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Old 11-27-2009, 07:40 PM   #61
jediot
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Re: Brookline Developments

I'm usually a lurker but since I work down the street from this and see it everyday I thought I might say something.

The concrete wall they built along the sidewalk is higher than the stone wall it replaced. If they kept the stone and still built the cube and that little plaza thing this whole project would have a better feel. Now we just have this super modern black cube connected to a boring looking church.

oh well
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Old 11-27-2009, 08:56 PM   #62
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Re: Brookline Developments

It would just be so damn great somewhere else, and maybe with a few more windows on the bottom. Why do we get the fairly decent modernism in places like this? Why didn't it get built on the Greenway or somewhere a big black monumental piece like this would be interesting?
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Old 11-27-2009, 09:22 PM   #63
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Re: Brookline Developments

I love this. Have had a bunch of crappy cell phone pics for a while but didn't get around to posting. Shallow comparison for sure, but I can't help but think of Tadao Ando's Church of the Light.

Also, there's a backside that extends out to Holden St...anyone have pics of that?

And for all the people wondering how this got approved, read this article
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Old 11-27-2009, 10:23 PM   #64
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Re: Brookline Developments

Quote:
?I think it simply doesn?t fit in the context of the Village,? the Browne Street resident said. ?I think design should start from the perspective of a person on a sidewalk, because this is how we experience it, not in the abstract from a bird?s-eye view or from some architect?s model on his drawing board.?
-Linda Olson Pehlke
This person is a frickin' genius! They need to fire everyone at the Harvard Architecture dept. and hire her.
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Old 11-27-2009, 10:35 PM   #65
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Re: Brookline Developments

Quote:
Originally Posted by kennedy View Post
It would just be so damn great somewhere else, and maybe with a few more windows on the bottom. Why do we get the fairly decent modernism in places like this? Why didn't it get built on the Greenway or somewhere a big black monumental piece like this would be interesting?
It looks like an outhouse at a gulag. The plans for it belong in the Recycle Bin / Trashcan of whomever designed it, not on a contractor's table. It's a testament to the degree by which modern architects flaunt context in a way that even the biggest proponents of brutalism never imagined possible. At least they were honest about their disdain for existing structures and would destroy everything first before starting anew.

Here we have something that should not exist anywhere. It's a horrible design that will hopefully be gone in a few decades. Another poorly thought out addition to a classic structure that our children will hopefully remove and replace with a building having some degree of merit.
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Old 11-27-2009, 11:05 PM   #66
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Re: Brookline Developments

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Here we have something that should not exist anywhere.
No, simply not true. It would look awesome wedged between two 19th century buildings in the center of the city. Just not here, where it dominates its surroundings.
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Old 11-28-2009, 02:23 PM   #67
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Re: Brookline Developments

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Just not here, where it dominates its surroundings.
Bingo. The worst parts are how 1) it sits on the crest of that hill, so that no matter what direction you're heading on Harvard Street -- there it is; and 2) that side of the road has no real streetwall to speak of, which leaves it sticking out like a complete sore thumb.

Given the location, it was going to be a sentinel of some kind, but instead of giving off amicable feelings, this thing agreesively confronts the eyes and leave you feeling like you should be watching your back. I wonder what kids think of it...
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Old 11-29-2009, 06:43 AM   #68
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Re: Brookline Developments

Once again, has anyone been in the building before we crucify it?
It is more urban than what was there before (nothing) and the glazing wraps around to Harvard St to actually add some life to the street. It also helps to hide the disastrously banal church behind it.

It is- gasp- two-stories tall... how mind-shatteringly un-contextual. Should it be accused of being overbearing because Pomodoro next to it is only one-story? If the neighbors are one-story nondescript buildings, should all new construction be held down to that standard?

It is a modern, somewhat monolithic religious cube that lacks typical fenestration; our ArchBoston forefathers probably lobbed the same critique at the Saarinen chapel at MIT.
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Old 11-29-2009, 09:21 AM   #69
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Re: Brookline Developments

The inside could be impossibly larger inside than outside and time travel and would hold no bearing to the people who see it. Outside architecture and inside are separate matters and cannot compensate for each other.

I don't know what are you seeing but it looks ominous and hogs all attention from everything. I can imagine that many artists can jarring contrasts, but this is one doesn't compliment, but dominates.

In a different location, it can be pretty cool, I bet the architect when he designed it and standing by itself, it looked pretty cool there, but put it in that area, and it just stunt.
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Old 11-29-2009, 01:23 PM   #70
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Re: Brookline Developments

^^Yeah, on its own, I think this thing has some merit, but sitting there on harvard st. it doesn't match either the scale or style of the surrounding buildings. Is there not a zoning law about building style that this is breaking?
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Old 11-29-2009, 02:26 PM   #71
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Re: Brookline Developments

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Is there not a zoning law about building style that this is breaking?
There will be in no time.
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Old 11-29-2009, 02:47 PM   #72
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Re: Brookline Developments

From the article blade bltz posted earlier

Quote:
Brookline's hands tied when it comes to new religious buildings
Brookline Tab

...the project has been built largely without regulation from the town because of a state law, called the Dover Amendment, that exempts religious institutions from certain zoning laws.
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Old 11-29-2009, 04:28 PM   #73
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Re: Brookline Developments

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From the article blade bltz posted earlier
But it isn't ritualistically designed.
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Old 11-29-2009, 09:18 PM   #74
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Re: Brookline Developments

The Dover Amendment says that a city or town can't prohibit a religious use, and may provide some relief from things like height restrictions (for instance, in the case of the Belmont Mormon Temple). But it doesn't exempt a religious building from all zoning laws. Brookline should have at least tried to force this to respond to its surrounding context.
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Old 11-29-2009, 09:39 PM   #75
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Re: Brookline Developments

I think these one-story retail blocks do much more violence to B-Village than this "hulking" monolith. JFK crossing this is not. To the north and south are beautiful variegated three/four story structures that give the Village its character.

If the church is considered an unwelcome newcomer, so too should the toy store strip and the Pomodoro block. Of course the church addition wouldn't be so ominous, etc., if its immediate neighbors were more like the rest of the neighborhood.
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Old 12-05-2009, 07:49 AM   #76
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Re: Brookline Developments

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2689/...ff47e5_o_d.jpg

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2582/...c11786_o_d.jpg

Hello, All!
I had to add my thoughts to this thread which is commenting on the new addition and changes to The First Presbyterian Church in Brookline.
I have added the two photos above as reminders of what was...once upon a time The older photo shows the original building that was once located here until a fire on 31st of December 1960 destroyed it. The building was built in the mid-1800's and was used as the Baptist Church until 1907 when they moved to Beacon Street- they stayed there until 1968 when they became part of United Parish, Brookline. The Presbyterian Church took over the building until the fire of 1960. The church at that time was a landmark to all of Brookline and the clock tower was part of life on Harvard Street.
The fire toppled part of the bell tower into the street and nothing much remained of the once handsome wooden structure. The new church that was built reflected the times...very 50's-60's in some ways but with a hint of the former church building in the addition of the new modern steeple with clear clock faces pointing in all directions. The members of the church at this time were proud to have rebuilt after the tragic fire and relished in a new modern building made of brick with a large new church hall with a very stylish kitchen to host church suppers and the famous June Strawberry Festive...this event was the biggest draw for the church and was attended by folks from all denominations...including me from St. Paul's Church around the corner.
So the new building fit the corner and became a landmark in time.
As....with so many Brookline churches...congregations began to dwindle and soon the Korean Christian Church began to worship in the church on Sunday afternoons in the late 60's. I recall my landlady, who was a member of the Presbyterian Church for many years, saying that the building was so big and expensive to heat and the income would be a help over time. The new church was growing while the parent church was not...and soon the Korean Church took over stewardship of the building in the 90's. The Presbyterian congregation is still there but much smaller(less than 100 members) and share the space in all ways with the larger Korean church. They still worship at different times but the building is a hive of activity now. The Korean Church has funded the new structures and additions to suit the needs of their growing church and ministry....but I am surprised that it does not fit with the character of the 1962 building in any way.
I am so happy that the building was not torn down and is being used as a busy city church once again....but I so wish they looked back at older photos and tried to keep the character of the site. Mmmmmmmm!!!
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Old 12-23-2009, 09:13 AM   #77
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Re: Brookline Developments

^ Thanks for that bit of history.



Here's the side facing town hall



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Old 12-23-2009, 09:44 AM   #78
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Re: Brookline Developments

The "back end" works pretty will in context with the single family houses but that large part in the "front" is like a "soar" thumb. The Christmas lights don't help.
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Old 12-23-2009, 01:31 PM   #79
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Re: Brookline Developments

At least it holds the street line.
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Old 12-23-2009, 01:38 PM   #80
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Re: Brookline Developments

That's good, in a "Well, Hitler loved dogs" kinda way....
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