FAQ: Villa Victoria Center for the Arts

FAQ: Villa Victoria Center for the Arts

If you’ve walked by Villa Victoria Center for the Arts (VVCA) recently, you may have noticed that the building is boarded up. One of our main priorities at IBA is public safety. Due to the structural condition of VVCA and the risk it poses, we have made the difficult decision to remove the current building and develop, in its place, a multipurpose community center that will serve IBA and the South End community for generations to come.

Here, please find answers to some questions you may have about VVCA and its future.

What’s happening to the VVCA building?

The wellbeing of our residents and community members is and always has been our top priority.

Unfortunately, the current VVCA building is at risk of collapse and poses a threat to public safety. In September 2019, the property was formally shut down and revoked of occupancy by the City of Boston Inspectional Services Department. Ever since, the building has been closed to the public.

Because of this and after studying the feasibility of all other options available to us, we have decided to carefully remove the building from 85 West Newton Street.

For years, VVCA has served as a place of gathering, learning and celebration. Its legacy is deeply rooted within IBA as an organization and the South End neighborhood, and it’s one that will live on in the future of the site.

When will the demolition be taking place at the site?

The process of removing the building will be started in early November 2020.

Our goal for the removal process and for future construction activity on the site is to cause minimal disruption to the neighborhood. To make this happen, we will observe all appropriate local construction ordinances and work closely with abutters of the property.

What will happen to the parcel?

In the place of the original building, we have plans to create a new community arts and gathering space that will be used by IBA and the South End neighborhood.

Right now, we have the rare, special opportunity to create a lasting community center that is custom built to serve the needs of our residents and our neighborhood. The new center will house performance, exhibition and event space, and offices for IBA staff. It will help us expand capacity for IBA’s resident services, as well as our educational, youth development and arts programming.

This will be a place for us – all of us. By respecting the heritage of the original building and by also looking to the years ahead, we are dedicated to designing a beautiful multipurpose center that celebrates and preserves the diversity and vibrancy of our community, that empowers our residents and neighbors, and that is accessible to all that wish to enter.

What will the new community center look like?

We are still working on a design for the new center, and are committed to engaging the community and creating a gathering place that respects and intertwines the architectural character of the South End neighborhood and Villa Victoria.

As we remove the original building, we will be preserving materials and stunning architectural features that are unique to VVCA, with the intention of integrating them into the new building.

Is there a way that I can get involved in determining the future of the site?

Yes! In the months ahead, we will be working very closely with our residents, community members and the City to design a center that serves everyone. Please continue to check our main website and our social media channels to learn how you can participate in virtual meetings that we will be holding about the project.

If you have additional questions or comments, please email us at or call (617) 535-1753.

We are excited to build a community center that respects our past, anticipates the growing needs of our neighborhood and organization, and welcomes all that wish to enter. #LetsBuildIt