Monday, September 10, 2012

Boston University presents its plans for the Boston side of the Charles River

Boston University is making a presentation on its plans for Campus expansion. It is tonight, 6:00 PM, September 10, 2012 at the Boston University School of Management Building – Room 424 (4th Floor), 595 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA.

I have done a cursory review of the Institutional Master Plan Notification form.

With that brief review, I note that the massive double dorm behind BU’s Athletic Arena which dominates the Boston view from Magazine Beach, will become three towers with another tower built to the west on top of a parking lot.

Additionally, please note the Institutional Master Plan Notification Form,, page 40 in PDF reading, figure 6-4.

This shows planned development from Commonwealth Avenue to Storrow Drive / Soldiers Field Road of all the property on the Boston side near the BU Bridge. Their plans start slightly west of the curve of the Grand Junction just after the Railroad Bridge crosses Soldiers Field Road. The plans run east to include the western portion of the Student Union.

This area includes major open space west of the BU Bridge and major undeveloped land between the BU Bridge and University Road, which serves as access to and from Storrow Drove / Soldiers Field Road east bound. The portion of the Student Union considered for development is just east of University Road.

The plans also include I90, the Massachusetts Turnpike from the same western end to Beacon Street, near Kenmore Square in Boston. BU owns all the land to the north of the Mass. Pike in that area. Interestingly, the plans do not include the rather small area between Beacon Street and Brookline Avenue. This area includes Yawkey Station which features very prominently in Urban Ring rail planning.

Mention of the Cambridge side of the Charles River is negligible. The presentation is made under the aegis of the Boston Redevelopment Authority, the City of Boston’s planning agency.


A friend on facebook wished me good luck at the meeting.

My response:

Thanks for the good wishes.

The reality is that I have been through too many meetings with too many unthinking cheerleaders. I thought these plans, in particular, might interest folks.

They are being very non specific and very early on particular plans near the Charles other than the third tower. This is except for an addition to the Law School which, in reality is a 5 story increase in height on top of the existing campus steam heat plant.

That addition to height will not, supposedly be any closer to the Charles than the existing building.

The perhaps meaningful heavy hitters lost a long time ago on the dorm fight.

Interesting omission: I do not recall seeing in the report their very major games with regard to boathouses on the Boston side of the Charles. That effort was a typical game from the "activists". As I recall, the "activists" were bragging about size or location of a new massive building in the Charles near Kenmore. The last thing the "activists" would consider was whether this new construction in the Charles is responsible or even whether it made sense.