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-   -   Do you still hate the seaport? (http://www.archboston.org/community/showthread.php?t=5312)

stick n move 07-26-2016 09:20 AM

Do you still hate the seaport?
 
If you haven't been to the seaport lately is is really turning out very good. With the new pieces added and knowing for the most part what is going up next do you still hate the seaport or are you finally coming around on it? I have never hated it and I have always given the benefit of the doubt, but I cant lie 121 seaport, parcel M, pier 4, and the whiskey priest tower together look like this is going to be much better than I had anticipated. Especially parcel M and pier 4. Northern ave has been realigned and the memorial is nearly complete as well. Do you still hate it or now knowing what you know are you coming around on it?

Arlington 07-26-2016 10:27 AM

Re: Do you still hate the seaport?
 
A lot of folks I know (not just on this board) have discovered that the Seaport is now
  • done enough
  • un-cookie cuttered enough (the parks & district hall & barking crab and soon OLGV Chape)
  • Harborwalked-enough

Which seemed to happen "all at once." Once the buildings atop the Courthouse station are done (the Yotel and One Marina Park Drive), the streetwall on Seaport Blvd will be cool enough that people won't notice that there are still some empty back lots.

stick n move 07-26-2016 10:38 AM

Re: Do you still hate the seaport?
 
I agree. I feel the major shift will be in the next 2-3 years when seaport blvd is almost completely filled and pier 4 adds a wonderful waterfront destination. As it stands now I agree that there is enough being built that it has shifted very drastically in the last few months around seaport square. It finally has a street wall and the church also adds a nice touch of diversity. One thing I love is the flat gridded layout with pavers everywhere giving it that boston cobblestones under your feet feeling but the modern version. I think 2016 is the year it comes into its own as a neighborhood that is finally filled enough to enjoy and become a destination. I still am holding out hope that they say screw it and build my bridge but well see.

datadyne007 07-26-2016 10:39 AM

Re: Do you still hate the seaport?
 
I never hated the Seaport to begin with, but no. It's really coming together with all the Seaport Square & Fan Pier developments sprouting up. It's also quite lively on weekends.

atlantaden 07-26-2016 11:45 AM

Re: Do you still hate the seaport?
 
It's been a work in progress that I've enjoyed watching over the past many years and continue to enjoy watching. Once Parcels M1 and M2 finish up, along with Pier 4 and hopefully, the Barking Crab, it will truly seem finished...even though there's much more to come. I'm including just a few refresher articles on M1, M2, and Pier Four. I love the new Seaport! Lest we forget, all this development is primarily the result of the Big Dig.

http://www.bizjournals.com/boston/re...e-numbers.html
http://www.tishmanspeyer.com/properties/pier-4

TheRifleman 07-26-2016 02:15 PM

Re: Do you still hate the seaport?
 
MY Answer for the Seaport is YES and NO:

I hate the lack of public transit in the area even the Silverline Bus:
The area is evolving like Kendall Square by the water in my opinion.

Barking Crab/Envoy Hotel is a nice area.
Remys/LTK/Legals is a nice area.
Ocean Prime is another nice restaurant.
Very lively on the weekends.
Besides that I will have to see how the rest of the area evolves. Everything else is WIP. (Work in progress)

The cluster of box buildings built and being built are an upgrade of architecture from 128. So yes this looks much better than 128 area.

The sad part is I'm more a fan on the Greenway at the outdoor LANDING BAR on the dock. Better vibe and scenery.

millerm277 07-26-2016 05:05 PM

Re: Do you still hate the seaport?
 
I think the Seaport Blvd and Congress Street corridors are coming together nicely.

Summer Street is more problematic to my perspective. Beyond A Street is very unintuitive to navigate for most people. Another set of stairs at Boston Wharf Road/West Service Road Ext would be a good short-term improvement.

The lack of transit capacity and the traffic continue to become more and more of a problem. It's a significant factor in why I visit it less than I'd like to.

stick n move 07-26-2016 08:13 PM

Re: Do you still hate the seaport?
 
For the people that voted yes, feel free to express why you feel so. This thread is meant to be a discussion from both sides not just everybody posting that they like it in the comments. Id like to hear the other side of the argument.

West 07-27-2016 02:46 PM

Re: Do you still hate the seaport?
 
First, a semantic quibble. ďDo you still hate the Seaport?Ē traps respondents. Not as bad as ďHave you stopped beating your wife yet?Ē But, for some of us, thereís no valid answer. It was hideous when covered in asphalt, but I saw no reason to hate it. It was a blank slate: avoid like the plague during daily life, dream of the possibilities in spare time, but no hate.

Enough quibbling.

RIGHT NOW? Iím liking it aesthetically more by the day, I see reason for optimism on some levels, but I have severe disappointment in how this fits into the city.

On the aesthetics, it was front-loaded with ugly designs, better designs are going in now, and even better looking designs are on the drawing boards or just breaking ground. Thatís creating a real steep upward curve in appeal as it all fills in, even steeper than would have been inevitable in an area rising from blank asphalt. Iím sure I will like it aesthetically when itís done. Many of the streetscapes will be either good or OK for pedestrians; the harbor walk might be great or even awesome.

However, a few things about the area leave me gob-smacked and bode ill for the long term. The transportation planning, as discussed at great length, was an epic fail that has no easy or cheap ex post facto answer. Weíre not in a good environment for initiating difficult / expensive answers. What a staggering lost opportunity. This still threatens the ongoing development: many parcels are still at a stage that the plug could get pulled, and transit concerns plus a recession could cause that.

Also, as some of the transit experts here have noted, the failed transportation planning in this area plus the boosted demand from this area are spilling over into serious negative impacts on the existing transit system, which was already teetering on the edge as it was. Given the critical centrality of the T crisis to this entire metro area, this makes the epic transit-planning fail far greater in severity and import than just the annoyance felt by workers / residents in the seaport.

Another thing is the lack of systemic consideration to flood risk. One or two buildings have moved mechanicals up out of basements, but lots havenít. The whole area was a sea of asphalt, the potential existed for a more systemic mitigation at the neighborhood level, as discussed in the planning competition sponsored by BCA. Most obviously: just raise the grade of the whole damn thing. That opportunity is gone, so this brand new area will gamble on luck and / or some future willpower to build a multi-billion dollar surge barrier. Other parts of Boston are also exposed, but have the excuse of having been built long before this risk was so apparent. I grant that this is more of a wild card issue.

In sum, I never hated it, I like a lot of it aesthetically as it gets built, and expect that trend to increase. It is a pleasant new area for many people in various ways, me included. Adds some housing, thatís good! Itíll be really cool to sea kayak through it, which might be a common enough opportunity! The failure on transit is so extreme, though, and has such a negative impact on existing transit, that this really pulls down the overall grade. If I was grading purely on aesthetics of buildings and streetscapes: maybe a B minus now, headed for perhaps B plus or A minus when done (possible A plus on the harbor walk). The transit mess pulls the aggregate grade down into C territory and might never get mitigated in my lifetime. Flooding impact on overall grade will depend on how often it floods and how well it bounces back each time (impossible to predict either).

bigpicture7 07-27-2016 06:39 PM

Re: Do you still hate the seaport?
 
^ I agree with West about the survey question trapping the respondent.

But I'll add: I've never hated the seaport any more than an art aficionado hates a blank canvas before the painter is done painting it.

It's not done yet. It needs more. But indications are that it's heading there.

elemenoh 07-27-2016 06:39 PM

Re: Do you still hate the seaport?
 
As an office park it's fine, but as a city neighborhood it's dreadful. No school, no library, no active parks for children (or adults). The public realm is dreary, uninspired, and feels like corporate function space.

Transportation planning for the area was half-baked from the beginning, and even recent attempts to retrofit some bike infrastructure onto these car-dominated roads has been scaled back so much as to be laughable.

stick n move 07-27-2016 11:36 PM

Re: Do you still hate the seaport?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by elemenoh (Post 268945)
As an office park it's fine, but as a city neighborhood it's dreadful. No school, no library, no active parks for children (or adults). The public realm is dreary, uninspired, and feels like corporate function space.

Transportation planning for the area was half-baked from the beginning, and even recent attempts to retrofit some bike infrastructure onto these car-dominated roads has been scaled back so much as to be laughable.

In my counter argument opinion to this post I think that it does not have a school or library because nobody lived there until very recently, and still from what it seems at the moment the majority are working professional singles or couples. I don't even remember seeing a child there although Im sure I have I just haven't looked. I was there earlier tonight and there were hundreds of 25-35 yr olds walking about it seemed. I feel like this will be addressed within the next 5 years as more condos come online and the need rises. The good part is that its not too late yet.

With regards to transportation I agree that it was a huge failure of foresight. I think in certain ways it is not as bad as it seems and others it is just as bad as it seems. My walk from near Uphams Corner to the Savin Hill red line stop in the morning is about as far as south station to the blue hills pavilion. That is a very reasonable walking distance. That is also where in the seaport the majority of development so far falls within. There is definitely a difference with regards to walking distance from your apartment to the nearest transit and walking distance from an urban core to the nearest station though. Like I said in some ways its not as bad as it seems but in others its just as bad. There really needs to be a strong effort by the city to address this issue before it gets out of hand, which it will. In the mean time I hope that the DMU line comes to fruition, but I am very skeptical about how effective that will be.

TheRifleman 07-28-2016 08:18 AM

Re: Do you still hate the seaport?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by elemenoh (Post 268945)
As an office park it's fine, but as a city neighborhood it's dreadful. No school, no library, no active parks for children (or adults). The public realm is dreary, uninspired, and feels like corporate function space.

Transportation planning for the area was half-baked from the beginning, and even recent attempts to retrofit some bike infrastructure onto these car-dominated roads has been scaled back so much as to be laughable.

This guy nailed it--- also WEST post was awesome.

We are witnessing Seaport at this point at its best. Long-term won't be too kind for this area if they don't solve the Transportation scenario which is going to cost us BIG BUCKS$$ because of lack of vision or total incompetence.

This area was a no-brainer for the city: Only for our city officials to fuck it up for the long-term.

To build something of this magnitude you need to build infrastructure to service the area. What the fuck are these people thinking?

meddlepal 07-28-2016 11:56 AM

Re: Do you still hate the seaport?
 
Quote:

As an office park it's fine, but as a city neighborhood it's dreadful. No school, no library, no active parks for children (or adults). The public realm is dreary, uninspired, and feels like corporate function space.

Transportation planning for the area was half-baked from the beginning, and even recent attempts to retrofit some bike infrastructure onto these car-dominated roads has been scaled back so much as to be laughable.
Bingo it feels like a place built for the 9-5 suburbanite commuter. Boring, sterile and corporate.

CSTH 07-28-2016 12:44 PM

Re: Do you still hate the seaport?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TheRifleman (Post 268976)

To build something of this magnitude you need to build infrastructure to service the area. What the fuck are these people thinking?

I think it's important to point out that there WAS a transportation plan and there WAS massive investment in infrastructure to service the area - the I90 and I93 tunnels. The problem is that, once the NSRL and silverline phase 3 got axed, the investment was almost entirely focused on cars.

Still trying to find time to organize the rest of my thoughts - but yes i still hate it.

TheRifleman 07-28-2016 01:33 PM

Re: Do you still hate the seaport?
 
Instead of long-term thinking by the BRA/Commonwealth--they seemed to encourage the developers/investors to basically make SEAPORT into a Flipping real estate community.

NO LONG-TERM VALUE--
It seems the SEAPORT/INNOVATION District is a Real Estate Quick buck opportunity.
Does Boston continue to grow? Probably and that will keep the area desirable somewhat.

atlantaden 07-28-2016 04:51 PM

Re: Do you still hate the seaport?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by meddlepal (Post 268999)
Bingo it feels like a place built for the 9-5 suburbanite commuter. Boring, sterile and corporate.

I've never been in any office park that was anything like (or ever felt like) the Seaport. Not even close! Every time another parking lot is built on, every time a new retail or restaurant opens, every time a new resident moves into one of the new residential buildings, it evolves into a more complete neighborhood. Granted, a neighborhood different from any other Boston neighborhood but a neighborhood it is. An office park, it ain't.

Cortes 07-28-2016 07:53 PM

Re: Do you still hate the seaport?
 
I tend to think that the most important part of this will be the development of the "Wormwood district", which will probably happen last. At the BAC there is an exibition of graduate projects and one is concept for a new Fort Point library on the water. As for a school, again, Wormwood. Because of the fact that Proctor & Gamble (Gillette), and now GE own a good portion of this area, it will be interesting to see how this works, but I can imagine an almost Marlboro St enviornment in this area. It would add a lot to livability.

TallIsGood 07-29-2016 08:30 AM

Re: Do you still hate the seaport?
 
Didn't Menino reject a school in the Seaport that one of the developers proposed?

atlantaden 07-29-2016 09:28 AM

Re: Do you still hate the seaport?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TallIsGood (Post 269046)
Didn't Menino reject a school in the Seaport that one of the developers proposed?

Yes, Hynes proposed building a private school as part of the build-out of his Seaport Square Development and Menino went through the roof! I thought...great idea, just turn it into a Charter School but the idea was instantly killed.

http://archive.boston.com/news/local...ool/?page=full


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