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Fenway Alliance records

Identifier: M216

Scope and Contents

The Fenway Alliance records document the organization’s activities through administrative records, plans, reports, photographs, photographic slides, and subject files. The records document internal committees, meetings, and strategic planning, as well as the organization’s community outreach, external partnerships, and projects in the Fenway area. These records document the Fenway neighborhood, as well as changes to it, as a result of building development, land use, and Muddy River improvements.

The collection is organized into 3 series: 1. Administrative; 2. Stephenson, Robert (Director of Planning); and 3. Subject Files.

Series 1: Administrative includes annual, board, executive committee, and quarterly meeting information, correspondence, promotional material, and strategic planning documents. The date range for these materials is 1979-2014, but the majority dates to the 1990s-2010s, after the organization was renamed the Fenway Alliance.

Series 2: Stephenson, Robert (Director of Planning) documents the planning focus of the organization when it was known as the Boston-Fenway Program, circa 1979-1997, mainly in the form of reports, surveys and other studies commissioned by the organization or created by city agencies such as the Boston Redevelopment Authority. Subjects addressed by these materials, dating 1960s-1990s, include transportation, housing, demographics, the physical landscape, and historic preservation. This series also contains photographic slides documenting the Fenway area, and the organization’s Summer Parks Program, and a few administrative records, dated 1980s-early 1990s.

Series 3: Subject Files document Fenway Alliance projects and relationships between Fenway Alliance member institutions and other organizations in Boston. Major projects include the Avenue of the Arts designation, Fenway Cultural District designation, Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism grant, the Muddy River restoration, Ruggles Street reconstruction, and Urban Ring projects. The date range for these materials is 1976-2015, but the majority dates to the 1990s-2010s, after the organization was renamed the Fenway Alliance.


  • Creation: 1962-2015


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is unrestricted.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply.

Historical Note

The Fenway Alliance was founded in January 1977 as The Boston Plan, a cooperative Fenway area organization focused on shared problems related to security, parking, transportation, and urban blight. The eight founding institutions of The Boston Plan were Boston State College, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston University, the First Church of Christ, Scientist, Forsyth Dental Center, the Museum of Fine Arts, Northeastern University, and Wentworth Institute. The Boston Plan was modeled off of University Circle Inc., a similar organization in Cleveland, Ohio’s university district. By May 1979, the organization had added four additional members--the Cotting School for Handicapped Children, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Wheelock College, and Greater Boston YMCA-- and renamed itself the Boston-Fenway Program. The Boston-Fenway Program worked to address concerns the member organizations had about the neighborhood throughout the 1980s. At times, the Boston-Fenway Program included Fenway residents and community organizations in its planning and advocacy efforts, but the large member institutions were often disconnected from local residents and this tension was repeatedly raised in the press.

Between 1997 and 1998, the organization changed its name from the Boston-Fenway Program to the Fenway Alliance. Throughout the 1990s, a major focus of the organization was the clean-up and restoration of Frederick Law Olmsted’s Muddy River Park and Parklands section of the Emerald Necklace. The goal of this project was to clean up the Muddy River and Fens area and improve flood control and water quality. The Fenway Alliance also began to promote and advocate cultural programs in the Fenway area and additional cultural and educational organizations continued to join the organization. The Fenway Alliance was responsible for the official designation of the neighborhood as the Fenway Cultural District by the Massachusetts Cultural Council in 2012.

As of 2024, 21 member institutions make up the Fenway Alliance, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization. It promotes neighborhood revitalization and community development through arts and culture for under-served neighborhood youth and families. The Fenway Alliance’s cultural programs include Opening Our Doors, the largest one-day program of free cultural events in Boston.


20 cubic feet (9 boxes, 1 oversize box, 26 tubes)

5 video cassettes




Arranged in 3 series: Series 1: Administrative; Series 2: Stephenson, Robert (Director of Planning); and Series 3: Subject Files. Within series, files are arranged alphabetically.

Physical Location

96/4/5-7, 119/2-3/3, RS10/S2-3

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Series 1 and 3 were donated by Kelly Brilliant, Co-Executive Director of The Fenway Alliance, in 2016; Series 2 was donated by Robert Stephenson, Director of Planning for the Boston-Fenway Program, in 2023.

Sources for Historical Note

“History and Mission.” Accessed February 13, 2024.

Processing Information

Series 1 and 3 were processed by Jane Kelly in 2018. In 2024, a recent donation was integrated into the collection as Series 2, and the existing finding aid was updated, by Irene Gates.


  • Triplicates and quadruplicates of Huntington Avenue plans
Finding aid for the Fenway Alliance records
Finding aid prepared by Jane Kelly in 2018, updated by Irene Gates in 2024
April 2024
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Northeastern University Archives and Special Collections Repository

Snell Library
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston MA 02115 US