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Old 07-13-2015, 12:13 PM   #261
datadyne007
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Re: City Hall Plaza

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shepard View Post
So what's the entrance across from North Street? And, do you know what's directly behind the brick wall of doom? Is it parking, or utilities?
The entrance across from North St. is actually a public entrance for "Level 1." They use it for after hours BRA meetings as it has a security checkpoint and direct access to elevators. The "Level 3" (Plaza entrance) closes at the end of the work day.

In re: to the brick mass on Congress...

Assessing is on Level 3 in this area:


A section from the competition shows "Air Conditioning" and "Dead File Storage" at the base of City Hall:
http://www.kmwarch.com/pdf/BCH-Histo...cle-052009.pdf
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Old 07-13-2015, 02:33 PM   #262
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Re: City Hall Plaza

The AstroTurf was laid today...

https://twitter.com/ShamusJP/status/...868608/photo/1

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Old 07-13-2015, 02:46 PM   #263
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Re: City Hall Plaza

is there any reason why additional property can't be developed in the plaza?
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Old 07-13-2015, 02:51 PM   #264
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Re: City Hall Plaza

Nothing logistical that I know of.

It's mostly the political issue of selling open, public property to private developers.

That's not my argument by the way, but I've heard it used before.
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Old 07-13-2015, 05:09 PM   #265
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Re: City Hall Plaza

I've always thought they should turn this long wall into a fountain.


They should try for an effect like this
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Old 07-13-2015, 05:43 PM   #266
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Re: City Hall Plaza

I was just thinking about that wall recently and wondering how difficult it would be to gut that wall. Drop in some heavy duty support beams and open that space up as restaurants and stores.
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Old 07-13-2015, 07:00 PM   #267
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Re: City Hall Plaza

Behind that wall is the parking garage, at least at the ground level.
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Old 07-13-2015, 07:41 PM   #268
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Re: City Hall Plaza

MR WALSH! TEAR. DOWN. THIS. WALL!
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Old 07-13-2015, 08:49 PM   #269
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Re: City Hall Plaza

They should tear down City Hall and put a new one in its place, with the front entrance right there on Congress Street instead of on the plaza side.
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Old 07-13-2015, 09:45 PM   #270
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Re: City Hall Plaza

Since it was built, everyone in the city and region has hated city hall plaza. I find it amazing that NOTHING has been done over the years to completely do it over. It doesn't have to be Scollay Square, but make it into something, anything that won't depress me as I walk from one beautiful part of the city (the Common) to another (Quincy Market and the Waterfront.
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Old 07-13-2015, 10:34 PM   #271
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Re: City Hall Plaza

I've come to believe that City Hall Plaza / Gov't Center is part of the penance we must pay for destroying half the city during the 'urban renewal' era.
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Old 07-14-2015, 08:39 AM   #272
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Re: City Hall Plaza

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Past commentors nailed it. If we knocked this building down, it would be one of those major "what were we thinking?" demolitions, just like the West End and Scollay Square.
That is an easy argument to make. You can point to past mistakes and say "let's not do that again!" but there's not really a way to rebut your point without waiting 30 years (or 40, or ...?).

I'd suggest though that the lesson we (should have) learned from urban renewal may not simply be that we should respect past eras architecture, but that the human-scale buildings we destroyed were superior to those that replaced them.

Isn't it possible that Brutalism is a form that appeals to few people now and will continue to appeal to few in the future? For how long to do we cling to what is essentially a repulsive fortress in the heart of the city (for the sake of "art")? I won't even make the argument here that this should be torn down, just that it is a terrible building for its purpose.
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Old 07-14-2015, 09:43 AM   #273
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Re: City Hall Plaza

I would argue that even when you drive down Cambridge st and see the new glass T entrance for govt center it makes me excited about the possibility of the plaza. It's so barren.

What if they added retail to the brick wall on congress st and additional retail/office/housing on Cambridge st facing center plaza?
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Old 07-14-2015, 10:09 AM   #274
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Re: City Hall Plaza

Congress Street by City Hall should itself be reworked. I see absolutely no reason why Congress through the heart of downtown can get along with 2 lanes, but along City Hall and Faneuil Hall it must expand to 6 divided lanes. Completely unnecessary. In conjunction with retail along City Hall I'd like to see an expanded sidewalk along that side as well as a wider and more pedestrian-friendly median.
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Old 07-14-2015, 11:16 AM   #275
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Re: City Hall Plaza

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Isn't it possible that Brutalism is a form that appeals to few people now and will continue to appeal to few in the future? For how long to do we cling to what is essentially a repulsive fortress in the heart of the city (for the sake of "art")? I won't even make the argument here that this should be torn down, just that it is a terrible building for its purpose.
I work in the Government Service Center. It's an awful place to work. I hear the argument, "well, if it was actually maintained properly, it wouldn't be that bad." I disagree. Strongly. I like the way Brutalist architecture looks. I think that if it were maintained better it would be even better to look at. It would still be a shitty building from a pedestrian standpoint and from a worker's standpoint.

My girlfriend has been to my office a few times. She loves the exterior, but admits that the layout and interior suck. There are some neat features to look at, but functionally, the building is a dud. I haven't spent a lot of time in City Hall, but I imagine it's much of the same.

I've always wondered had the architectural style came about before the shift towards more auto-centric development, would we have seen Brutalism on a more human scale (like the BAC- which is OK from a pedestrian standpoint)? Or is the architectural style a function of an auto-centric philosophy.

These buildings are unique. They're fun to look at (even if you hate them), but they suck to work in and they suck to walk by. Knock them down. Save CSC, the BAC, UMass Dartmouth and the smattering of Harvard and MIT buildings built in the style. It works better on a college campus anyway. I don't think City Hall (or the Gov't Service Center) works in a dense, human scale environment. It's not just the plaza that's the problem.
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Old 07-14-2015, 11:21 AM   #276
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Re: City Hall Plaza

Save City Hall as a relic and momunment to brutalism, but the plaza needs to go. Also, the low rise portion of the JFK building should go. I'm honestly not sure if this area is salvagable, its that bad, but I guess it can be improved.
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Old 07-14-2015, 11:48 AM   #277
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Re: City Hall Plaza

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Nothing logistical that I know of.

It's mostly the political issue of selling open, public property to private developers.

That's not my argument by the way, but I've heard it used before.
Open public property that was taken by eminent domain, and that formerly was a maze of streets and development....

Sometimes "stolen" public property needs to be returned to the private sector.
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Old 07-14-2015, 12:19 PM   #278
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Re: City Hall Plaza

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Originally Posted by Lrfox View Post
I work in the Government Service Center. It's an awful place to work. I hear the argument, "well, if it was actually maintained properly, it wouldn't be that bad." I disagree. Strongly. I like the way Brutalist architecture looks. I think that if it were maintained better it would be even better to look at. It would still be a shitty building from a pedestrian standpoint and from a worker's standpoint.


This damn monstrosity (can you tell it's my most hated building in the city) is the one building that should be torn down, not just for the reasons that Lrfox mentions but that it takes up blocks of valuable real estate! That damn thing must take up as much space as the Government Center Garage! Maybe more!
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Old 08-12-2015, 06:10 PM   #279
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Re: City Hall Plaza

Four firms are being interviewed to redesign City Hall Plaza.

The designs are due within a year, and are expected to cost $500,000.
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Old 08-12-2015, 09:17 PM   #280
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Re: City Hall Plaza

I pray at least on of these proposals suggests infill buildings.
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