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Old 02-05-2007, 05:27 PM   #21
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anyone else find this monstrosity out of place on market street? This design is a better fit down by the iCa.. or, better yet, nowhere.
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Old 02-05-2007, 07:07 PM   #22
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Weird building in a weird location. Oddly, Montreal's Maison du Radio Canada (public media equivalent) suffers from the same ills.
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Old 02-05-2007, 07:17 PM   #23
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...

its got that spankin' new office park feel to it.

I think it actually looks worse than it did in the renderings - and those were bad.
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Old 02-06-2007, 07:56 PM   #24
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Ghastly.
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Old 02-07-2007, 11:56 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by ablarc
Ghastly.
Pretty much...

I expect more fron Polshek, in light of his work at the Brooklyn Museum...This is an uninspired rehash of the Clinton Presidential Library, done on the cheap...The way that the Polshek addition crashes into that nondescript turd of an office building is really aweful...
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Old 02-15-2007, 12:32 PM   #26
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That blue metal paneling looks horrible in person, and I almost feel bad for that bland office building that's getting eaten alive by the addition.

A cruddy picture from yesterday afternoon while I was driving..
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Old 09-17-2007, 09:03 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Herald
WGBH switches on digital mural at new Brighton digs
By Donna Goodison
Monday, September 17, 2007 - Updated 10h ago

MassPike commuters tired of seeing the same billboards day after day as they drive into Boston will be greeted by more arresting images starting today.

WGBH Boston will flip the switch on the giant digital mural that graces its new $85 million, glass headquarters in Brighton that will house 900 employees. The public broadcaster hopes the mural becomes as recognizable a landmark as the Citgo sign in Kenmore Square or artist Corita Kent?s rainbow swash on the gas storage tank off the Southeast Expressway.

The broadcaster?s 30-foot by 45-foot LED mural - which starts as vertical slivers that run across the west side of the building and culminates in a large screen that juts out over the Pike - will feature new images each day from 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Static and slow-moving images will be selected to reflect WGBH?s mission to ?educate, inform and inspire? through its programming, according to Chris Pullman, WGBH?s vice president of branding and visual communication. Many will be linked to WGBH?s programming content that day.

?We wanted to try to make the architecture of our new headquarters in some way help people understand what we did here,? said Pullman, who conceived the idea. ?There are no promotional pitches, there are no calls to action. There?s just a beautiful engaging image - we hope.?

First up today are leaping dancers performing works by African American choreographers.

Other images this week will include photos of deep space taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, rapidly moving cloud formations atop Hawaii?s Haleakala volcano on Maui, historic images of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and panoramic views of murals by Mexican artist Jose Orozco.

The digital mural has the same light-emitting diode technology used in the large animated signs in New York City?s Times Square. It will be visible to eastbound commuters from about a mile and a half away, and westbound drivers also will be available to catch a glimpse.

?We really moved radically away from our first notion that this somehow would be an extension of the television medium,? Pullman said. ?We selected the term mural . . . because mural connotes something that is basically static as opposed to television...and it also connotes something that is artistic and calm rather than commercial and active.?

Each daily mural image also will appear on WGBH?s Web site, www.wghb.org, with a link to a short explanation of its significance. The site accepts suggestions for future mural images, and WGBH hopes to eventually accept submissions, perhaps through a call to artists. Among the 265 suggestions fielded in the last week were images of flowers, trees and starving children in Darfur.

At night, the digital mural will feature images of the evening sky over Boston, as seen from the west.

?It?ll be an image that we draw from a Web data source where you can put in your latitude and longitude and your point of view, and they will give you a map of the heavens for that day,? Pullman said. ?It will slowly change as the heavens change, and it will just sit there overnight . . . like a screensaver.?

Pullman acknowledged that many people were worried that the mural would serve as a distraction for notorious Massachusetts drivers already fiddling with their cell phones or morning cups of coffee.

?We?ve taken a lot of care to consider that issue,? he said.

While the LED signs are designed to be bright, WGBH can tweak its mural just as one can control the brightness of a computer screen.

?We?re trying to calm the thing down so it has the quality of actually being painted on the side of the building,? Pullman said. ?It?s not going to be hyped up. We just hope that people find it to be an amusing and interesting little event in their daily commute.?
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Old 09-17-2007, 07:47 PM   #28
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Didn't see today's image on the website, but I did find these interior renders:







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Old 09-18-2007, 10:41 AM   #29
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A bridge to the future in Brighton
WGBH settles into a picture-perfect digital age home

By Robert Campbell, Globe Correspondent | September 16, 2007


The new WGBH headquarters is like an improbable marriage. A handsome success is wedded to a dowdy loser.

The good-looking spouse is a spectacular piece of architecture. Designed by the Polshek Partnership, of New York, it features a bridge that soars across Guest Street at the corner of Market in Brighton. The bridge then thrusts out above the Mass. Pike, where it ends in a 30-foot-tall illuminated LED mural.

Like a slideshow in the sky, the mural will offer Boston-bound drivers a new image every day. This is the first serious example in Boston of a kind of architecture we're beginning to see elsewhere, in Times Square, for example, in which the architectural fa?ade of a building is no longer made of the traditional brick, stone, steel or glass but is, instead, an ever-changing, programmable image.

Call it digital architecture. Architecture and media become one. It's a horrifying prospect for the future of human life. Who wants to live in a city that's been designed as an outdoor multiplex screening room?

That nightmare, though, is in the future, and for now, here at WGBH, digital architecture looks pretty good. The station says images will be modest, and Boston city planners promise us that LED murals won't pop up everywhere. You can judge for yourself when the WGBH mural lights up tomorrow for the first time.

The mural is only the highlight of an impressive new building. The problem, alas, is that this new building is joined to a turkey.

Most of the station's employees are shoe-horned into an older building known as 10 Guest St., a structure that is of no architectural distinction indoors or out.

WGBH bought part of 10 Guest, built its new building across the street, and connected new and old with the bridge, which spans the street. The bridge is like a yoke that pairs a fresh colt, full of life and spirit, with a tired draft horse.

The bridge itself is great. Much more than merely a bridge, it's the dominant feature of the whole complex. It's 50 feet wide and two stories tall, sheathed with glass, filled with offices and meeting rooms. It's bold, fresh, memorable architecture, and it creates for the station a kind of architectural logo. It also begins to give shape to a neighborhood - once the city's stockyards - that's otherwise forgettable.

As for No. 10, by contrast, employees call it "corporate." The office layouts are tightly spaced, grid-like and repetitive, and the colors are white and gray. One place looks pretty much like another. It's hard for a department to feel any sense of identity with its own turf. The Polshek firm was the architect for this renovation, too, perhaps uninspired by the drab existing building.

Windows are plentiful, but they're located on public corridors that run along the outside edge of each floor. The idea here was to be democratic: No office would boast a private window. All windows would be shared. The concept works all right where employees occupy a pool of cubicles, because light flows over the low partitions. But when partitions are full height, things begin to feel dark and cramped. In neither case is there anything like the inventive, open, colorful, free-form life of other recent office space in Boston.

The best you can say about 10 Guest is that it's no worse than the rat mazes WGBH used to occupy in 12 separate buildings on Western Avenue - although even those, with the orneriness of human character, are now remembered fondly by some for their informality.

Back to the good news, though, which is the fine new building with its bridge. The architects, the Polshek Partnership, are perhaps best known for the Clinton presidential library in Arkansas and the Rose Center for Earth and Space at the Museum of Natural History, in New York.

I like almost everything about the new building. The architecture is unfussy, crisp, modern, perhaps slightly factory-like in appearance. A key player in determining that was Chris Pullman, a nationally respected graphic designer whose title at WGBH is the slightly "1984"-ish "vice president for branding and communication."

Pullman likes the unpretentious factory look. "We manufacture content," he says. WGBH produces, in fact, about one-third of all prime-time national broadcasting on PBS. Pullman's aesthetic is dry but it isn't cold, although he did seem a bit uptight on a recent visit, when he was annoyed by a pile of balloons someone had placed near the entrance.

The new performance spaces and other facilities look handsome and generous to this non-specialist. (For some reason, radio and recording studios - everywhere, not just at 'GBH - always seem to be black. Since no listener sees them, why is this?) There's an obvious effort to welcome the public. You can look into some of the studio interiors, at least at night, from the adjoining Market Street sidewalk. (Planners at the Boston Redevelopment Authority pushed for this kind of transparency.) The main arrival lobby is big enough for parties, fund-raisers, and other public events. A 210-seat theater is an elegant gem, to be used for public screenings and other purposes.

Like most new buildings in Boston, WBGH is "green" in the sense that it expects to attain a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, albeit the lowest level. Much of the building is built with recycled materials. There are solar panels on one flat roof, and another is to be covered with grass. Total construction cost, including equipment, for the new building and the renovation of the old came to about $85 million, or about $250 per square foot. Things weren't helped by the business collapse of the original contractor, which one participant estimates cost $6 million. But construction prices have risen so fast in the last two or three years that, already, WGBH looks like a bargain.

The biggest nod to the public, of course, is the mural. Pullman will be the one programming it. Most of the images, he says, will come from the station's vast archive. WGBH negotiated with the city to get permission for the mural, and the result is an agreed set of rules. Nothing is to be commercial or promotional. There will be mostly pictures, with few words. Images will be static or slowly moving. There will be "no third party messages, no calls to action." WGBH says the mural will only function at peak turnpike traffic hours, which seems a pity.

Some early critics complained that the mural would be a dangerous distraction to drivers. More likely, it will be a mild relief from the boredom of motoring the turnpike. It will be fun to see how the station decides to use it. Maybe Julia Child at Thanksgiving?

Robert Campbell can be reached at camglobe@aol.com.
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Old 09-18-2007, 10:44 AM   #30
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The idea here was to be democratic: No office would boast a private window.
How very PBS.

Take that as you will.
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Old 09-18-2007, 10:49 AM   #31
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it features a bridge that soars across Guest Street
Uh, oh, I hope our friend Scott van Voorhis isn't reading!

Quote:
The Polshek firm was the architect for this renovation, too, perhaps uninspired by the drab existing building.
I, too, wonder about the decision making to not do very much with the existing building. It should have been relatively easy to tear down the existing curtain wall and replace it with a more distinctive version. And similarly with the interior (although I can only go by Mr. Campbell's description -- it sounds like any suburban commercial office building).

All concept to get that "digital architecture" (i.e. video billboard) out over the Pike, and no substance.
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Old 09-19-2007, 06:57 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Globe
Now, Pike drivers get the big picture
WGBH offers shifting images on giant screen based in Brighton


WGBH is seeking ideas on what to display onscreen at its Brighton offices.
(Essdras M. Suarez/ Globe Staff)


By Michael Levenson, Globe Staff | September 19, 2007

Yesterday, it featured succulents - six inoffensive close-ups of cacti and yucca. Today, the lineup calls for colorful paintings by the Mexican muralist Jos? Orozco. Sunday, it will be photos of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

WGBH activated a three-story screen this week that can display shifting images from its headquarters on the south side of the Massachusetts Turnpike in Brighton, giving thousands of drivers their first glimpse of what the station hopes will become a landmark, on par with the Citgo sign and the gas tank painted by Sister Corita Kent.

Every day, from 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., the screen will feature a changing display of about a half-dozen images on a specific theme - Curious George, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, clouds wafting atop a Hawaiian crater. The still photos, beamed out by energy-efficient LED technology, will change every 30 seconds under guidelines established by the city and community groups, with the whole loop repeating every three minutes or so.

But the screen, which WGBH calls a digital mural, is forcing the public radio and television station to walk a fine line between promotion and education with the photos it displays, and to weigh concerns about safety for the 500,000 eastbound drivers who will pass it every week. Images of the station's hosts are out (too promotional). So is anything risqu? (poor taste), anything with text (potentially distracting), and anything with a narrative arc - such as a lion chasing a gazelle, which might draw motorists' attention for too long.

The screen is the first of its kind to be licensed in Boston, and officials acknowledged it is an experimental venture for the Hub, introducing a flavor more common in venues such as Times Square and Las Vegas. Boston officials and WGBH want this incarnation to be distinctly different, more subtle and placid without being boring.

"In the best possible sense, we hope it's a gift to the city and not a blight on the landscape," said Christopher Pullman, vice president for branding and visual communications at WGBH.

Some commuters who speed by on the Turnpike every day welcomed the 30-by-45-foot screen as a pleasant diversion in an otherwise drab cityscape. Others worried that a display of celebrated paintings, seminal historic events, or world landmarks is bound to cause an accident.

"It's just another distraction you don't need on the road," said Craig Tiedemann, a lawyer who drives the Pike every day from Brighton to his office downtown. "You've got people changing their DVD players in their cars and on their phones and now we've got to look at this slide show? I think it's a risk."

But Charlie Vasiliades, who saw the cacti yesterday morning on his daily bus ride from Brighton into downtown Boston, was impressed.

"It's really very elegant," said Vasiliades, who works for the state Department of Housing and Community Development. "It's nice to have something new and fresh. I think it's an attraction and I like it."

WGBH proposed the screen to the Boston Redevelopment Authority three years ago as part of its plans for a new state-of-the-art headquarters on Market Street. Pullman said the station wanted to take advantage of its location on the highway to raise its profile without offending drivers or violating WGBH's civic-minded tradition.

In meetings with the BRA and Allston-Brighton residents, WGBH agreed on a series of limits. No video. The images must change slowly, like a slide show. After 7 p.m., a "screensaver" must be displayed (WGBH has chosen a "tranquil image of the evening sky over Boston as seen from the west"). No product advertising. And the station's call letters may accompany the photos for only 2 1/2 hours in the morning and 90 minutes in the afternoon.

"It gave us a comfort level to know that, with those parameters, it really cannot go completely wrong," said Prataap Patrose, the BRA's director of urban design. "It was not about hitting you over the head with what the image of the day was. It was much subtler."

Each image is inspired by PBS programming. The succulents evoke the Victory Garden, for example, and the photos of Pearl Harbor are from the Ken Burns documentary on World War II. Monday at 11 a.m., the screen went live with an image of leaping dancers from Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, part of the show "Great Performances."

"It's covertly promotional, in the sense that we do hope people understand who is in the building and what they do," Pullman said, "but we're not trying to sell them anything."

Now, WGBH is soliciting more ideas from the public for future displays. About 350 people responded to an online poll, suggesting images as diverse as children starving in Darfur and the view of outer space from the Hubble Space Telescope. WGBH and local officials hope drivers will look forward to seeing what images are chosen every morning.

"I would say it has the capacity to become a major landmark for Allston-Brighton," said Representative Kevin G. Honan, who represents the neighborhood. "It's definitely eye-catching. You can't miss it. And you'll certainly know you're entering Allston-Brighton."

Michael Levenson can be reached at mlevenson@globe.com.
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Old 09-19-2007, 08:21 AM   #33
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"It's just another distraction you don't need on the road," said Craig Tiedemann, a lawyer who drives the Pike every day from Brighton to his office downtown. "You've got people changing their DVD players in their cars and on their phones and now we've got to look at this slide show? I think it's a risk."
WWWAAAAHHHH.... cry me a f@cking river.

Now if only the rest of the building (especially the original part) weren't so boring.
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Old 09-19-2007, 04:46 PM   #34
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In today's NY Times:

Quote:


Three New Buildings About Communication Are Also Designed to Communicate
By ROBIN POGREBIN
Published: September 19, 2007

Polshek Partnership Architects does not specialize in media buildings. But in an odd confluence, three such projects by this firm are opening in succession. Among them is the enlarged S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, which is to be dedicated today by Chief Justice of the United States John G. Roberts Jr.

The $23 million Newhouse School, an expansion and renovation of two existing buildings, features a three-story glass atrium intersected by pedestrian bridges and ? perhaps most strikingly ? a glass curtain with the words of the First Amendment projected onto it.

On Monday the new home of the WGBH public broadcasting station opened in Brighton, Mass. The third building, the Newseum and Freedom Forum headquarters, a bigger, higher-tech reinvention of the former Newseum in Arlington, Va., is to open in Washington next spring.

Each of these media-themed clients was looking for a strong new physical identity, something that Polshek Partnerships recently provided for such prominent public institutions as the Brooklyn Museum, with its contemporary glass entrance pavilion and plaza (2004), and the Rose Center for Earth and Space at the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan, with its enormous sphere in a transparent cube (2000).

At the Newhouse School the architects faced the challenge of uniting and reviving two existing buildings, a 1964 structure by I. M. Pei and a 1974 design by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. To ease movement between the buildings and draw students out of the underground spaces in Mr. Pei?s building, Polshek Partnership came up with the three-story atrium, which the bridges link to surrounding classrooms, lounges and research spaces.

?There were no social spaces for people to interact,? said Tomas J. Rossant, the partner in charge of the project. ?Meeting rooms, work rooms, digital rooms, where they eat ? all that sort of stuff has moved toward the light.?

Although the words of the First Amendment are stable, they run behind beams of the building, creating a news-ticker effect. ?We wanted to do something that felt digital, that felt kinetic,? Mr. Rossant said.

WGBH, which produces high-profile public television series, including ?Nova,? ?Frontline? and ?The American Experience,? was looking to step out with a unified, arresting complex. Having formerly been scattered among 12 different buildings and hidden behind the Harvard Business School in Allston, Mass., the station moved to a new site adjacent to the Massachusetts Turnpike in Brighton.

The lead Polshek architect on the project, Richard Olcott, said the firm decided to make the most of the station?s captive audience: commuters in rush-hour traffic. WGBH was ?interested in being visible, having been invisible for so long,? he said. ?You can see the thing from two miles away.?

The building?s facade is itself a media element: a digital skin that will project varying LED images every day. (The city prohibits any text display there because of broader concerns about commercialization.) On a gray morning, for example, the electronic mural could display fluffy white clouds in a deep blue sky.

The notion is to have the building consistently engaging with the public. ?Hopefully people will think, ?What is WGBH going to throw at me today?? ? Mr. Olcott said.

With its new building WGBH also wanted to foster more internal communication between its television, radio, Internet and other operations, the architects said. The new 310,000-square-foot headquarters at Market and Beacon Streets encompasses an existing seven-story office building that houses support staff and two levels of television and radio studios on the site of a former parking lot.

They are connected by a two-story bridge that encloses offices for staff members who generate the station?s content. Because of the project?s limited $85 million budget, the architects used corrugated metal siding and glass. Since everyone could not get a window, no one got one; the offices are on the interior, and the circulation is at the perimeter.

?The light is very democratic,? Mr. Olcott said.

The neighborhood itself is in transition, with low-lying houses juxtaposed with a new headquarters for New Balance shoes. Right under WGBH, the Stockyard steakhouse boasts of roast beef hash ?made daily? and ?the best fresh lobster pie in New England.?

?It?s not Beacon Hill,? Mr. Olcott said.


The First Amendment is integrated into the Newseum in Washington, too, inscribed in stone on the facade facing Pennsylvania Avenue. But the institution ? at $450 million and 550,000 square feet, the largest and most expensive of Mr. Polshek?s three projects ? will be largely transparent in appearance.

?We want it to be the opposite of the Washington aesthetic,? said Robert Young, the associate partner in charge of the project, ?open, accessible, easy to get into.?

Seven years in the making, the Newseum is made up of three parallel buildings, like the pages of a newspaper. Exhibits include the first news helicopter, the first news satellite, the top of the radio tower from Tower 2 of the World Trade Center and the largest piece of the Berlin Wall outside Germany today, the architects said.

News personnel from various networks and cable stations are expected to broadcast from the studio, with its real-life backdrop of the nation?s Capitol.

The building?s site, halfway between the Capitol and the White House, echoes its watchdog role, the architects said. ?We have to keep an eye on these two branches of the government,? Mr. Young said.
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Old 09-19-2007, 08:47 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by The NY Times
Since everyone could not get a window, no one got one
I can't tell if this makes all the sense in the world or none at all.


(personal note: this is post #1200 for me.. whoopee! Ron Newman I'm gunning for you!)
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Old 02-16-2008, 08:58 PM   #36
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Re: WGBH Headquarters

2/15





a view from the Market St bridge







and the backside

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Old 02-17-2008, 06:12 AM   #37
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Re: WGBH Headquarters

You hate to see such blatant office park architecture in the city limits but if there is one place where people aren't going to be anyway it is North Brighton along the Pike.
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Old 02-17-2008, 01:46 PM   #38
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Re: WGBH Headquarters

I laughed out loud.
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Old 02-17-2008, 02:17 PM   #39
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Re: WGBH Headquarters

From the turnpike this building is a lot of fun. I may be alone in this but IMO Boston looks a bit on the dowdy side and could use more action of any kind even if its simply lighting.
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Old 02-17-2008, 07:00 PM   #40
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Re: WGBH Headquarters

I'm on the Pike every day, and I have to say, I'm one of those people that gets excited to see what's on the screen. They have had everything up there from Hubble Telescope shots, Janis Joplin, old European master paintings, and 'Clifford the Red Dog' on Valentine's Day. The smaller screens that stagger out from the corner add some nice movent as well.

It's certainly better than the hum drum housing and bland buildings that dot the rest of the Pike through Newton and Brighton, and adds a nice splash of color to bland winter days.
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