Allston Home for A.R.T. Approved

A 70,000 square-foot theater and teaching center, plus housing for Harvard affiliates

Rendering of the Center for Creativity and Performance with a new residential building rising behind it.

The Center for Creativity and Performance and new residential housing, as seen from across North Harvard St. | DeMaterial

A new University performing arts center and residential apartment building were approved by the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) board on November 16. Construction of the 70,000-square-foot David E. [’93] and Stacey L. Goel Center for Creativity and Performance, made possible by their 2019 gift of $100 million, will begin in March 2024. The center, which will house the American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.), includes two flexible performance theaters, rehearsal studios, and teaching space. The new facility is expected to open at 175 North Harvard Street in Allston in late 2026.

map Allston
Map showing the project location in Allston | Courtesy Harvard University

Directly behind the A.R.T.’s new home on the same 2.7-acre site, where clearing and enabling work is already underway, the University will construct a 275,000 square-foot residential building for Harvard affiliates. The 276-unit structure, south of Harvard Stadium and the McCurdy Track, will include rental apartments ranging from studios to four-bedroom townhouses, housing in total about 500 University affiliates. Both the arts center and the accompanying residential building are pursuing “core green building” certification from the International Living Future Institute. The estimated cost of the project is $370 million.

Allston residential shot
The residential building for University affiliates, seen from Smith Field | marvel

Harvard executive vice president Meredith Weenick said in a statement that the “Center for Creativity and Performance will enable the A.R.T. to expand its remarkable and dynamic work” and “add to the creative energy already developing within the Harvard Innovation Labs, Harvard Business School, the Science Engineering Complex, and the emerging Enterprise Research Campus, all within the existing robust arts scene in Allston”—and all a short walk from the A.R.T.’s new home. The residential building, she continued, has the potential to “reduce pressure on a stressed local housing market and create further opportunities for the Harvard community to more deeply engage in Allston’s creative and distinct neighborhood culture. We are grateful to the City of Boston, the BPDA, and our Allston-Brighton community partners and elected officials for their collaboration and engagement throughout this process.”

Read more articles by Jonathan Shaw

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