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Old 02-12-2008, 12:30 PM   #101
statler
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Re: City Hall Plaza

^^ I actually agree with you. I don't like the idea of building & designing for the worst possible scenario.

But I still think it would be a hard sell when there are stories like that all over the news.
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Old 02-12-2008, 02:42 PM   #102
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Re: City Hall Plaza

A deranged gunman walks into Boston City Hall and asks where the City Council is meeting.

info guy: Take the stairs on your left down to the third floor. Take three rights and a left and then the escalator on your right up to the second. The Council meets on the fourth floor.

deranged citizen: How do I get there?

info guy: I`m not sure.
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Old 02-12-2008, 02:48 PM   #103
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Re: City Hall Plaza

Boston City Hall, official interior floorplan:

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Old 02-13-2008, 09:53 PM   #104
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Re: City Hall Plaza

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Newman View Post
Yes, it is. Cambridge City Hall does not use them. A security checkpoint tells the citizens, "We don't like you and don't trust you."
I think it tells citizens that the we dont want you or city employees to get shot by a crazy person or blow up by a terrorist.
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Old 02-14-2008, 05:04 AM   #105
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Re: City Hall Plaza

Citizens, terrorists ... they're all the same.
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Old 02-14-2008, 06:29 AM   #106
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Re: City Hall Plaza

^^ Close...

City employees, terrorists...they're all the same.
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Old 02-14-2008, 02:25 PM   #107
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Re: City Hall Plaza

I agree with Ron on this one, although perhaps for different reasons. I sadly accept the rationale for detectors in many settings - certainly I'd expect them before I got near the US Congress, or even the State House. I can even understand detectors in courts. But metal detectors on the way to get a parking sticker or a wedding license make no more sense than metal detectors at McDonald's. And let's face it, the Boston City Council is much closer in terms of power and significance to the Tewksbury School Board than it is to the Oval Office. I think the metal detectors speak to the ego of the inhabitants, who have outsized notions of their importance.

If you were a deranged nutcase determined to make a statement against government power, City Hall isn't the first, second, or even fourteenth place you'd go. Of course, you never know where nuts will turn up - witness the tragedy at Va Tech - but there's probably as much risk at Fidelity's headquarters or Jordan's Furniture or the main post office branch as there is at City Hall.
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Old 02-14-2008, 02:48 PM   #108
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Re: City Hall Plaza

I don't even see it being desirable in the State House. Ohio's State House doesn't have metal detectors and security checkpoints. Neither does New Hampshire's.
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Old 02-15-2008, 05:27 AM   #109
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Re: City Hall Plaza

I suspect since the terrorists took off in planes from Logan, Boston and Mass. officials were shamed into proving to the rest of the nation that security would be super-upgraded.
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Old 02-15-2008, 09:38 AM   #110
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Re: City Hall Plaza

I don't think City Hall would ever be the target of a politically motivated attack because, as pointed out above, it's pretty small potatoes. But aside from Timothy McVeigh and al Queda, most people who attack public buildings aren't political, they're just nuts and act out of rage at public officials who've crossed them. Personally, I think City Hall should be much more open, but I can easily imagine some person having just received their 300th parking ticket giving into the voices in their head and uncorking their rage in that miserable pit of despair.
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Old 02-15-2008, 10:42 AM   #111
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Re: City Hall Plaza

^has that ever happened in the northeast? I can't remember an instance... it seems to be rural mid to southern state issue. but who knows it could happen tomorrow against the pattern.
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Old 02-15-2008, 10:48 AM   #112
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Re: City Hall Plaza

Cambridge and Somerville give out lots of parking tickets too, but neither one has ever felt the need to install metal detectors and security gates where you pay them.
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Old 02-15-2008, 11:13 AM   #113
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Re: City Hall Plaza

^^In fact, wouldn't the hassle of going through metal detectors and security gates just piss of an enraged would be ticket payer off even more? I mean if someone sets off a bomb at a metal detector or has a gun, they can do plenty of damage at the check point. I feel that these things are useless in certain instances (like schools as well).

If you wanted to down a certain city official, why not wait outside the building until he/she leaves? Plant something under their car even. It's extreme... if someone wants to hurt someone that badly, they're going to do it one way or another. If someone wants to just kill a bunch of people, they'll do it on the subway, or at a large outdoor public gathering. This type of crime is inevitable today... terrorism is one instance where "if there's a will, there's a way" rings true.
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Old 03-05-2008, 07:29 PM   #114
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City Hall Plaza

Mayor Menino made it public awhile ago that he would be interested in selling City Hall and its surrounding plaza. It has also been discussed greatly on this board that it would work if we could only sell City Hall Plaza.

I was wondering what you guys thought about the possibility of making City Hall Plaza a central subway station for Boston. If we could have the Red, Green, Blue, Orange, and Silver lines all meet in one central place, wouldn't that make our system more efficient? The geographical location seems to be perfect for downtown, and if the entire Government Center was sold, it could very possibly influence large scale development around the new Station...including the Congress Street Parking Garage that was rumored to be on sale. Also, I'm sure the destruction of that hideous low-rise across from the Congress St Garage and the Haymarket T-Station would be welcomed by all. Wealthy commuter rail riders could come into either South Station or North Station and would be able to directly connect to the most central part of downtown. So what do you guys think?

P.S. It would also be a great opportunity for a wealthy developer to buy and destroy that ridiculously long building that bends around Cambridge St. directly across from Gov. Center...I forget the name of it, but it completely blocks that beautiful older building that is located directly behind it.

Last edited by tmac9wr; 03-05-2008 at 07:44 PM.
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Old 03-05-2008, 08:31 PM   #115
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Re: City Hall Plaza

Trying to connect those lines in a central station sounds like it would be a logistical nightmare to rival the Big Dig.

BTW, this should be moved to the City Hall Plaza thread in existing development, or maybe "design a better Boston".
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Old 03-05-2008, 08:34 PM   #116
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Re: City Hall Plaza

Quote:
Originally Posted by tmac9wr View Post
P.S. It would also be a great opportunity for a wealthy developer to buy and destroy that ridiculously long building that bends around Cambridge St. directly across from Gov. Center...I forget the name of it, but it completely blocks that beautiful older building that is located directly behind it.
This building is called Center Plaza. I recall someone on the forum in a prior thread suggest that if Center Plaza was broken up into blocks, using the current stairways as the points to sever the building, it would open up sight lines to Pemberton Sq. and the Courthouses. Any lost rentable space could be mitigated by allowing the owner to add additional floor to the top of Center Plaza. I can not foresee this happening anytime in the foreseeable future. Center Plaza is borderline Class A space and likely considered a coveted real estate asset by its owner since it always seems to be fully leased given its good location.
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Old 11-19-2012, 07:19 PM   #117
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Re: City Hall Plaza

Have a nice day.


A carnival in paris, a roman colonnade? No, it's Boston's City Hall plaza!
The Boston Globe (Boston, MA)
November 24, 1995 | Richard Chacon, Globe Staff

Quote:
Fast forward to the year 2005.

A commuter to Government Center rises from the underground train station and into a glass-enclosed atrium, a winter garden filled with palm trees and tropical plants that bloom even on a chilly November morning.

Across City Hall Plaza, meanwhile, a family awakens in a hotel room. After breakfast at one of several outdoor cafes that form a ring along Cambridge Street, they stroll unimpeded to the North End for sightseeing.

By sunset, both the commuter and the family find refuge on a patch of grass or under a tree, where they take in a concert -- or maybe an outdoor movie beamed on a large screen -- at the plaza's outdoor amphitheater.

Don't laugh. It could happen, even on City Hall Plaza.

In fact, the prospects for revitalizing the 11 acres that surround City Hall have never seemed as good as they do now. For the past several months, about three dozen of Boston's business and government leaders -- many of them with experience in development -- have devoted regular early morning meetings to come up with a new design for City Hall Plaza. The most ambitious possibility, they say, is that a hotel, parking garage or some other revenue-producing project may be built in the rectangular corridor between City Hall and the John F. Kennedy federal building.

"A lot of people see it as a space," says David Chilinski, a Cambridge-based architect and one of the members of the Trust for City Hall Plaza, the public-private partnership that will redesign the area. "We're more interested in making it a place more than a space."

That's a formidable assignment. For years, people have used words such as "harsh," "barren" and "unwelcoming" to describe the 1.8 million red bricks that encircle City Hall like a hardened moat. During a recent press conference, even Mayor Menino said the area was just plain "ugly."

A year ago, Menino asked Norman Leventhal, the 78-year-old statesman of Boston's real estate community, to chair the trust. Leventhal, chairman of the Beacon Companies and the driving force behind the renowned development of Post Office Square Park and Rowes Wharf, accepted the challenge.

"Boston has a downtown area that's more vital than any other urban area in the country and we want to create something to add to that vitality," Leventhal says. "We've gone through the exploratory phase, now we're trying to determine what's going to happen."

He and other trust officials are quick to say that nothing has been finalized and probably won't have a formal proposal until June 1996. The trust has collected $200,000 from its corporate members and has hired a small team to brainstorm how the plaza could look. Two architects, two urban planners and a graduate school dean have been enlisted as the core group.

What's more, officials say, the revenues from some commercial ventures could help pay for the plaza's future maintenance costs.

The land on the plaza's north side is the area where developers would be least hindered by the web of subway tunnels under the plaza.

Planners have discovered that the north side, formerly known as Corn Hill, attracts the least human traffic. "That's the area that's also the most vulnerable to inactivity," says Alex Krieger, director of the urban design program at Harvard University and a member of the core team.

Another goal is to reconnect downtown to the North End and the waterfront. Krieger's firm, Chan Krieger and Associates of Cambridge, has already won a contract to build a footbridge over Congress Street between City Hall and Dock Square, which will directly link the south side of the plaza to Faneuil Hall and points east.

To the north, Menino and trust officials hope to extend Hanover Street to Cambridge Street. The North End's main street ran through what is now City Hall Plaza until the late 1950s, when the construction of the Central Artery cut the neighborhood off from downtown.

"Because of the urban renewal projects in the area, 22 neighborhood streets became six," Krieger says. "But once the Central Artery is depressed, we can bring some of that feeling back."

When it opened in 1968, City Hall and its surrounding plaza were the hub of a bold, new cluster of local, state and federal office buildings. The area, dubbed Government Center, was intended to be a powerful architectural statement for downtown Boston, which had not seen a new building constructed in 30 years.

But people did not find City Hall Plaza a warm place to huddle with friends or family.

"We've heard criticisms from day one," says Henry Wood, an architect with Kallmann McKinnell & Wood, who worked on the original design of the plaza. He's now part of the trust to redesign the area.

"It's either a yes or no issue for most people with the building and plaza, but I am still proud of it," Wood adds.

Like surgeons studying X-rays, Chilinski, Krieger and Ann Donner, project director for the trust, sit in a conference room on Cambridge Street poring over sketches, maps and cross-sections of their sprawling but ailing patient.

They've created dozens of photos of an imaginary City Hall Plaza of Tomorrow by plucking pieces of plazas from around the world and placing them in Boston. They've also received dozens of suggestions, some realistic, others less so.

Some of the more practical ideas are already being planned for next year. City officials have committed $65,000 to plant new tent tie-downs and electrical outlets around the plaza. And the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority will soon decide where to build at least two new entrances to the Green and Blue lines at Government Center.

But the planning is the fun part. And even those who share in the enthusiasm that has cloaked this project know the hard part -- trying to sell the idea to dozens of the city's community groups -- has yet to come. On Dec. 2, the trust will hold its first public symposium at City Hall with about 100 community organizations.

"Everybody is very aware of the design of Boston," Chilinski says. "In some ways it's very self-conscious. But we want to allow people to think of this area in ways they're not used to. We want to be provocateurs." what goes around

A Ferris wheel, gazebo, comfortable chairs around a fountain pool. An architectural re-imaging of a space few have described as festive. This rendering superimposes a Ferris wheel and pool from the Tuilleries Gardens in Paris on Government Center. the big top look

The hard surface of the plaza is perfect for concerts, even a circus. Missing are tiedowns for tents, and utilities - both elements of the first phase of the plaza redesign. The tents are those used in Munich at the 1972 Olympics. hail caesar, hub style

Through a classical colonnade imported (by computer) from nearby Post Office Square, a clear view of Faneuil Hall. Up the down T stop

A new-look plaza likely will include a more appealing MBTA presence. This image superimposes I.M. Pei's glass entrance to the Louvre in Paris on the T stop.
http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-8353...19731B7B1D6B39
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Old 11-19-2012, 07:39 PM   #118
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Re: City Hall Plaza

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnAKeith View Post
Have a nice day.


A carnival in paris, a roman colonnade? No, it's Boston's City Hall plaza!
The Boston Globe (Boston, MA)
November 24, 1995 | Richard Chacon, Globe Staff



http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-8353...19731B7B1D6B39
I wish...
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Old 11-19-2012, 09:30 PM   #119
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Re: City Hall Plaza

Menino has been too focused on his visionary "Move city hall to da whatafront -- get an office witha ocean view" plan to care all that much about improving what's already there.
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:23 PM   #120
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Re: City Hall Plaza

Quote:
The most ambitious possibility, they say, is that a hotel, parking garage or some other revenue-producing project may be built in the rectangular corridor between City Hall and the John F. Kennedy federal building.
Ah, yes, so ambitious. More parking garages in prime downtown real estate.

Edit: didn't see the date on the article the first time around, but the comment still applies.
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