Modern Theatre revamped as dorm

posted by Michael Zoldessy on October 11, 2007 at 10:42 am

BOSTON, MA — The Modern Theatre will soon be renovated to house students on top of the theater portion. The long vacant building’s auditorium will have work done to it so it can be used as a performance space.

The Modern Theatre on Washington Street, where movies with sound were first shown in Boston, is going to become student housing for Suffolk University.

The Boston Redevelopment Authority yesterday approved Suffolk’s plan for a $35 million renovation that will preserve the Modern’s distinctive High Victorian and Gothic facade with its arching entrance, while erecting a modern 12-story tower with 180 to 200 beds above.

“We’re excited about restoring a little bit of Boston’s history to the Midtown Cultural District, as well as providing much-needed dorm space,” said John A. Nucci, Suffolk’s vice president for government and community affairs. “The building has been sitting idle and an eyesore for many years.”

Read more in the Boston Globe.

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Comments (6)

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on October 11, 2007 at 1:40 pm

When this project is finished, I don’t think there will be much left of the Modern/Mayflower Theatre except for the restored facade.

br91975 on October 11, 2007 at 5:20 pm

I wonder if there was any way to retain the Modern/Mayflower Theatre or if it fell into a state of hopelessness from years of neglect…

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on October 11, 2007 at 10:09 pm

From what I’ve heard, there already isn’t much left of it…

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on October 12, 2007 at 1:23 pm

My understanding is that the roof leaked badly for the many years that the building has been vacant. 2 or 3 years ago the building was said to be in danger of collapsing. If it had not suffered such neglect then it probably could be restored, but not with a 12-story dorm tower constructed on top of it ! It does not seem likely that the dorm tower could be built on such a small lot without destroying the original building.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on October 12, 2007 at 7:27 pm

I have also heard that it is pretty trashed. But maybe they will be able to retain design elements here and there. Any way you cut it, this project is better than having a crumbling ruin on Washington St.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on October 13, 2007 at 1:23 pm

I agree – the interior of this theatre is beyond hope and the exterior has been an eyesore for over 20 years.

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