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Old 12-12-2006, 02:07 PM   #41
aHigherBoston78
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OK everyone - let's establish that
A) everyone has their own opinion and
B) don't take it personally. Just agree to disagree.

That being said, it's 2006. [ahem Jasonik] I consider something like this to be "cutting edge."

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Old 12-12-2006, 02:09 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott
many of the banks built in the 1970's
but sometimes all that is needed is a change of use. At Washington and School Streets, what people might have thought ugly as a bank works quite well as a Borders bookstore.
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Old 12-12-2006, 02:21 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Newman
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott
many of the banks built in the 1970's
but sometimes all that is needed is a change of use. At Washington and School Streets, what people might have thought ugly as a bank works quite well as a Borders bookstore.
But in the case of City Hall wouldn't creative re-use go against all the reasons why everyone says its so great? (ie: all the government/democratic symbolism)
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Old 12-12-2006, 02:28 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bowesst
But in the case of City Hall wouldn't creative re-use go against all the reasons why everyone says its so great? (ie: all the government/democratic symbolism)
Benton Brut would be a better person to answer this (I think it sucks as a government building) but I'll take a stab at it and guess that the idea is that it represents what goverment meant was at the time it was built. The nation and city were in the middle of a massive upheaval. The city needed a strong show of force and strength, hence City Hall.

Now? Not so much.
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Old 12-12-2006, 02:29 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bowesst
But in the case of City Hall wouldn't creative re-use go against all the reasons why everyone says its so great? (ie: all the government/democratic symbolism)
Agreed, unless an institution like the Boston Architectural Center adopted it for obvious reasons.
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Old 12-12-2006, 02:31 PM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jasonik
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowesst
But in the case of City Hall wouldn't creative re-use go against all the reasons why everyone says its so great? (ie: all the government/democratic symbolism)
Agreed, unless an institution like the Boston Architectural Center adopted it for obvious reasons.
Good idea because then we could tear down the current BAC. :twisted:
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Old 12-12-2006, 02:33 PM   #47
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Wow, this news caused a rapid burst of posts! My opinion, again: I don't like it but I think it should stay because of its value as an icon of a school of architecture. I show it to friends visiting from out of town. It is often interesting to hear people's opinion on it.
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Old 12-12-2006, 02:37 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by statler
Benton Brut would be a better person to answer this (I think it sucks as a government building) but I'll take a stab at it and guess that the idea is that it represents what government meant was at the time it was built. The nation and city were in the middle of a massive upheaval. The city needed a strong show of force and strength, hence City Hall.

Now? Not so much.



IMO the large entry motif signifies the power and importance of the citizen, the smaller horizontal grouping the committee, and the rest the powerless and faceless bureaucrats that by sheer magnitude of number overwhelm and control city government.

This reading of the building allows for a more complete understanding of the crescent monolith across the plaza.

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Old 12-12-2006, 02:43 PM   #49
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Its the mechanicals on the top that really ruin this building. :wink:
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Old 12-12-2006, 02:47 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jasonik
IMO the large entry motif signifies the power and importance of the citizen, the smaller horizontal grouping the committee, and the rest the powerless and faceless bureaucrats that by sheer magnitude of number overwhelm and control city government.
That's one interpretation, and quite possibly the intended one, but I still don't think it works. The entrance may be large but it is far from 'welcoming'. It seems like those who enter through will be crushed by the sheer weight of the rest. It is dark, forboding and says quite clearly: "Stay Out!"
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Old 12-12-2006, 02:58 PM   #51
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I thought the bricks of the plaza and base represented the citizens.
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Old 12-12-2006, 03:07 PM   #52
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bring back Scollay Square!
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Old 12-12-2006, 03:27 PM   #53
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I, for one, would return to Boston from wherever I might be to see the day this comes down. My 10 cents is that unfortunately the definition of "cutting edge" often seems to be "average people hate it", as if public disapprobation is a gold seal of approval. Perhaps removing this building will actually help bridge the divide between architects and "Joe Sixpack" by discrediting elitist thought in favor of finding designs that can embrace "the common man" and inspire him, not mock him for his architectural illiteracy.
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Old 12-12-2006, 03:28 PM   #54
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Architecturally, City Hall is one of, if not the, most important buildings in Boston from the last century. Tearing it down would be a travesty.

No, it's not perfect, but not all of the problems stem from the building's design:

- for one thing, it's been poorly maintained and has not had any major renovations to enhance its functionality
- its surroundings definitely detract from the building. I think people might see it in a better light if government center, as a whole, weren't such a wasteland
- the building should use architectural lighting to enhance it at night
- also, the lower levels that present a brick wall to the outside could be renovated, making the building more open and welcoming

In short, the building itself is not a failure. Unfortunately, because it is the most prominent example of a kind of architecture that has done a lot of damage to the city, people associate it with all the architectural mistakes of its area while failing to recognize the building's significant strengths.

I know people are just expressing their opinions (and have every right to), but it really saddens me to hear people disparage City Hall so violently.
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Old 12-12-2006, 03:35 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DowntownDave
I, for one, would return to Boston from wherever I might be to see the day this comes down. My 10 cents is that unfortunately the definition of "cutting edge" often seems to be "average people hate it", as if public disapprobation is a gold seal of approval. Perhaps removing this building will actually help bridge the divide between architects and "Joe Sixpack" by discrediting elitist thought in favor of finding designs that can embrace "the common man" and inspire him, not mock him for his architectural illiteracy.
The philistines have a leader. :?
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Old 12-12-2006, 03:48 PM   #56
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Can't believe this.

Here we are on a forum of supposed architecture enthusiasts and most are howling for the destruction of Boston's most significant 20th Century building.

Tell me it ain't so.
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Old 12-12-2006, 03:49 PM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ablarc
Here we are on a forum of supposed architecture enthusiasts and most are howling for the destruction of Boston's most significant 20th Century building.
Really? I've never seen a single person here advocate tearing down the Hancock.
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Old 12-12-2006, 03:53 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ablarc
Can't believe this.

Here we are on a forum of supposed architecture enthusiasts and most are howling for the destruction of Boston's most significant 20th Century building.

Tell me it ain't so.
It really wouldn't matter what the discussion or what the proposal because no matter what I'm sure it would meet with your disapproval. All you ever say is what shouldn't be done. How bout you tell us what exactly SHOULD be done with City Hall, Winthrop Square and every place else?
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Old 12-12-2006, 03:58 PM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DowntownDave
I, for one, would return to Boston from wherever I might be to see the day this comes down. My 10 cents is that unfortunately the definition of "cutting edge" often seems to be "average people hate it", as if public disapprobation is a gold seal of approval. Perhaps removing this building will actually help bridge the divide between architects and "Joe Sixpack" by discrediting elitist thought in favor of finding designs that can embrace "the common man" and inspire him, not mock him for his architectural illiteracy.
Designs that embrace the common man? What would that be? A brick building? A tame building that is afraid to stand tall (figuratively)?

I guarantee you that once City Hall is torn done, the same common man will be crying foul.
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Old 12-12-2006, 04:03 PM   #60
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Call me a philistine if you must, but if a prominent new public building continues to be soundly rejected by the public after 38 years, it's a failure.

What 'new' structures do you see on tourist postcards representing the city? The Hancock Tower, the Zakim Bridge, probably even the long view from the harbor incorporating Rowes Wharf and International Place. But not City Hall.
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