• Rich Barlow

    Senior Writer

    Rich Barlow

    Rich Barlow is a senior writer at BU Today and Bostonia magazine. Perhaps the only native of Trenton, N.J., who will volunteer his birthplace without police interrogation, he graduated from Dartmouth College, spent 20 years as a small-town newspaper reporter, and is a former Boston Globe religion columnist, book reviewer, and occasional op-ed contributor. Profile

Comments & Discussion

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There are 22 comments on Myles Standish to Get Major Reconstruction

    1. Current zoning and design standards would result in a new, replacement building being smaller and would house fewer students. A totally renovated Myles and the Annex will essentially be a new building.

    2. Preserving and remodeling a building rather than tearing down the building is usually more efficient and ‘green’ than tearing down and creating a new building.

    3. Joyce,
      This is a great question. While we commonly perceive new buildings as more energy efficient than old ones, when we consider the embodied energy (and carbon) that exists in buildings that have already been built the evaluation changes significantly. According to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, it takes about 65 years for an energy-efficient new building to save the amount of energy lost in demolishing an existing building.

      For more information see: http://www.bu.edu/sustainability/what-were-doing/green-buildings/adaptive-reuse-2/. Also, you should know the team has been working diligently to design a very energy efficient building. Myles is registered for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification with the US Green Building Council where energy efficiency is a core element of that certification.

  1. I really hope they save the overhang on top of the door. As a current student, I love the design of it. It’s probably also a nice call back for alums who lived there over the years.

    1. This work actually may be worthwhile, unlike the vanity construction that routinely gobbles up higher-ed budgets at the expense of actual instruction.

  2. What about historical integrity? Is the university going to gut lovely old woodwork and non-deteriorated cosmetic aspects and replace them with sterile glass garbage like they did in Shelton? Arthur Miller wrote about this building. Shinier isn’t always better.

    1. The “lovely woodwork” is currently a mess – if you have actually been inside the rooms, you can see what used to be woodwork. As it stands, most of it is moldy/holey and should be torn down. Myles was, and shouldn’t be, a preservation project. Especially after serving Boston University for so long, it deserves a fresh start.

    1. COM needed to be redesigned 25 years ago. Probably more. If it hasn’t happened by now, well, it just reinforces where COM is on the university’s priority list. This is sad, given the caliber of students coming out of COM.

      1. COM is specifically singled out as a priority in the University’s latest strategic plan: http://www.bu.edu/plan2015/05/ (Click on “The Future,” and you’ll see it has its own category). It includes this line, completely relevant to your concerns, “By investing in both faculty and facilities, we plan to make sure that our College of Communication is at the forefront of high-quality undergraduate and graduate programs, preparing our graduates for the rapidly changing world of new media.”

        But it takes donors to make this happen. If COM alumni (or communication supporters from across the University and around the world) do not choose support COM, there’s not much the University can do.

  3. How about we use that money to give Danielson a major face lift??? Half of the bathrooms in Danielson don’t even have toilets that flush properly. Additionally, there’s a plethora of severely cracked bathroom tiles, paint chipped Windows, and antiquated heaters.
    Danielson is a mess to say the least. BU should be embarrassed.

  4. I’m fond of historical buildings, but having lived in Myles I agree that it was likely the worst of the large dorms. They can’t do anything to preserve all the bits and pieces, but I hope they preserve the building’s proud character and spirit.

    1. Let’s get to the major issue: what about the ghost?? Is there still a home for for the feature that truly makes MSH a building of legend? The BU admin should make available their plans for preserving an essential part of BU lore.

  5. Loved living in Myles, and I am glad to see Boston University is preserving the existing building rather than replacing it. I had a corner single on the 3F and it was great for studying and socializing. Are WTBU and racquetball court still operational in the Annex?

  6. Awesome! I lived in Myles 2004-2005, and while it was a really cozy building, it desperately needed work. The walls, heat system, and carpets were incredible poor repair, and the lack of privacy was awful! Not only were there no common spaces in your suite, causing someone’s room to serve as a passthrough to the door and bathroom, there were few common spaces in the building except for quiet study lounges, so if you were having a private conversation, you were hiding in the stairwell or the entry way to the Annex as everyone else walked past you.

    I’m curious as to how the irregular rooms will be renovated. I remember there were a bunch of rooms with angular walls located in the Point and along the slant of the building facing Bay State Road, as well as the huge -26 rooms. The layout shown in the article won’t work for those rooms, since many of them were smaller or oddly angled.

  7. My daughter and her friends are thinking about staying in Myles during the construction. What days and hours will the construction take place? Also, will there be construction during the weekends? I’m also concerned about the issue of asbestos. It is an old building so I am sure that there is asbestos in the walls.

    1. Thank you for your questions. Normal construction hours are 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. We do not anticipate the need to work on Saturdays during the academic year. Should our contractors need to work on a Saturday we will give student advance notice. Regulated materials, such as asbestos, will be removed under strict state and federal guidelines. Industrial Hygienists will constantly monitor the site, as will University and contractor safety officers.

      I hope that this information is helpful.

      Marc Robillard
      Executive Director of Auxiliary Services

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