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City of Boston Outlines Plans for Life Science Campus Along Beacon Street

The Boston City Hall is located in the heart of Boston's Government Center complex.
The Boston City Hall is located in the heart of Boston's Government Center complex. By Mariah Ellen D. Dimalaluan
By Danish Bajwa, Crimson Staff Writer

The Boston Planning and Development Agency discussed the construction of a life science campus along 155 North Beacon St. with Allston-Brighton residents and the Impact Advisory Group during a Tuesday webinar.

The planned redevelopment of North Beacon Street consists of constructing a life science campus with three buildings, including affordable rehearsal space for musicians as well as publicly accessible green space. The project will also realign Life Street and add pedestrian and bicyclist safety measures.

The project site measures 3.1 acres, with the three multi-story life science buildings cumulatively offering about 380,000 square feet of floor space.

During the webinar, James Blount — the project architect — emphasized that the color palettes, materials, and heights of the new buildings will correspond with the pre-existing properties along Beacon Street in order to preserve the “scale and character” of the area.

While the proposed buildings will house a “significant amount of life science space,” they will also offer space for Allston-Brighton residents, according to Blount.

The lobbies of the life science buildings are also intended to host artistic displays, frequent community events, and public restrooms.

Notably, the project contains roughly 27,000 square feet of publicly accessible green space. In designing the space, landscape architect Jay Emperor said he aimed to create a park evoking “playfulness,” “exploration,” and “discovery.”

A spiral, granite seawall will stand at the park’s center so visitors can partake in numerous activities simultaneously, Emperor added.

Impact Advisory Group members said they supported plans for the campus but hoped it will include public internet access.

“I like the work on the park. I think having internet out there is real important whether it’s through the city or through your building,” IAG member John Bligh said. “I think it makes it more usable.”

Finally, the project on Beacon Street aims to realign Life Street, which currently intersects with North Beacon Street at an “oblique,” “non-standard” angle, said transportation permitting manager Elizabeth Peart.

“One of the first things we heard from the city was, ‘We would really like to see Life Street realigned,’” she said.

In response, the BPDA plans to standardize the angle at which Life Street intersects Beacon Street and “install new equipment and new pavement markings,” Peart said.

—Staff writer Danish Bajwa can be reached at danish.bajwa@thecrimson.com. Follow him on Twitter @Danishbjw.

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