New life

Former church will become venue for university events

The university hopes to begin work this academic year to convert the former Sacred Heart Church on the edge of the Medford/Somerville campus into multipurpose and event space. Tufts purchased the 70-year-old church at 51 Winthrop St. in Medford from the Archdiocese of Boston.

The former Sacred Heart Church will be transformed into a university facility for meetings and events. © ALONSO NICHOLS

“We have put out requests for proposals to several architectural firms for design services,” said John Roberto, vice president of operations. “Our intent is to bring it online as multipurpose space as economically as we can. Within the next three months, we should know more,” he said.

The former Catholic church on the corner of Winthrop Street and Boston Avenue opened in the late 1930s to serve Medford’s Hillside neighborhood. It was among the first parishes closed in 2004, when the Archdiocese of Boston shuttered some three dozen churches in eastern Massachusetts.

It is located across the street from the former Tufts Catholic Center, which the university also purchased from the archdiocese. That building was renovated and opened in September as the university’s new Interfaith Center.