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News from the Hill April 27, 2013 | back to index

Andover Newton welcomes BPSI to historic Colby Hall

BPSI

Andover Newton Theological School has announced an agreement that will revive its historic Colby Hall as the new home of the Boston Psychoanalytic Society & Institute and open the door to a potential collaboration between the educational institutions, which are each committed to helping people live more thoughtful, reflective lives.

On Thursday the School's President Nick Carter announced that, with the approval of Andover Newton's Board of Trustees and administration, the two institutions had signed an innovative agreement that involves a long-term land lease of one of the most historic buildings on the Andover Newton campus.

"I can't think of a better fit for the future of Andover Newton than a partner like BPSI," Carter said. "For the first time in more than a generation, we will have an occupant of our iconic Colby Hall that enhances our mission. We welcome them here."

BPSI is a post-graduate educational and professional community of psychoanalysts, psychoanalytic therapists, and interdisciplinary scholars who are curious about the field of psychoanalysis. They offer training and education to professionals in the field and maintain a library of more than 7,000 books and 90 journals as part of their ongoing continuing education programming. "For 30 or 40 years starting in the 1960s, Andover Newton was a recognized leader in pastoral counseling education," Carter said, "and the prospect of revitalizing that portion of the curriculum in innovative new ways with BPSI (which currently confers no degrees of its own) is an exciting opportunity."

Communication between the schools began about three years ago, when BPSI was located on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston and had decided to relocate from its historic Back Bay home. After long discussion, Andover Newton leadership concluded the bodies were a match operationally and missionally, Carter noted. Initially BPSI was invited to relocate into a portion of the Franklin Trask Library, which occurred in summer 2012.

While plans are still emerging, construction is expected to occur over 18 months, with occupancy by BPSI expected in mid-2014, Carter said. Part of the renovation will be restoring the historic building exterior and renovating the interior. Interestingly, plans include restoring the old Colby Chapel to its original function as a library, and BPSI has indicated that they will dedicate a portion of that room to a celebration of the history of Colby Hall and Chapel and it will be accessible by members of the Andover Newton community.

Colby Hall is believed to have been first occupied circa 1865-66, Carter said, with some records suggesting the laying of its cornerstone may have coincided with President Abraham Lincoln's second inauguration. It is named for Boston industrialist and Newton Centre resident Gardner Colby, a long-time treasurer of the school and benefactor of Newton Theological Institution and other Baptist institutions, including Brown University and Colby College in Waterville, ME.

For more than 30 years, Colby Hall had been the home of Drummey, Rosane, Anderson Inc., an architecture firm which in January relocated to Bear Hill Road in Waltham.

BPSI
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