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Old 10-03-2007, 07:14 PM   #41
Beton Brut
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That's not marble on the Brooke -- it's white granite.

Marble is a bad idea as a cladding material in northern climates; horror stories from Helsinki & Chicago below.

Finlandia Hall -- Alvar Aalto
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Originally Posted by Wikipedia
As regards the exterior Carrara marble cladding, over the years the 3 cm thick marble slabs had tended to curve: the slabs were too thin and were affected by the harsh winter weather conditions and pollution. The Alvar Aalto office and the National Board of Antiquities investigated the various options, including replacing the slabs with durable Finnish grey granite slabs. However, it was finally decided to replace all the exterior slabs with new Carrara marble ones, but in a slightly thicker dimension, and attached to a concrete tile backing. The large reparation project was completed in 1998: however, by 2006 many of these slabs had already begun to curve. The same problem has also affected other buildings in Helsinki by Aalto in which he used Carrara marble slabs (e.g. The Enso-Gutzeit Building)
Aon Center (Standard Oil Building) -- Edward Durrell Stone
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When completed, it was the world's tallest marble-clad building, being sheathed entirely with 43,000 slabs of Italian Carrara marble. This quickly proved to be an unsuitable cladding for the harsh Chicago winters. In 1974, just a year after completion, one of the marble slabs detached from the fa?ade and penetrated the roof of the nearby Prudential Center Annex. To alleviate the problem, stainless steel straps were added to hold the marble in place. Later, from 1990 to 1992, the entire building was refaced with Mount Airy white granite at an estimated cost of over $80 million. (Amoco was reticent to divulge the actual amount, but it was well over half the original price of the building, without adjustment for inflation.) The discarded marble was crushed and used as landscaping decoration at Amoco's refinery in Whiting, Indiana.
The whole point of City Hall and the Brutalist movement is Truth to Materials. Recladding the building is tantamount to dressing it in drag -- a foolish waste of money.

By all means, clean the concrete, install better (opening) windows, open it up to the public (i.e. lose the metal detectors), program its arresting public spaces. My quick review of the BAC piece shows that there are some good ideas out there (the Moskow proposal being my favorite).
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Old 10-03-2007, 07:22 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe_Schmoe
Nothing can make City Hall look attractive as long as the concrete has turned that sickening brownish grey car exhaust color. Since it's impossible to paint concrete, I'd propose covering each surface with a marble panel, like the ones on the Brooke courthouse.
Recently the Govt. Center Garage was completely painted...looks good too. Unfortunately those who favor brutalist architecture also favor the "weathering" of the concrete, which, in a Northern climate only adds to the depressive atmosphere of winter/rainy seasons.
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Old 10-09-2007, 12:11 AM   #43
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Why not get the JFK from the Navy

Boston should get the decommissioned aircraft carrier JFK from the Navy and make it into a mobile City Hall

It could spend the first Winter down in Dorchester Bay on the Red Line

Be towed north to the Bayside for the Spring

Spend the summer in Southy

Finally for Columbus Day it could be parked in the North End

Then the next year it could start the winter in Charlestown and move to East Boston for the Spring and then move on to the original starting point in Dorchester Bay for the Summer

That way -- most of the city would be within a few minutes walk of city hall at least once every two years

The existing City Hall could then be imploded and a tower built in its place

Just a thought

Westy
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Old 10-09-2007, 05:12 PM   #44
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That would, of course, mean that Allston/Brighton and the Back Bay would demand the Charles River dam be opened so it could moor alongside their nabes. Oh, and don't forget the Muddy River ship canal that would have to be dredged to reach JP and West Roxbury. And, of course, that still leaves the mayor's Hyde Park homeland high and dry until the Neponset is made navigable.

If its position reflected current city politics, though, the ship would just remain moored to Day Boulevard in Southie most of the year
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Old 10-09-2007, 08:16 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beton Brut
Marble is a bad idea as a cladding material in northern climates; horror stories from Helsinki & Chicago below.
Along with the examples you listed, there's a couple structures in Albany that are having issues: the infamous Empire State Plaza and One Commerce Plaza (the city's tallest private office tower), both built in the late '60s/early '70s. 1CP is in the final stages of having its marble be replaced by composite panels, and who knows when NYS will do anything with the ginormous ESP.. probably once a panel falls off.
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Old 10-12-2007, 03:06 PM   #46
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Inkling Markets

It's been a while since I put an update on this anywhere, but here it is.

Head over to Inkling Markets at this link: http://home.inklingmarkets.com/market/show/2851 and put some fake money down on what you think will happen with the whole City Hall to South Boston idea.

Right now, people have City Hall staying in its current building without renovation through next June listed at a 28% probability.

Head over and weigh in.
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Old 10-12-2007, 04:50 PM   #47
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Huh? 28%? No matter what ultimately happens, City Hall isn't going anywhere in the next 8 months.
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Old 10-16-2007, 12:37 PM   #48
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I went inside City Hall for the first time today. All I can really say is "oh my!"

I couldn't really tell if I had actually gone "indoors". It seemed a lot like a train station concourse with all the windows and what not. That might just be the particular part that I was in since I just had to go to the parking windows, but it was still a very interesting experience.
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Old 10-16-2007, 01:47 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by touqen
I went inside City Hall for the first time today. All I can really say is "oh my!"
Does "oh my" indicate astonishment or revulsion?
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Old 10-16-2007, 02:26 PM   #50
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It was a bit of both. It had the feeling of infill. Like they had this existing concrete superstructure that they just put some glass in and "made" somewhat usable space.

Brutalist, a friend I am not.
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Old 10-16-2007, 03:55 PM   #51
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It's nasty

It's a terrible place.

I was over there today, as well. Within two minutes of being inside, I was overcome by feelings of dread and depression.

I had enough energy to take a photo, but after that, I was overcome by emotions and passed out.



Where do these stairs go? Has anyone ever used them? Why is the interior all cement? Were the architects aware that it gets cold in Boston in winter?
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Old 10-16-2007, 07:28 PM   #52
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^To be fair, this public space is really very spectacular. I remember clearly when it was first opened to the public. I found this central space wonderful at first. The stairs, which are on third level of the building, go up to the public areas for the Mayor's office and the City Council chambers. This has limited the use of this staircase to a very narrow purpose and therefore, the stairs look as if they are useless. Looking up, one can see great shafts reaching toward clerestory windows, casting light into the space. The stairs were intended to help people gather in the enclosed courtyard for exhibitions and performances, and, I suppose the architects expected people to sit on the stairs like a mini-stadium for these performances. (Similar to the equally useless performance spaces at Paul Rudolph's First Church in the Back Bay and the area around the Harvard Sq. T station). Performances and exhibits rarely happened, however, and the space has been in limbo for decades. No doubt City Hall needs a major overhaul to accommodate the expectations, tastes, and habits of 21st C people. There is a great deal that can be done but the present mayor is lacking the will for imaginative solutions. Expensive, yes...but the possibilities are endless.
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Old 11-07-2007, 08:39 PM   #53
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Re: City Hall Plaza

Oh my god. Who made that? Bring them here. NOW!
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Old 11-07-2007, 10:55 PM   #54
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Re: City Hall Plaza

I noticed this evening, the building is obviously not ADA-compliant, nor did I see a sprinkler anywhere I looked (does concrete burn?).

So, can we call it obsolete and force them to tear it down?
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Old 11-07-2007, 11:19 PM   #55
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Re: City Hall Plaza

Are you sure? I believe it is possible to reach the front entrance from the street without going up or down any steps.
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Old 11-11-2007, 09:57 PM   #56
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Re: City Hall Plaza

I meant the people who made the sketches of the City Hall Plaza plans. Not the architects of the stupid morbid land of dread and depression. It's only a matter of time before they use it as the background for a Prozac commercial.
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Old 11-17-2007, 05:38 PM   #57
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Re: City Hall Plaza

I drove by here after getting a $55 parking ticket getting chacarero (worth it? maybe), and couldn't believe that they put in that slab. It seems kind of ridiculous to just cover it up and pretend it's not there.

I kind of like the area. It's definitely too much brick, but I spent many nights here skating stairs and came to have an affection for it. I think the stairs side is better than the theater side...the open expanse of brick is somewhat desert like on the theater side. I can sort of appreciate the lines though, it just needs something to break up the insane oppressiveness of it all.

I can't imagine what they'll come up with for it...I'm not terribly optimistic.
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Old 11-25-2007, 03:52 PM   #58
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Re: City Hall Plaza

http://www.boston.com/news/globe/liv...d_last?pg=full

I'm not sure if anyone's posted this article here (it's from back in 2004), but it's interesting how much Menino's opinion has changed regarding city hall since then. Personally, I love the idea of a restaurant on top - and I'd go so far as to suggest a whole viewing area up there.
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Old 11-25-2007, 07:59 PM   #59
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Re: City Hall Plaza

Ron, regarding ADA - I'm no expert (meaning, I know nothing about it). I noticed that the bathrooms are too small to fit a wheelchair, so that's why I said "non-ADA compliant".
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Old 11-28-2007, 08:45 AM   #60
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Re: City Hall Plaza

Personally, I think City Hall could be vastly improved for relatively few dollars. In order of expense, here's what I suggest: First, clean it. The outside smells like piss and the inside is filthy. Second, fix the lighting. I've been told by someone who would know that the Mayor has directed that a number of light fixtures be turned off or not have their burned out bulbs replaced to save money and send a message to employee unions that the city is cash-strapped. The lighting needs a a serious upgrade, as does the occupant of the Mayor's Office. Next, upgrade the windows. Finally, and perhaps the most challenging fix, take the miserable sods that man the various "customer service" windows inside the building and indenture them to Homeland Security so they can bring fresh cheer to Logan.
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