Downtown Crossing could have an exciting future.

Or, continue to be what can kindly be called a “cesspool”. (That’s not totally accurate, but you know what I mean.)

The area has never lived up to its potential (although there’s been a lot of argument lately over what “potential” it should have – not every neighborhood has to be (or wants to be) like Back Bay or the middle of the South End).

The neighborhood seems about to change, once again, due to several colleges expanding into the area.

Emerson College and Suffolk University are the big players. Suffolk recently made an offer on Ten West Street, a condo conversion going up between Tremont Street and Washington Street. The university wants to create a dormitory in the space.

Down the street, Emerson College has made itself a home by buying up (and building) a bunch of property.

Today, they embarked on a new project.

Emerson College officials and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino broke ground May 11 for the Paramount Center project on Lower Washington Street …

… The centerpiece of the project will be renovation of the historic Paramount movie theater and retooling it for use as a live performance venue for local arts groups as well as Emerson students. The center will also include a new performance development center that will house a black box theater, and sound stage a scene shop, a film screening room, and multiple rehearsal and practice rooms. The upper levels of the new building will be a residence for 260 students.

The project is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2009.

Awesome news. Very exciting. The perfect way to bring 24-hour a day activity to an otherwise moribund neighborhood (whether it wants it or not, LOL!).

Source: Emerson breaks ground for the Paramount Center project on Washington Street

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Updated:  1st Q 2018

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