Northeastern acquires ‘Horticulture Hall’

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02/11/20 - BOSTON, MA. - 300 Massachusetts Avenue on Feb. 11, 2020. Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

By Molly Callahan

News at Northeastern

Northeastern University has purchased the turn-of-the-century building at 300 Massachusetts Ave., in Boston, known historically as “Horticulture Hall.”

The building, contiguous to the university’s Boston campus, sits at the head of Huntington Avenue and neighbors Symphony Hall and the Christian Science Center plaza. It’s familiar footing for Northeastern, as many of the university’s administrative offices are located in Belvidere Hall, space the university has been leasing since 2013.

“We are excited to bring this great building into the vibrant university ecosystem along Huntington Avenue,” says Kathy Spiegelman, who is vice president and chief of campus planning and development at Northeastern.

In the short term, Northeastern will utilize open office space in the building, Spiegelman says.

The building was completed in 1901 for the Massachusetts Horticultural Society and has housed many flourishing organizations through the last century. Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

The building has changed hands several times recently. Commercial real estate company Marcus Partners bought it from the Christian Science Church in 2017, then put it back on the market in late 2019, when Northeastern bid upon it. Currently, its tenants include Boston Magazine, 829 Studios, and Small Army, all of which are using it for office space, and the Museum of Fine Arts, which uses the space for book storage.

Officials from Boston Magazine, the building’s largest tenant, decided not to renew their lease when it expires over the summer, Spiegelman says.

Horticulture Hall was built at the turn of the 20th century for the Massachusetts Horticultural Society and has housed many flourishing organizations through the last century, including the Benevolent Fraternity Fruit and Flower Mission, the Wildflower Society, the Garden Club Federation, the Boston Mycological Club, the New England Gourd Society, the New England Gladiolus Society, the Herb Society of America, and the Boston Aquarium Society, according to Spiegelman.

“We’re working with the City of Boston to come up with a plan that takes advantage of the rich history and architecture of the building to program it with all the exciting things that happen at Northeastern,” Spiegelman says.