Inside Emerson’s New Dorm Building

This past year, there’s been plenty of talk about the construction happening on Emerson’s Boylston Street campus. From the building of a new dining hall to Little Building being closed for renovations starting this May, to a new dorm building with its entrance in the Boylston Place alleyway—change is definitely coming to Emerson. But, how much do Emerson’s students actually know about these construction projects? Particularly, how much do students know about this new dorm building? Many students will call 2 Boylston Place their home come next semester, and yet they might not know much about what the Boylston Place dorm will really be like.

As a student who is now a junior, even I’m a bit confused about just what is happening with this new dorm building, regardless if I might not have the opportunity to live there. Still, I’ve been watching this construction happen since I started at Emerson. The sounds of drilling and workers shouting over the noise of their equipment have become all too familiar to my peers and me.

Beginning last March, Emerson announced that members of its community would be able to watch the construction of the 2 Boylston Place dorm on a live feed, thanks to a camera perched atop Walker Building. That feed is still available for viewing here, though depending on what day of the week you’re tuning in, you might not see much of interest. Regardless, this live feed offers little insight into the layout or interior of the new dorm building. What we can tell from this is that the exterior of 2 Boylston Place looks pretty similar to Piano Row.

One thing I’ve noticed about any information regarding 2 Boylston Place is that there is information out there, but oftentimes those various facts and figures are easily missed by Emerson students.

According to this article from the Berkeley Beacon, 2 Boylston Place will have multiple, unique common spaces for students. Instead of every common room featuring the same couch and television set, each will have a different purpose. However, also according to this article, those community spaces will only be available to on-campus students. Luckily, though, the lower level of the building will have a lounge area and cafe open to all of Emerson, on and off-campus students alike.

What the lobby of 2 Boylston Place is planned to look like. This image was taken from

Furthermore, the building is set to be 18-stories tall and will be able to house 375 students. That number only covers about half of the beds lost with the closing of LB, which is why some students will be relocated to a building near Fenway that Emerson is leasing.

It is March now, and most upperclassmen have already secured off-campus housing for next fall. This year, a housing lottery is not really available to any students that will be juniors or seniors come the fall semester—students were told they had a very slim chance of being chosen from the small lottery offered. Though traditionally housing has not been guaranteed for upperclassmen, they at least had the opportunity to enter the housing lottery. This year, that isn’t the case. There’s a lot happening at Emerson right now, and unfortunately, upperclassmen students are bearing the brunt of it.

Still, these different projects should be exciting to all students, on-campus or off. The Emerson campus is undergoing a remarkable transformation, and we get to watch as it happens. When Little Building is reopened in 2019, Emerson will be able to house all freshmen, sophomore, and junior students on-campus. 

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