Longwood Medical and Academic Area
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Longwood Medical and Academic Area (also known as Longwood Medical Area, LMA, or just Longwood) is a section of Boston with a high density of hospitals, colleges, and biomedical research centers. LMA straddles the Fenway-Kenmore and Mission Hill neighborhoods and is centered on Longwood Avenue as it runs between Huntington Avenue and the Riverway. Both intersections have an MBTA Green Line trolley stop: Longwood at Brookline (Green Line "D" Branch) and Longwood Medical Area at Huntington (Green Line "E" Branch).
An organization called MASCO (Medical Academic and Scientific Community Organization, Inc.), made up of the major institutions in the area, provides shared services (telecommunications, parking, shuttle buses, and the like) for its parent organizations. Its 19 members (all Longwood-area institutions) include the following hospitals:
- Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
- Brigham and Women's Hospital
- Children's Hospital Boston
- Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
- Joslin Diabetes Center
- Boston Latin School
- Emmanuel College
- Harvard Medical School
- Harvard School of Dental Medicine
- Harvard School of Public Health
- Massachusetts College of Art
- Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
- Simmons College
- Wentworth Institute of Technology, and
- Wheelock College
In addition, the Longwood Medical Area is home to the Countway Library of Medicine, which includes a large collection of rare books, and also houses the Warren Anatomical Museum, which contains over 15,000 historical items, including the skull of Phineas Gage.
Historically, the area was once residential housing with small medical institutions interspersed among the large lots. It wasn't until the 1950's when the surrounding area began a slow decline did most of the institutions grow by leaps and bounds to what they are today. Harvard Medical built a new library in the middle of a connecting street and Harvard School of Public Health built a large auditorium across its Huntington Avenue front that stretched the whole block. Brigham and Women's bought and filled in all of its Francis Street frontage with impenetrable street-wall without exterior doors and windows only above the second floor.
Various people, including journalists and the leaders of neighborhood associations, levied criticism that these institutions turned their back on the surrounding neighborhoods, often walling off large sections of institutional land with mid-rise buildings without public access. Recent years has seen a marked change in institutional planning with an effort to add public open space. While surrounding neighborhoods remain heterogeneous both ethnically and economically, the presence of the Longwood Medical and Academic Area has inevitably caused a degree of urban gentrification with a subsequent rise in rents and property values.
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