Northeastern Boston Campus Secrets You Should Know

Have you ever wondered if there’s more to Northeastern’s Boston campus than meets the eye?

If so, you are correct. The 124-year-old campus is brimming with history, lore, and the kind of under-the-radar secrets that students and faculty don’t always discover on their own. Luckily, this helpful guide is here with some secrets that will enhance the Boston campus experience.

Off-the-beaten-path, far-from-the-crowd places to study, sculptures with hidden histories, and new dining options — these are the Boston campus secrets you need to know.

carved secrets

The statue of Cy Young at Northeastern University pays homage to the original site of the first World Series. Photo by: Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

Northeastern’s Boston campus is packed with enough artwork, from outdoor sculptures and murals to indoor galleries, to give everyone a bit of ambient inspiration. But there are two sculptures that also bring interesting history to campus.

Most notable is the statue of Cy Young, which bears witness to the first World Series which took place in 1903 on what is now the Northeastern campus. From 1901 to 1911, the baseball stadium at Huntington Avenue Grounds – now Northeastern’s Cabot Center – was home to the team then called the Boston Americans. In October 1903, the Americans, led by legendary pitcher Cy Young, defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates, five games to three.

Built by Robert Shure and installed in the early 1990s, the statue stands outside Cabot, nestled in green space on the site of the original Huntington Avenue Grounds pitcher’s mound. Leaning forward, anticipating his next pitch, Young is now part of Northeastern history.

A gray statue sits on the ground on the Northeastern campus in Boston.
Located next to the Curry Student Center, the Reclining Figure sculpture was designed by Blake Edwards, best known as the director of the 1963 comedy classic, The Pink Panther. Photo by Ruby Wallau/Northeastern University

On the other side of campus, next to the Curry Student Center and Afterhours, is the Reclining Figure. The aptly named bronze sculpture has a curious origin story: it was created by Blake Edwards, a writer, director, actor and artist best known for directing the Pink Panther films and being married to Julie Andrews.

Next time you pass, try not to hear Henry Mancini famous jazzy theme from Edwards’ 1963 comedy classic.

Hidden places of study

With students returning to campus, many of the better-known study spaces on campus can fill up quickly. Fortunately, Northeastern recently expanded its selection of study spaces, and students can now reserve a study space in 25 different locations.

But if you want to avoid the crowds and find study options off the beaten path, consider using the roof terrace at the Curry Student Center. It’s a less crowded area of ​​the busy student center that offers some respite on a chilly fall day.

For those who want to get away from campus for a bit, the Museum of Fine Arts on Huntington Avenue has plenty of quiet and elegant spaces for a quick study session. The museum is also free for students, faculty and staff and offers several dining options for study breaks.

“[It’s a] wonderful study space, especially in the spring when you’ve been cooped up too long and the sun is starting to come out again or during the summer terms,” Madeleine Estabrook, senior vice chancellor for student affairs, said. “It’s a very different vibe.”

Cullinane Hall has been updated to include lots of new study space, and as part of a new arrangement with Food Services, food trucks are even available Monday through Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. NU Dining Instagram every Friday to see the following week’s truck lineup.

The “marry me” brick

A red brick has black text engraved on top: "Lar, will you marry me?  FPL" on the Northeastern campus in Boston.
A brick picture in Northeastern’s Centennial Common reads, “Lar, will you marry me?” Photo by Alyssa Stone/Northeastern University

As part of Northeastern’s bicentennial celebration, the university offered members of the husky pack the opportunity to donate money and receive commemorative bricks. The bricks line the walkways around Centennial Common and mostly include the names of generous patrons. But a brick is different.

Located across from Ryder Hall, this brick asks a simple question: Will you marry me? It’s not yet known if anyone has proposed on the brick, but it’s only a matter of time.

Under the radar rec spots

Marino Recreation Center and SquashBusters Center are just a few of the campuses leisure options.

Tucked away behind Willis Hall is a sand volleyball court that is still a well-kept secret on campus.

“If you don’t live in the building, you probably won’t know,” says Emily Hardman, associate dean of student programming and communications.

And if Marino isn’t your vibe, some students have found nontraditional spots to train or practice above the Columbus Avenue and Renaissance Park parking lots.

northeast underground

One of the most hidden gems in the North East is also one of the most useful. The network of underground tunnels that run throughout campus provide a welcome escape from the cold and rain and an accessible way to get to your next class.

The tunnel’s main entrance is next to the northeast bookstore, but the 16,705-square-foot tunnel system has entrances to 11 buildings, including the Cabot Gym, Dodge Hall, Ell Hall, Richards Hall, and Snell Library . Use this digital tour to help you explore the Northeast in a whole new way.

An Emerald Necklace excursion

Northeastern’s Parsons Field and Friedman Diamond are home to the university’s men’s and women’s football and baseball teams, but they’re also a great excuse to experience one of Boston’s best parkways.

Located in Brookline, the courts are a 30-minute walk from campus along the Emerald Necklace, a 1,100-acre chain of parks and waterways that includes Boston Common, Boston Public Garden, The Fens, Arnold Arboretum, and Jamaica Pond. If you want to support Northeastern teams and experience some of Boston’s most beautiful green spaces, there’s no better option. Pedestrians can hop on the Emerald Necklace on the northwest side of campus.

Mark Boulter, director of building services, has been at Northeastern for nearly 45 years and remembers walking to Northeastern football practice along the Emerald Necklace.

“That was the best part of my practice,” Boulter says. “It’s a nice drive out there through the Fens and along the Emerald Necklace to cheer on the Northeast teams. It’s a great place to relax and watch a game.

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