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Old 10-19-2009, 07:24 PM   #1
armpitsOFmight
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Can

I noticed there are a lot of complainer

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Old 10-19-2009, 07:31 PM   #2
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Re: Can Boston do anything right?

A list of Boston's greatest recent accomplishments

Northpoint
West End
Seaport
Downtown Crossing
Greenway
Charlesview and Harvard Science Complex
The silver line

On a more serious note, I do like the Apple Store, the Liberty Hotel the MacAllen building, the ICA, Battery Wharf, Atlantic Wharf and FP3 and to a lesser degree 45 province minus the obvious black wall of doom.

Also i see alot of potential in Liberty Wharf.
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Old 10-19-2009, 08:02 PM   #3
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Re: Can Boston do anything right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by palindrome View Post
Northpoint
West End
Seaport
Downtown Crossing
Greenway
Charlesview and Harvard Science Complex
The silver line
Big things have turned out bad.

Quote:
On a more serious note, I do like the Apple Store, the Liberty Hotel the MacAllen building, the ICA, Battery Wharf, Atlantic Wharf and FP3 and to a lesser degree 45 province minus the obvious black wall of doom.

Also i see alot of potential in Liberty Wharf.
Small things have turned out good.
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Old 10-19-2009, 08:21 PM   #4
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Re: Can Boston do anything right?

Boston city Hall
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Old 10-19-2009, 10:26 PM   #5
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Re: Can Boston do anything right?

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Originally Posted by armpitsOFmight View Post
I noticed there are a lot of complainers on this forum and many of you tend to bash most urban planning projects in Boston. So my question to all of you whiners; what projects has Boston done correctly these past 50 years?
That would be since 1959. Here's my list:

--------------
Faneuil Hall/Quincy Market

Rowes Wharf

Christian Science Plaza and reflecting pool

Copley Square (the latest version)

Prudential Center (but only after much reworking, extension, and connection to neighboring development)

Hynes Convention Center (again after much reworking of the original design)

South Station restoration

Southwest Corridor Park -- South End and Jamaica Plain sections (but not the Roxbury section in between)

Christopher Columbus Park

Most of the Harborwalk

Neponset River Greenway

Piers Park in East Boston

Conversion of Charles Street Jail to Liberty Hotel

Restoration of Majestic, Metropolitan (Wang), and Keith Memorial (Opera House) theatres; I'm also looking forward to the Paramount when it opens in a few months

Emerson College's Tufte Performance & Production Center, deftly placed where you wouldn't expect any building could be built

Suffolk Law School

Exchange Place -- not to everyone's taste, but I like the fusion of new and old here

John Hancock Tower, despite its problems

Davis Square T station, its connecting linear parks, and central brick plaza (which required some redesign to get right)

Zero Arrow Theatre and Central Square Theatre -- nice infill projects in two crowded Cambridge commercial districts

Lechmere Canal cleanup and redevelopment in East Cambridge, including the Cambridgeside Galleria Mall

The many small improvements to Fenway Park under the current Red Sox ownership

Spectacle Island

The cleanup of Boston Harbor

Northeastern University's campus -- a huge improvement over what it looked like even 30 years ago, let alone 50

------
In general, I think we do pretty well around here. None of the above projects are perfect, but all of them are positive contributions to the urban environment.

Last edited by Ron Newman; 10-19-2009 at 10:56 PM.
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Old 10-19-2009, 11:55 PM   #6
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Re: Can Boston do anything right?

It's a good, thoughtful list, Ron. And it considers the trial-and-error approach required to get things right. But when you consider these projects against the scale of lost opportunities (do I need to name them all?) it seems a bit thin.
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Old 10-20-2009, 12:07 AM   #7
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Re: Can Boston do anything right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by armpitsOFmight View Post
I noticed there are a lot of complainers on this forum and many of you tend to bash most urban planning projects in Boston. So my question to all of you whiners; what projects has Boston done correctly these past 50 years?
The grass is always greener. I've been turned off of a lot of NYC message boards because the posters there are just as negative towards projects there as we are towards Boston. I'm sure that goes for all places.

Get out, travel more, and you will realize what a gem Boston is, even the bad parts.
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Old 10-20-2009, 01:46 AM   #8
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Re: Can Boston do anything right?

I would consider the Zakim bridge an achievement, but the big dig as neither. It relieved the stress of traffic congestion but we threw a lot of money out the window in doing so.
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Old 10-20-2009, 10:23 AM   #9
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Re: Can Boston do anything right?

A few buildings I might add to my list above:

The Design Research building on Brattle Street in Harvard Square. (Which currently has a great exhibit reproducing the look and feel of the original D|R store. Go see this if you haven't yet.)

Holyoke Center in Harvard Square -- yet another example of something that needed multiple iterations to get right

111 Huntington Ave (could be subsumed under 'Prudential Center' above, but I really like the crown)

And yes, the Zakim. Somehow I forgot all about bridges while making a long list of buildings and parks.

What's notably absent from my list is anything in the downtown financial district. I don't find a single post-1959 building there to be distinctive or memorable, other than Exchange Place, International Place, and the Federal Reserve. Int'l Place has grown on me over the years, but I consider the Federal Reserve to be a terrible anti-urban blunder.
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Old 10-20-2009, 10:49 AM   #10
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Re: Can Boston do anything right?

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The Design Research building on Brattle Street in Harvard Square. (Which currently has a great exhibit reproducing the look and feel of the original D|R store. Go see this if you haven't yet.)
All of 'architects corner' is fantastically done, especially the pedestrian walkway through the center.
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Old 10-20-2009, 11:24 AM   #11
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Re: Can Boston do anything right?

Get out, travel more, and you will realize what a gem Boston is, even the bad parts.[/quote]

So true!^
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Old 10-20-2009, 04:26 PM   #12
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Re: Can Boston do anything right?

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I would consider the Zakim bridge an achievement, but the big dig as neither. It relieved the stress of traffic congestion but we threw a lot of money out the window in doing so.
I would have to disagree. The Big Dig is, by far, the biggest achievement for the city of Boston! Nothing comes close to what it's done for the city in terms of transportation and the upgrading of the downtown's underground infrastructure. Yup, it cost a lot of money (22 billion including interest) but when you think of what was done and how it was done, it was gonna be expensive. Yes, sadly, there was graft and corruption and money thrown out the window, but in the end, Boston is a much better, much improved city, for it. The wars in Iraq and Afghanstan have thus far cost $900+ billion and don't think a good chunk of that money didn't go right out the window into the pockets of big shots...probably more money than the total amount for the Big Dig.
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Old 10-21-2009, 01:09 AM   #13
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Re: Can Boston do anything right?

After destroying so much of the city to build the original Central Artery and then spending countless billions to bury it, half-assedly, and then do nothing with the opportunity posed by the top, the Big Dig is still short of helping Boston break even.

Quote:
Get out, travel more, and you will realize what a gem Boston is, even the bad parts.

So true!^
Are you talking about traveling in flyover country? Because traveling to New York, SF or abroad tends to not make me so psyched about living in Boston.
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Old 10-21-2009, 06:44 AM   #14
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Re: Can Boston do anything right?

Well, go ahead and move! Nobody's stopping you.

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Old 10-21-2009, 09:02 AM   #15
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Re: Can Boston do anything right?

Well that's exactly the attitude that will make people want to move here.
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Old 10-21-2009, 09:02 AM   #16
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Re: Can Boston do anything right?

Excuse me, there.
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Old 10-21-2009, 12:16 PM   #17
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Re: Can Boston do anything right?

Quote:
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Are you talking about traveling in flyover country? Because traveling to New York, SF or abroad tends to not make me so psyched about living in Boston.
Anywhere really. Even cities like Paris have their downsides that we don't see because we don't live there. I hear people talk all the time about how Boston can't do things right and all I can think is Boston does a lot more right than most places do anything at all.
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Old 10-21-2009, 12:20 PM   #18
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Re: Can Boston do anything right?

I'm sure if I lived in Paris I'd be whining constantly about its downsides. I'm not sure I'd be pining to live in Boston instead, though.
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Old 10-22-2009, 08:24 AM   #19
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Re: Can Boston do anything right?

Paris is in a higher category than Boston --and probably always will be.
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Old 10-22-2009, 08:25 AM   #20
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Re: Can Boston do anything right?

Paris is in a higher category than [insert any city here] --and probably always will be.
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