Emerson College's Legacy of Historic Preservation
Emerson College’s Boston campus is located at the gateway to the city’s bustling Theatre District, in close proximity to cultural resources, media outlets, and public transportation. It comprises a cluster of nine buildings near the intersection of Boylston and Tremont Streets (adjacent to historic Boston Common) plus the magnificent Paramount Center, a performing arts and residence center on nearby Washington Street. The College also has facilities in Los Angeles and the Netherlands.
The Boston campus has been assembled during the past 30 years as the College moved to the Theatre District from the Back Bay. Since 1993, Emerson has invested more than $500 million in preserving and restoring such historic spaces at the Cutler Majestic Theatre and the Paramount Center and also creating new facilities, such as the Tufte Performance and Production Center.
Emerson’s decision to create the “Campus on the Common” is widely credited with reviving and revitalizing this section of Boston, attracting the development of private residences, hotels, restaurants, and other retail spaces. The College’s opening of the Paramount Center and Residence Hall in 2010 on the site of the decaying Paramount Theatre brought new life to the lower Washington Street corridor, which today in 2015 is a hub of activity, also with new restaurants, retail, and private residences.
The Paramount Center, a three-building arts-residence complex includes the renovated 596-seat Paramount Theatre, a 125-seat Jackie Liebergott Black Box Theatre, the 170-seat Bright Family Screening Room (named in honor of Vice President and LA Founding Director Kevin Bright ’76), faculty offices, nine rehearsal spaces, a scene shop, and a residence hall for 262 students.
Today, Emerson is continuing its legacy of preservation and restoration through its plans to renovate the Little Building, the Colonial Theatre, and create a new residence hall in Boylston Place. When these projects are completed by the Fall of 2019, the College will be able to house nearly 70 percent of its students and will have preserved several additional historic spaces for future generations.