Fisher College’s recent purchase of 10-11 Arlington Street appears to be the last straw for Back Bay residents, who are now vowing to not only push back against the college but to push the school entirely out of the Back Bay.
The college — which now owns a surprisingly large chunk of the Bay Bay area at the corner of Arlington and Beacon streets — better not underestimate the mood of residents.
In the 1990s, Emerson College was squeezed out of the Back Bay, under pressure from residents, and effectively relocated to the mid-town area. Recently, Suffolk University fought — and lost — protracted battles to expand on Beacon Hill. Suffolk is now shifting many, if not most, of its college operations to the Downtown Crossing area.
If we were betting people (and we are), we’d place a long-term wager on Back Bay residents winning this fight against Fisher College. The history of residential opposition to college expansions in the Back Bay and on Beacon Hill doesn’t exactly favor Fisher.