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Office of News & Public Affairs

St. Mary's Hall Renovation Project

In 2012, the Boston College Board of Trustees gave approval for the renovation of St. Mary’s Hall, the primary residence of the University's Jesuit community.

The renovations, administrators said, are needed to restore the historically significant building, the second-oldest on the Chestnut Hill campus. The project will entail a complete facelift of St. Mary’s, similar to that of Gasson Hall, and will enable the Jesuit residence to remain in the location where it has stood for 95 years.

In addition, the renovations will allow the majority of the south wing of the building to be converted into University academic space, which will be occupied by the Communication and Computer Science departments, as well as the Woods College of Advancing Studies, when the building reopens in January 2015.

St. Mary's Hall
St. Mary's Hall, the second-oldest building on BC's Chestnut Hill campus, was closed in January 2013 for a two-year renovation project.


St. Mary’s is an exterior and interior renovation. The work started on site January 14, 2013 and will continue to November 2014. All work will occur within the project site fencing.

Ongoing site activities:

  • Inside the building, upper floors are receiving a final paint job and touch-up, and finishes are being installed, while activity on the first floor includes historic restoration of plaster walls and installation of millwork.
  • The masonry has been completed for the new entrance on St. Mary’s southeast corner, which will lead to the new locations for the Woods College of Advancing Studies and the Communication and Computer Science departments.
  • Outside, installation of granite curbing for roadways and sidewalks has begun, as has landscaping around the building and on the adjacent deck of the Commonwealth Avenue parking garage. This work will continue for the next few months, and may occasionally affect pedestrian or vehicular traffic in the vicinity.
  • Jesuit residents are expected to return to St. Mary’s in December. St. Mary’s will formally reopen in January.

Impetus for the Project

“Given its age, St. Mary’s Hall is in need of significant upgrades, including the building envelope and the building systems,” said Mary Nardone, associate vice president of capital projects management. “On the inside, the overall goal is to maintain the wonderful 'feel' of St. Mary’s on the first level, while upgrading the residential floors to improve functionality and efficiency. On the outside, there is a need to replace the roof and windows as well as the cast stone, which is approximately three times the quantity of Gasson Hall. Once completed, the transformation of the exterior of the building will be just as stunning as it was for Gasson."

“As a Jesuit community, our religious and apostolic life is what matters most to us,” said T. Frank Kennedy, S.J., Canisius Professor of Music and rector of the Jesuit community.

“We no longer needed all of the space we had once occupied in St. Mary’s, but we realized the value of living on campus and supporting the mission of the University through our presence and service,” said Fr. Kennedy. “We said we would be happy to stay in a building that has hosted the Jesuits since 1917—with the exception of World War II when the community left to provide housing for soldiers—if it was possible, and the University has made it possible.”


Jesuit Community, Chapel Relocation

St.Mary's Hall window

St. Mary's was closed on January 14, 2013, and the entire building and surrounding area was fenced in for the duration of the project.

The majority of its Jesuit residents relocated to the BC-owned apartment complex at 2000 Commonwealth Avenue. The administrative offices of the Jesuit community have moved to 30 Old Colony Road.

The popular chapel at St Mary’s Hall also is closed during the renovations. Gasson Commons, across the rotunda from the Irish Room (Gasson 100) in Gasson Hall, will serve as a chapel for the University community until St. Mary’s reopens.

--Office of News & Public Affairs