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Development Projects New urban and/or architectural developments in Boston metro.

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Old 12-12-2006, 02:24 PM   #21
aHigherBoston78
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True - it's definitely subjective. No disrespect intended.

I just loathe this building. And I don't think most people know or care about what it "represents" (at least those of us under 30). It's not Paul Revere's house or the Old North Church. It's where the mayor and the bureaucracy go to work 3.5 hours per day.

I'm all about preservation, but only when it's something worth preserving. IMHO, this place is a dump.
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Old 12-12-2006, 02:30 PM   #22
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I hope they tear it down and redesign the whole plaza. If they properly reconnected the urban fabric it would easily have a greater positive effect on the city than the entire Greenway.

I thought they were building a Boston Museum in one of the buildings on the Greenway. City Hall would be way to big for a Boston Museum. Using it as space for the MFA or the ICA is kind of stupid since the MFA is building a massive expansion now and ICA just finished a brand new building. MFA is the only real museum Boston has. (The Museum of Science is only as good as the temporary exhibits.) If City Hall is going to be used for museum space it should be something new and impressive.

I don't think I understand this forum. I read endless complaints about how new development in Boston is mediocre and lacking in vision/cutting edge design or whatever. Now that there is a proposal to redevelop what many architects/urban planners consider to be one of the worst urban plazas in the world, and your grand scheme for it is to keep City Hall and make it a museum? That will give Boston the edge its missing!
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Old 12-12-2006, 02:32 PM   #23
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Boston City Hall to me symbolizes a city government that is alienated from the citizens it serves. The metal detectors in the lobby add to that symbolism.

Compare with Cambridge City Hall, a beloved building across the river.

Modernism doesn't have to be hated by the public -- look at Toronto City Hall for a counterexample.
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Old 12-12-2006, 02:37 PM   #24
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ZenZen, what difference does the meaning of the architecture make if the way it is executed simply does not work?
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Old 12-12-2006, 02:37 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Beton Brut
...it uses its principal material (concrete) with a sense of striving muscularity...
This is probably my strongest criticism of the building. I just don't see that as a positive, especially for a government building. A bank or a corporate headquaters, sure but I like government buildings to be more open and permeable.
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Old 12-12-2006, 02:40 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by bowesst
I don't think I understand this forum. I read endless complaints about how new development in Boston is mediocre and lacking in vision/cutting edge design or whatever.
So destroy the only cutting edge civic building we have in Boston?!

I don't understand this forum.
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Old 12-12-2006, 02:42 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Ron Newman
Boston City Hall to me symbolizes a city government that is alienated from the citizens it serves. The metal detectors in the lobby add to that symbolism.
How will relocating to the waterfront improve the situation? You can hate the building 'til the wheels come off, but it's centrally located, within site of public transportation...And the metal detectors represent a problem with government policy, not the building...
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Old 12-12-2006, 02:45 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Jasonik
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Originally Posted by bowesst
I don't think I understand this forum. I read endless complaints about how new development in Boston is mediocre and lacking in vision/cutting edge design or whatever.
So destroy the only cutting edge civic building we have in Boston?!

I don't understand this forum.
Yes because it is a cutting edge civic building at the expense of several square miles of its surroundings. City Hall AND City Hall Plaza don't exist in a vacuum. The benefits of replacing them far outweigh any architectural value the building itself may have.
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Old 12-12-2006, 02:46 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bowesst
I don't think I understand this forum. I read endless complaints about how new development in Boston is mediocre and lacking in vision/cutting edge design or whatever. Now that there is a proposal to redevelop what many architects/urban planners consider to be one of the worst urban plazas in the world, and your grand scheme for it is to keep City Hall and make it a museum? That will give Boston the edge its missing!
I don't think anyone here thinks the plaza should stay as is or even as a plaza at all. And I think most people agree that City Hall itself must be modified in someway. But the building itself is considered one of the finest examples of a fairly prolific architrectual period (for better or worse) and for that alone I think it should be saved.
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Old 12-12-2006, 02:46 PM   #30
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City Hall is "cutting edge"? Are you fucking kidding me? It's a concrete building that looks like a Soviet-era fortress.

I assume you're kidding.
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Old 12-12-2006, 02:47 PM   #31
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Actually average people around here are well versed in "Modern" concrete structures with their drawbacks and disfunction. Perhaps that's why so many people don't like that particular school of architecture. Anyone who has ever been to Malden or Lowell City Halls, parts of MIT or UMASS Lowell, Brockton High School, Boston English etc... or many of the banks built in the 1970's would testify. That doesn't account for the popularity of the Zakim Bridge but the Zakim is strangly beautiful and highly functional, IMO City Hall and the Erich Lindemann are neither.
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Old 12-12-2006, 02:50 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by aHigherBoston78
City Hall is "cutting edge"? Are you fucking kidding me? It's a concrete building that looks like a Soviet-era fortress.

I assume you're kidding.
Pick up the AIA Guide to Boston. This building is loved by architects. It is most definitely considered cutting edge by those who have devoted their life to architecture.
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Old 12-12-2006, 02:55 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Scott
Anyone who has ever been to Malden or Lowell City Halls...
Malden, yeah it is a bland brick box makes Boston's look creative and cutting edge, but Lowell City Hall? You must be mistaken, it is of a completely different era...
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Old 12-12-2006, 02:57 PM   #34
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Why It Doesn't Work
This is one of the most disappointing places in America - not just because it failed so utterly, but because it has been a failure for so long. Boston is a great city and this reviled place has been its centerpiece for over 30 years. This is really what's truly a shame.

Why so little progress? For one thing, the design community keeps trying to redesign this place instead of thinking about how to manage it to create a real community there. It proves once again that design competitions accomplish little if nothing in creating great places. What does this say about design in a city with so many prominent designers (as opposed to placemakers) - a city where all the truly successful places are older?

While some places in the Hall of Shame have at least a few redeeming characteristics, everything about City Hall Plaza and the surrounding Government Center is all wrong. Bleak, expansive, and shapeless, it has an exceedingly poor image in a city where image should be paramount. It conveys nothing in the way of information about Boston, its history, or its sense of place. The buildings around it are uninteresting and devoid of activity and the streets around it, too wide; all of this contributes to a lack of access (despite the fact that five subway stops are in the area). The layout and changes in grade deny the natural paths that people want to take. There are no vistas here, and natural connections - such as the one to Fanueil Hall across the street - are actually discouraged. When it comes to activities and uses, you'd be hard-pressed to find a worse place. This barren, alienating place has little if any activity - let alone a simple place to sit. Sociability is minimal at best.

It's possible that City Hall Plaza could be redesigned and given a management plan to make it work. But the best solution for fixing this place is the most drastic: take down the buildings, tear up the plaza, and start all over again. After all, wonderful neighborhoods were demolished in the '50s and '60s to create awful places like this under the aegis of "urban renewal." Maybe a new kind of urban renewal could signal the end of brutal architecture and bad places as a centerpiece for cities.
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Old 12-12-2006, 02:57 PM   #35
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I hear she's one of those architects. Look everyone - cutting edge architecture!

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Old 12-12-2006, 02:57 PM   #36
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^^HAHA; city hall is absolute trash; i was inside last week paying parking tix(after they booted my car) and there were literally atleast 10 people saying "wow i can't believe the inside of this place is as ugly as the outside." I was joking with the clerk and asked how she keeps herself sane in that building and that sparked 3 more people who worked there to comment on how cold and ugly that building is! I like the random cement benches that come out of the walls :? , the place sucks....we NEED a new city hall
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Old 12-12-2006, 02:59 PM   #37
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Lowell City Hall is a fine building, but the modernist buildings and plaza that adjoin it are hideous. When I attend the Lowell Folk Festival, that is the one stage that I try to avoid whenever possible.
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Old 12-12-2006, 03:01 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by aHigherBoston78
City Hall is "cutting edge"? Are you fucking kidding me? It's a concrete building that looks like a Soviet-era fortress.

I assume you're kidding.
read something
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Old 12-12-2006, 03:01 PM   #39
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Absolutely. City Hall Plaza is a disgrace and needs to be redeveloped from scratch, prefably by bringing back as many old street patterns as possible and adding more buildings. But City Hall itself should be spared. It will look better in a more urban envirionment.
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Old 12-12-2006, 03:05 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Roxxma
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Originally Posted by Scott
Anyone who has ever been to Malden or Lowell City Halls...
Malden, yeah it is a bland brick box makes Boston's look creative and cutting edge, but Lowell City Hall? You must be mistaken, it is of a completely different era...
Yep, you are right I meant JFK Plaza in front of Lowell City Hall where the Police Station is and many city offices.
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