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Old 04-05-2018, 10:16 AM   #261
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Re: Roxbury Developments

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Originally Posted by vanshnookenraggen View Post
This is located at the "elbow" of Melnea Cass which is quite a prominent location. It's a shame this will never be a better design, the uses dictate a glass box.
I take this to mean that there is some important context that is not being addressed with this design. In which case I could agree that if it is not doing a good job responding to the environment (physical built environment) that it is lacking. As a stand alone piece of design work I would have to say that this is doing some nice things. It has an authenticity, it has some thoughtful expressions and deals with scale quite well. If this can be executed somewhat faithfully I would be a proponent.

Just my opinion of course.

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Old 04-05-2018, 02:46 PM   #262
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Re: Roxbury Developments

Looking at all the recent development around Melnea Cass, from Northeastern down to this I'd say the city obviously doesn't care at all about what's going on and will take any development for the sake of development. The entire corridor is now lined with the mistakes of the planning past, present, and future. Why has there not been any call to redesign Melnea Cass into a proper boulevard with bus/bike lanes and better integrating the side streets to create a coherent urban gird? This is the same arterial highway designed in the 1970s that you find in any suburban sprawl in south Florida! Is it the residents who aren't making the calls? Or are they just being ignored? The streets dictate the development and all we have here are cheap boxes. Hell, even the South Boston Waterfront has far more engaging and multiuse development than this. Melnea Cass has so much potential but with buildings in the way it seems doomed to suburban sprawl!
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Old 04-05-2018, 03:32 PM   #263
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Re: Roxbury Developments

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Originally Posted by vanshnookenraggen View Post
Looking at all the recent development around Melnea Cass, from Northeastern down to this I'd say the city obviously doesn't care at all about what's going on and will take any development for the sake of development. The entire corridor is now lined with the mistakes of the planning past, present, and future. Why has there not been any call to redesign Melnea Cass into a proper boulevard with bus/bike lanes and better integrating the side streets to create a coherent urban gird? This is the same arterial highway designed in the 1970s that you find in any suburban sprawl in south Florida! Is it the residents who aren't making the calls? Or are they just being ignored? The streets dictate the development and all we have here are cheap boxes. Hell, even the South Boston Waterfront has far more engaging and multiuse development than this. Melnea Cass has so much potential but with buildings in the way it seems doomed to suburban sprawl!
To the north and south of Melnea Cass there really aren't any "vested" residents. From Melnea Cass north to Northampton is a vast sea of public housing. From Melnea Cass south to MalcolmX is the same. The demolition done for both I695 was powerful and there were no more neighbors to complain.

Here's a screenshot of a zillow showing houses for sale showing a huge gap in ownership that effectively separates South End from Roxbury. Roxbury home ownership starts south of Dudley street, South End starts north of Northampton.

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Old 04-05-2018, 03:55 PM   #264
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Re: Roxbury Developments

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To the north and south of Melnea Cass there really aren't any "vested" residents.
They are just as vested as the rest of them, they just feel they have no power, or worse that fixing the street will bring gentrification faster.
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Old 04-05-2018, 03:57 PM   #265
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Re: Roxbury Developments

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They are just as vested as the rest of them, they just feel they have no power, or worse that fixing the street will bring gentrification faster.
Public housing can't be gentrified
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Old 04-05-2018, 10:00 PM   #266
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Re: Roxbury Developments

It is not entirely public/afforadable housing and rentals absolutely can be gentrified. As long as it isn't too severe gentrification helps anyone who owns property, but it is not helpful for anyone renting those are the people most at risk.
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Old 04-05-2018, 10:28 PM   #267
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Re: Roxbury Developments

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Public housing can't be gentrified
That is a bad understanding of gentrification. Even if your rent doesnt increase if everything else around you also gets more expensive and your community is displaced you are still negatively impacted by gentrification.
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Old 04-07-2018, 01:33 PM   #268
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Re: Roxbury Developments

Whittier Choice One.

http://www.bostonplans.org/projects/...hittier-choice
PNF: http://www.bostonplans.org/documents...pnf-2015-06-15

After and Before



Phase 1 Starts on corner of Cabot and Whittier





Dewitt Center (Corner of Dewitt and Ruggles) -- another construction effort done by Madison Park Development and I think from the same Choice One Grant.

https://goo.gl/maps/UMvwyxRAiKP2




Another Madison Park Development -- corner of Brook Marshall Rd
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Old 04-07-2018, 01:46 PM   #269
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Re: Roxbury Developments

Quote:
Originally Posted by vanshnookenraggen View Post
Looking at all the recent development around Melnea Cass, from Northeastern down to this I'd say the city obviously doesn't care at all about what's going on and will take any development for the sake of development. The entire corridor is now lined with the mistakes of the planning past, present, and future. Why has there not been any call to redesign Melnea Cass into a proper boulevard with bus/bike lanes and better integrating the side streets to create a coherent urban gird? This is the same arterial highway designed in the 1970s that you find in any suburban sprawl in south Florida! Is it the residents who aren't making the calls? Or are they just being ignored? The streets dictate the development and all we have here are cheap boxes. Hell, even the South Boston Waterfront has far more engaging and multiuse development than this. Melnea Cass has so much potential but with buildings in the way it seems doomed to suburban sprawl!
Something about your question reminded me and then I remember that someone here had posted a link to just what you were asking about:

https://www.boston.gov/departments/t...design-project

and

https://www.boston.gov/sites/default..._-_reduced.pdf (Published just last month)

and

http://www.bostonplans.org/getattach...4-175b93e85d27 (which is a bit old but shows that there have been a lot of conversations about the city-owned parcels).

I also found some good historical contextual information in the pitch the Whittier Choice One initiative made to win the HUD grant here:
https://www.bostonhousing.org/BHA/me...partments/Real Estate Development/Whittier-CN-Transformation-Plan-Rough-Quality-FINAL-Oct112014.pdf

which has some old aerial shots showing how devastating the I-695 destruction was:
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Old 04-07-2018, 02:04 PM   #270
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Re: Roxbury Developments

^
That wasn’t just highway demo. Most of the clearing in that pic was actually for urban renewal projects, which is why that entire swath of Roxbury is now public housing an govt buildings. I think the vast concentration of uniform housing, along with loss of the street grid with essentially no through roads through most of the area around Dudley, brings the whole area down a lot more than the highway clearing and linear scar.
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Old 04-07-2018, 02:46 PM   #271
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Re: Roxbury Developments

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^
That wasn’t just highway demo. Most of the clearing in that pic was actually for urban renewal projects, which is why that entire swath of Roxbury is now public housing an govt buildings. I think the vast concentration of uniform housing, along with loss of the street grid with essentially no through roads through most of the area around Dudley, brings the whole area down a lot more than the highway clearing and linear scar.
In this particular case the clearing was for the highway as this is where the 95-695 interchange was supposed to be. Somewhere on this forum has been posted the renderings and it would have been devastating.
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Old 04-07-2018, 02:47 PM   #272
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Re: Roxbury Developments

Thanks reverend_paco, I'm happy to see something is being done but without changes to the zoning to allow buildings to create a better street wall there is only so much that can be done with the road. I'm glad they are adding trees, bike lanes, and through streets but this has more to do with safety than urban design.
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Old 04-07-2018, 02:48 PM   #273
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Re: Roxbury Developments

After NY and other cities built their grid and the success was blatently obvious we should have takem a grid oriented path towards development when we did things like this or the west end. Each time a new scar was ripped through an area- which was usually a grid anyways we should kept that going. We could have made the city a lot easier to navigate vs the spaghetti plate we ended up with.
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Old 04-07-2018, 06:24 PM   #274
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Re: Roxbury Developments

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In this particular case the clearing was for the highway as this is where the 95-695 interchange was supposed to be. Somewhere on this forum has been posted the renderings and it would have been devastating.
No, van… the interchange was going to be at the end of the yellow line, which is at Columbus (which would have become 95 outbound of this map). The plans weren’t totally down to the fine detail, but as I know you know, there were also plans to construct major arterials across the city to connect the new highways; Columbus was going to become one of them and would have been widened (inbound of the interchange, that is). Ritchie, Marcella, Townsend and Quincy Streets were also going to become a four lane connector to 93, hence MLK Blvd.

However, all of this was going on at the same time as very aggressive demolition of the entire part of roxbury between ~ Northampton and the Roxbury Highlands. The highlands was where more affluent blacks as well as Jews lived. The lowlands around Dudley were poor - the end of Albany Street had been paint factories and metalworks and other toxic stuff from very early on, due to the canal that used to run into that area (where the Asian funeral parlor is). Then you had all the factories around Roxbury Crossing. So the area in between was sandwiched between two industrial zones and swelled in numbers with the migrations of poorer blacks heading out of the south after the two world wars. The more affluent Roxbury residents, partly due to class snobbery, were actually on board with a lot of the clearance.

Some of the initial plans proposed a very sprawling interchange - see the links below for an amazing site of maps including an overlay of the proposed inner belt. While that map shows a massive interchange, by the late 60s the plans had changed to a much tighter interchange with the rest of the surrounding land converted to a new project with a high school and housing called Campus High. The school is now called Madison Park because the demolished park (faintly visible, that you can see in the paco’s picture) was called Madison Square. That’s the cleared land in the lower right of the pic.

https://www.mapjunction.com - awesome site... select “inner belt mosaic 1962”, but note this was a very early plan.

https://archive.org/details/campushighschool70bost - BRA plan for Campus High, 1970. Note that the inbound segment of Columbus Avenue is depicted as a major arterial, also unbuilt.

http://www.bostonplans.org/getattach...-ac103e92dd37/ - Another image from the BRA’s site.
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Old 04-08-2018, 04:07 PM   #275
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Re: Roxbury Developments

Uhub reports a proposel for an addition to 1950 Washington.

http://www.bostonplans.org/getattach...0-597fb45f6095

1950 Washington
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Old 04-08-2018, 04:26 PM   #276
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Re: Roxbury Developments



Looks like that land was cleared for the interchange (1962). Obviously plans changed as Madison Park/Campus High UR was developed after the interchange was moved.



A small point of interest, I never understood why the small residential section along Melnea Cass had the extra side streets right up against the boulevard. Clearly they were designed when I-695 was still planned and they wanted to keep them separate from the frontage roads. It's a total waste of space today.
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Old 04-08-2018, 04:27 PM   #277
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Re: Roxbury Developments

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More interesting and thoughtful than anything we're seeing in East Boston, but that doesn't mean it's anything special. Upgrade: clad it in patinated copper, dark window frames, and add ornamental iron work to the balconies....
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Old 04-08-2018, 04:59 PM   #278
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Re: Roxbury Developments

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Looks like that land was cleared for the interchange (1962). Obviously plans changed as Madison Park/Campus High UR was developed after the interchange was moved.

All the interchanges in every highway project in Boston were originally planned to be much more sprawling than they are today...

Like I already said, the map that you posted (and that I already shared a link to) shows a very early plan for the inner belt from 1962. The demolition was much later than 1962, when the plans had already shifted - note both the size of the interchange is smaller, as well as the alignment being shifted further to the north. I will give you, just for the sake of argument, that perhaps, the initial eminent domain clauses were adjudicated for the purposes of a highway project, although I am very skeptical of that. What are needed are the land clearance permits and dates. What I do know is the West End was actually cleared in ‘58-59, and that was the first truly major clearance project. The Roxbury stuff happened much later, so that 1962 plan is not necessarily reflective of whatever permits finally ended up being pulled for the purposes of clearing the land we are talking about. I am not completely certain, because I don’t have all that permit data, but from what I’ve read, it doesn’t look like this is a case of “we already cleared all this land for the highway, but now we want a smaller interchange and have to figure out what to do with the leftover land”. I’m not trying to create an argument just for the sake of one, but despite an admittedly destructive period of highway clearance, the highway story is only one strand of aggressive, big government urban renewal projects… And to just look at that original map of all the cleared land and only blame highway construction plays to the masses (on here, where we are generally aligned on transit policy), and loses the rest of the story, both for Roxbury as well as nationally. Slum clearance coincided with construction of both transit and housing projects, often but not always together, and equally destructive, regardless. People like to trot out keywords like urban renewal and inner belt as examples of how horrible midcentury transit policy was, while generally lacking knowledge about contemporary housing policy. I think having all the fine details in place is important.

Last edited by FK4; 04-08-2018 at 05:58 PM.
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Old 04-08-2018, 06:21 PM   #279
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Re: Roxbury Developments

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Uhub reports a proposel for an addition to 1950 Washington.

http://www.bostonplans.org/getattach...0-597fb45f6095

1950 Washington

This is the building which houses Restoration Resources, a store which buys and sells old architectural elements from the brownstones in the South End and Back Bay area. For anyone who's interested in "architectural antiques" I highly recommend you drop into the store.

I talked to the owner once and he mentioned how his store used to be where the current SOWA studios are, but he got pushed out once rents started skyrocketing. I feel sad that this proposed work might push him out, so I urge people to drop in.

This is also around the corner from some proposed apartments that were featured in an earlier post:
http://www.archboston.org/community/...&postcount=214
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Old 04-09-2018, 12:18 PM   #280
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Re: Roxbury Developments

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This is the building which houses Restoration Resources, a store which buys and sells old architectural elements from the brownstones in the South End and Back Bay area. For anyone who's interested in "architectural antiques" I highly recommend you drop into the store.

I talked to the owner once and he mentioned how his store used to be where the current SOWA studios are, but he got pushed out once rents started skyrocketing. I feel sad that this proposed work might push him out, so I urge people to drop in.

This is also around the corner from some proposed apartments that were featured in an earlier post:
http://www.archboston.org/community/...&postcount=214
Nice. I’ve wanted to check that place out for a long time.
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