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A tour of Boston’s universities with local guide Daniel Bodt



4. See Boston University’s Marsh Plaza

Across the river from MIT, Boston University (BU) is very much intertwined with the city, located along the streets of the Fenway and Back Bay neighbourhoods. One of the best ways to get a feel for the school, Bodt says, is to stroll down Commonwealth Avenue and admire the brownstone buildings, which is the “classic Back Bay architecture”, where a lot of students live.

Walk far enough and you’ll come to Marsh Plaza, which is the centrepiece of BU. “It’s a big, open plaza where there’s always something going on – performances, student protests, farmers markets, etc,” Bodt said. A magnificent sculpture of 50 fluttering doves, entitled Free at Last, honours Dr Martin Luther King Jr, who was a graduate student here. The key university buildings are all in this area, including the George Sherman Union and Marsh Chapel (both open to the public), as well as the Mugar Memorial Library and gorgeous Tudor mansion known as The Castle (which aren’t open to the public, but offer stunning photo-ops).

Bodt also recommends venturing behind Marsh Plaza to see the activity on the Charles River Esplanade, the long park that runs along the river’s edge. “In nice weather, you’ll see students lying out in this narrow grassy area that overlooks the Charles River, where everybody is rowing their crew boats and runners are going along the Esplanade,” he said. The small park has been dubbed – somewhat tongue-in-cheek – “the BU Beach”. “It’s a total misnomer,” Bodt admitted, as there is no sand or swimming. “But we’ll take what we can get for a beach in Boston.”

Website: www.bu.edu
Phone: 1-617-353-2000
Address: 735 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston
Instagram: @bostonu

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