Re-imagining Dudley

The Dudley Square business district was once the commercial and entertainment center of the Roxbury community. In the 1940\’s this area was the largest retailing center in New England outside of downtown Boston. Laced by several streetcar lines, this lively center served a broad trade area.After World War II, as the city lost population and eventually shopping and jobs to the bourgeoning suburbs, the Dudley Square area began a period of decline. In 1987, the shift of the MBTA\’s Orange Line from the antiquated elevated service terminating at Dudley \”Station\” in the center of the district, to it\’s present location further west in what is now known as the Southwest Corridor, left this community without rapid transit service. Recently the Silver Line bus rapid transit line became operational. Touted as a replacement service for the former Orange Line elevated, the Roxbury community remains divided on whether it is in fact an adequate replacement. Today as Boston\’s housing shortage becomes more acute, the Roxbury neighborhood with its rich and varied housing stock and its close proximity to major employment centers is experiencing increasing development pressures. Correspondingly, the Dudley business district is experiencing a revival of interest and development activity. This studio will explore at multiple levels, new visions for this important crossroads in the city. In addition to the existing stock of handsome buildings in the area, there are a number of significant vacant and underutilized sites that can accommodate new development. Several of these sites are of interest to the state\’s newly created Office of Commonwealth Development as Transit Oriented Development sites. This will be a physical design oriented, multi-disciplinary studio. Planners, urban designers, architects and landscape architects are invited to participate. In addition to the master planning challenges, there will be opportunities to explore provocative land use options and innovative, site specific, new landscape and building design typologies.