Harvard Book Store to open branch in the Prudential Center
Harvard Book Store owners Jeff Mayersohn and Linda Seamonson announced today they're opening a second branch across the river - in the Prudential Center space Barnes & Noble vacated in June.
This is quite an ambitious project. The new store will comprise nearly 30,000 square feet, a space approximately five times the size of our Cambridge store. The additional space will allow us to do things that we can’t accomplish in Cambridge. For example, there will be a large section dedicated to children’s literature. There will also be a state-of-the-art event space that will host events for our award-winning speaker series and will also be available for community activities such as classes, lectures, and meetings. The new store is being designed as a warm, welcoming space that will continue our long tradition of commitment to storytelling and the written word and will be a major addition to literary life in Greater Boston.
They said they hope to open the new location in the spring.
Mayersohn and Seamonson continued that Harvard Square book shoppers can expect nothing to change:
In fact, in the next few months, we will begin renovation projects in Cambridge that will both improve the use of that space and make it more welcoming for customers, all while continuing our commitment to being a world-class academic bookstore.
Harvard Book Store Pru updates.
H/t Teddy Kokoros.
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Best news I've heard all week
Best news I've heard all week!
Five times the size of the Cambridge store?
Man, I hope they aren't being _too_ ambitious here. I don't want something like this to take down the current store too if it fails.
If it succeeds, though :-)
The Harvard Square store did
The Harvard Square store did amazing things but was kind of cramped because of limited space to do everything they wanted. While being much bigger sounds daunting in reality it will just allow them to let the sections "breath" a little more which is more in keeping with the location within the Pru. In Harvard Square cramped is charming but that's also part of the draw. What's charming in historic Harvard Square is annoying at the Pru lol
I think of Bartley's as an example. The lawn furniture and old tables was always part of what made it what it was but if you dropped that same place into a mall it would feel tacky
Big event space needed
Good point about things “breathing.” Harvard Books gets generally the most well-known authors to stop in Boston on their book tour. I have gone to many a delightful booktalk at the Harvard Square location, but the seating capacity is about 20. For bigger draws they are at the Brattle Theatre or one of the old churches near Harvard. I assume the new events space would be for bigger acts (or medium-big acts?).
But the cynic in me worries about the Pru’s generic-ness creeping in. But I will be there to support it!
I used to have to put events
I used to have to put events into a calendar in an area and all those entities were our members and it got so confusing when they did the big off site events because the system would autotag addresses but if you assigned it to the Brattle it looked like their event. It took a while to sort all that out. So I hear you on that! I do wonder if big names would still come out to the Pru one though, it feels like it would have less prestige?
As for the generic vibe of the Pru rubbibg off it might ultimately happen but in our current world almost any non Amazon physical bookstore that celebrates reading is still a victory.
A commenter named "Phillip" called it when B&N said it was closing a few months ago
This is incredibly wonderful news.
Give these people the key to the city.
Harvard Book Store has been in the Back Bay before
Years ago, they had a bookstore/cafe combination on Newbury Street, a couple blocks east of Trident Books.
Insert perfunctory comment
Insert perfunctory bitter comment about never having to go to Harvard square ever again for anything now
The city needs more of these!
Right - I feel like it was where Stephanie’s is now? I recall going there once in my teens but loving Trident. Keep the stores like this alive - been going to Trident since high school and took my kids and now that they are grown, they still eat there too.
Bookstore cafes never go out of style. Not a bookstore with a faux Starbucks, but a b,store cafe.
Have you tried...
...the cafe in the BPL? Very nice.
At last, the Pru will have...
Harvard apparel for sale... oops, sorry pushcarts....
You are confusing them with the Harvard Coop
which used to be a bookstore, two blocks away.
It still is. Sort of. :-(
Hopefully when the renovations are done all the touristy stuff will move back into the second building where it belongs.