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Working Papers

Northeastern University and Boston’s Avenue of the Arts

Working paper #515
William Rawn

The new West Campus of Northeastern University in Boston consists of seven buildings that have opened since September 1999, totaling more than one million square feet, with more than $200 million in construction costs. Not content merely to expand, Northeastern wanted to support the surrounding city. This article describes a number of issues related to the spatial relationship of campus and surrounding neighborhoods. The author concludes that campuses are best linked to the surrounding city by obvious visual connections such as retail, spaces open to the public, and architectural portals. The Northeastern investment has encouraged investment by other institutions. Private-sector investment in retail and residential uses has followed.

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