Beacon HiLl is ideal terrain for town-gown battles. Foot-loose students from Suffolk University and no-nonsense homeowners are pressed tightly together. The university needs elbow room but receives little quarter from the historic preservationists who pop up from behind every bush or the Beacon Hill Civic Association — the Special Forces of Boston’s community groups.
Yet peace reigns on Beacon Hill while the fight over institutional development intensifies in other parts of the city, including neighborhoods bordered by Harvard and Northeastern universities. So how did Suffolk, which didn’t open an office of community relations until 2006, become such a symbol of contentment?