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The History of the Land and Building at 140 Clarendon Street

The Lyric Stage Company of Boston produces the majority of its work at 140 Clarendon Street, the historic YWCA Building, which resides on the land of the Massachusett and Pawtucket Peoples.

The Massachusett Peoples are the descendants of the original people that the English first encountered in what is now the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Pennacook tribe, sometimes called Pawtucket and Merrimack Indians, lived in northeastern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire. The Nipmuc Peoples occupied the interior portion of what is now Massachusetts and parts of Rhode Island and Connecticut. The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe has inhabited present day Massachusetts and Eastern Rhode Island for more than 12,000 years.

140 Clarendon Street is also the home of YW Boston, formerly known as the YWCA Boston, an organization that was at the forefront of many social movements throughout the history of the city of Boston. YWCA Boston was first established in 1866, and began operating out of 140 Clarendon Street in 1927. YWCA helped propel many programs and initiatives for young women across the country, such as sex education, women’s suffrage advocacy, bilingual instruction for immigrant women, the International Conference of Women Physicians, and the Interracial Seminar. Today, YW Boston’s work focuses on addressing racial and gender inequities through a variety of diversity, equity, and inclusion services, youth programming, advocacy, and more.

In 1991, the Lyric Stage moved to 140 Clarendon Street from its former home on Charles Street. The current theater and adjacent offices were constructed on the second floor of the building, and a fourth floor rehearsal hall was added in 2016.

In 2021, YW Boston and its investment partners sold the building to Beacon Communities, who began the process of rehabilitating approximately 50,000 square feet of existing hotel and residential spaces into affordable housing units, health and wellness amenities, and offices for building management staff which will be operated in partnership with the Pine Street Inn. The building will contain approximately 210 apartments (an increase of 92 housing units) all of which will be income-restricted to households with incomes at or below 60% of the Area Median Income.