key to keeping students and recent grads in the city. And it would replace it with a dorm that makes a fairly large area of prime downtown space effectively the private preserve of Emerson.
 

Downburst

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Re: Emerson college expansion into Boylston Place

^This.

I remember the first time I discovered that space while wandering around. It is a charming and vibrant space and it would be a pity to alter it.

I seriously doubt it due to engineering and financial reasons, but they can't somehow build over these buildings/preserve these businesses, right? Because I don't think any sort of facadectomy would work here either.
 
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Arborway

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Re: Emerson college expansion into Boylston Place

When Emerson bought the buildings, students and alumni I know were emphatic that they not touch Sweetwater.

Naturally, the college has decided that destroying it is the best option, yet the Gypsy Bar of all places shall remain.
 

underground

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Re: Emerson college expansion into Boylston Place

Sorry about Sweetwater, but the amount of good Emerson's done to that part of town still HEAVILY outweighs the loss of two bars, one of which is a hell hole. Not to mention the good adding 750 beds will do.
 

AmericanFolkLegend

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Re: Emerson college expansion into Boylston Place

Because it would kill off a vibrant, interesting area with a number of nightlife venues that are key to keeping students and recent grads in the city. And it would replace it with a dorm that makes a fairly large area of prime downtown space effectively the private preserve of Emerson.
I'm dating myself - I've never been to Sweetwater. Back when I was in my 20's The Alley (still called that?) was all meathead bars. Largely the same kind of bridge & tunnel crowd that you find in Quincy Market F/S nights except you were more likely to get stabbed when a fight inevitably broke out.
 

George_Apley

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Re: Emerson college expansion into Boylston Place

The Alley isn't really where the club violence happens anymore. Most of that's in the Theater District, and that's been quiet lately too. The loss of two clubs will just make it harder on all the others in the area to keep up with capacity and keep the crowds orderly. This is bad news unless Emerson helps them find new spots.

Also, will this fill in the Alley? I mean, yay density, but it's destroying nightlife and retail (and doesn't seem to be incorporating any retail into the design). How is another dead university frontage good for an active street life?

Also is this so Emerson can admit more people, or so they can house more enrolled students? IMO not a good idea to bring in more kids with fewer spots to go on a Fri/Sat night.
 

bosdevelopment

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Re: Emerson college expansion into Boylston Place

I can attest to the fact that I saw likely the most horrific fight of my life outside of Sweetwater Cafe in early-mid 2001, and i've been witness (and involved in) many fights back in my "beat you up" days.

Edit- Fight involved asian street gang (of 9 or 10) on two huge black guys.. The asian street gang won..
 

George_Apley

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Re: Emerson college expansion into Boylston Place

I can attest to the fact that I saw likely the most horrific fight of my life outside of Sweetwater Cafe in early-mid 2001, and i've been witness (and involved in) many fights back in my "beat you up" days.

Edit- Fight involved asian street gang (of 9 or 10) on two huge black guys.. The asian street gang won..
Anecdotes that are over a decade old aren't that pertinent to today. The Alley seems fairly calm these days compared to other clubby parts of town.
 

Beton Brut

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Re: Emerson college expansion into Boylston Place

The landscape changes just like the seasons. I was a grad student at Emerson in the early 90s. There were always dust-ups: liquor + women = fisticuffs.

A recent late-night layover (waiting for a taxi) in front of the W was like a tryout for The Ultimate Fighter. About a dozen knuckleheads looking to introduce a new friend to their shod foot, or the sidewalk.

Sometimes I'm glad to be middle-aged...
 

kmp1284

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Re: Emerson college expansion into Boylston Place

Do we know for certain that the Tavern is onboard or is the 7,500 square foot expansion bit just a bone to lure them in? The Tavern as it is is a nice space but with their dwindling and aging membership what good would all that space be? It would be nice to see it re-purposed along the lines of the Montauk in Park Slope, although the Somerset has a better property with a similarly low chance of surviving the next few decades.
 

stellarfun

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Re: Emerson college expansion into Boylston Place

Emerson owns 1, 2, and 3 Boylston Place. The Tavern Club owns 4, 5, and 6 Boylston Place.

(Note, there are two Boylston Places in Boston, yet another screwed up address in a city that has more screwed up addresses than any other.)

Sweetwater is in #3, Estate is in #1.

The land area owned by the Tavern Club is about 5,400 sq ft.
 

Ron Newman

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Re: Emerson college expansion into Boylston Place

How much live music are we actually losing if these places close? (I'm too old to be regularly monitoring the scene these days)
 

underground

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Re: Emerson college expansion into Boylston Place

Not much, unless you count the DJs at Estate as live music.
 

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