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Old 10-17-2008, 03:00 PM   #1
Ron Newman
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The State of Causeway St/N. Station

The North Station/Causeway Street area feels like open space because the highways and elevated railways are gone. The only significant building demolished around there in the past 10-15 years was the Old Garden. I blame Delaware North, not the city, for failure to redevelop that parcel.
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Old 10-17-2008, 03:04 PM   #2
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Re: Shreve, Crump & Low bldng may be replaced w/ new develop

^ Your 2 cents is worth two trillion! Thanks.
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Old 10-17-2008, 03:05 PM   #3
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Re: Shreve, Crump & Low bldng may be replaced w/ new develop

The Madison and the annex building were also wiped away!^
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Old 10-17-2008, 03:10 PM   #4
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Re: Shreve, Crump & Low bldng may be replaced w/ new develop

The Manger (Madison) and old North Station were dumps, but... a brilliant art deco grouping. Instead, we got Tip's building and a cheapskate owned parking lot.

Last edited by tobyjug; 10-17-2008 at 03:27 PM.
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Old 10-17-2008, 03:19 PM   #5
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Re: Shreve, Crump & Low bldng may be replaced w/ new develop

Ron, although maybe a bit older than 15 years, do you think the O'neill Federal building is a worthy addition to the neighborhood or how about the aesthetics of the Bank North Building itself. Regarding areas directly under city control - with one side of causeway street now a blank slate and the the elevated green line demolished could the BRA at least consider traffic calming and improving the pedestrian environment around this area i.e. narrowing Causeway Street etc. No such improvements can be seen to my eye. It has an awful lot of pedestrian traffic given the sporting facility and N. Station, but the city shows no planning leadership.

To be fair, I do not know if underground infastructure issues would preclude these types of improvements to Causeway Street.

The city seems perfectly happy to plot out sun belt like streets or allow dysfunctional streets to limp along unmitigated. See Seaport Ave in the Seaport District for Boston's idea of pedestrian friendly streets of the future. Other problem streets that come to mind are Cambridge St. in Beacon Hill, Mass Ave's upcoming reconstruction, Congress street through Govt. Center. Cambridge seems to do a much better job, why not Boston?
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Old 10-17-2008, 03:56 PM   #6
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Re: Shreve, Crump & Low bldng may be replaced w/ new develop

I'll grant you that exchanging the Manger (Madison) hotel for the O'Neill building was a bad trade, and that the privately-owned vacant lot in front of the New Garden is an eyesore. But what this has to do with Tom Menino, who became mayor in 1993, I don't understand at all.

In exchange for the Analex building, we got the Zakim Bridge. To my mind that's an improvement.

I agree that Causeway Street needs redesign. Isn't this part of the Crossroads Initiative, something still in process? Right now it's just the same street it was when the elevated Green Line was there, except that the Green Line isn't there anymore.

This whole off-topic subthread probably should be broken off and put elsewhere so we can get back to talking about the Shreve building.
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Old 10-17-2008, 04:12 PM   #7
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Re: Shreve, Crump & Low bldng may be replaced w/ new develop

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This whole off-topic subthread probably should be broken off and put elsewhere so we can get back to talking about the Shreve building.
I agree, Ron. This is a really good discussion that belongs in Design a Better Boston. Until Van has time to move it, I hope that the discussion continues unabated.
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Old 10-17-2008, 04:48 PM   #8
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Re: Shreve, Crump & Low bldng may be replaced w/ new develop

Not to get too far off topic, but Causeway Street will be reconstructed as part of the Crossroads Initiative. It's just not clear when.

http://www.cityofboston.gov/bra/cros...ewayAerial.htm
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Old 10-17-2008, 07:50 PM   #9
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Re: Shreve, Crump & Low bldng may be replaced w/ new develop

Thanks for the link to the crossroads initiative. From what I can see, it doesn't appear that the proportions of Causeway St. are to be changed, but rather cosmetic improvements are planned. Regarding the crossroads initiative in general, I'll believe it when I see it. These types of plans have a habit of getting thrown on a shelf and collecting dust as soon as finances tighten as is happening now. I note Congress Street is addressed but not the stretch through Government Center. A few years back Hizzoner was all gung ho about a pedestrian overpass from City Hall to Faneuil Hall. This idea came out of left field just like the proposed relocation to City Hall. Thankfully he listened to critics and this plan was tabled. It would have only created more of a traffic sewer in that part of town. In addition, the relatively recently constructed Seaport Blvd is not identified for improvement.
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Old 10-17-2008, 09:39 PM   #10
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Re: Shreve, Crump & Low bldng may be replaced w/ new develop

The pedestrian overpass was part of the original Government Center conception. It would have been just as successful.
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Old 10-18-2008, 09:01 AM   #11
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Re: Shreve, Crump & Low bldng may be replaced w/ new develop

Quote:
Originally Posted by tobyjug View Post
The Manger (Madison) and old North Station were dumps, but... a brilliant art deco grouping. Instead, we got Tip's building and a cheapskate owned parking lot.
perfer this over that parking lot,If they had save this they're would have been a tower built behind it, But! then again we're still waiting for the SST!
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Old 10-19-2008, 10:43 AM   #12
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Re: The State of Causeway St/N. Station

Hotel Madison and the Garden were about half a century old when demolished. That's when buildings reach the nadir of their popularity --like Penn Station and Boston City Hall.

A couple of decades later, the mistake is recognized, but at the half-century mark most folks are struck blind or moronic.
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Old 10-19-2008, 03:50 PM   #13
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Re: The State of Causeway St/N. Station

The Old Garden was also functionally obsolete: no air conditioning, no elevators, lots of obstructed-view seats. These problems had real consequences, like fog rising out of the floor during late spring playoff games. I recall a Bruins game being cancelled and moved to Montreal because of a power faliure.

Perhaps it could have been gradually upgraded like Fenway Park has been in recent years, but I have my doubts.
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Old 10-19-2008, 10:21 PM   #14
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Re: The State of Causeway St/N. Station

Most things can be fixed. You either throw money at fixing an old building or you throw money at building a new one.
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Old 10-21-2008, 09:38 AM   #15
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Re: The State of Causeway St/N. Station

The Garden had warped floors, obstructed views and exposed ventilation work...but love it or hate it, it was a crazy place to see a game/fight; you were guaranteed to walk out w/a few stories. On the contrary, I've actually fallen asleep to the sound of squeaking tennis shoes while sitting courtside during a Celtics game at the Fleet.

Can anyone confrim that the Garden was designed for boxing (accounting for the dramatic overhang/obstructed views) rather than hockey?
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Old 10-21-2008, 09:41 AM   #16
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Re: The State of Causeway St/N. Station

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
The Boston Garden was a famous arena built in 1928 in Boston, Massachusetts. Designed by boxing promoter Tex Rickard, who also built the third incarnation of New York's Madison Square Garden, the arena was originally called the "Boston Madison Square Garden", but eventually got clipped to the Boston Garden.

Tex Rickard built the arena specifically with boxing in mind, believing that every seat should be close enough to see the "sweat on the boxers' brows." Because of this design theme, when the larger hockey and basketball playing areas were used, fans were much closer to the players than in most arenas, leading to a distinct hometown advantage. The closeness also created spectacular acoustic effects; one legendary story had a lone fan, sitting in the cheapest seats in the arena, harassing Bruins player Ed Westfall from across the length of the ice, and Westfall turning and giving him "the finger". When teams made playoff appearances, and a sold out crowd was chanting or screaming, the impact was enormous.
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