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For the sake of city, its institutions, and its people, South End project should proceed

The Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology in Boston.Sarah Brezinsky/The Boston Globe - The Boston Gl

In Rachelle G. Cohen’s “A win-win city project stuck in neutral” (Opinion, June 15), she noted that the Atelier 505 building, across the street from the current Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology site, is the same height as the proposed redevelopment under review by the South End Landmark District Commission. The two projects actually have much more in common.

In the late 1990s, Boston Center for the Arts was facing significant financial challenges. Our ability to stay in our historic campus in the South End and continue to support hundreds of Boston artists each year was directly tied to the approval of the Atelier 505 project. In fact, the commission and the Boston Planning & Development Agency (then the Boston Redevelopment Authority) came to our aid and approved the Atelier project height in part to ensure the future success of the BCA and the value that our anchor organization brings to the neighborhood and the city.


The Franklin Institute is no less worthy of that level of support. It has been our South End neighbor for generations, and its mission and value to Boston have never been more critical. As Cohen noted, the institute’s ability to create a new campus in Nubian Square and deliver the best possible education for its students is directly linked to the approval of this project. This is an opportunity for our city to step up and work with the landmarks commission to move this project forward.

Emily Foster Day and Kristi Keefe

Co-executive directors

Boston Center for the Arts