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Design a Better Boston Are you disappointed with the state of Boston's current architecture/development? Think you have a better idea? Post it here.

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Old 03-28-2009, 11:03 PM   #21
Ron Newman
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Re: Kenmore Sq

Thanks. I lived just to the right of that photo for four years (1975-79), yet could not identify the scene because it had changed so much!

The cars in the upper-left parking lot are jammed together so closely, and look so similar, that I have to believe this belonged to a car dealer.
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Old 03-29-2009, 07:26 AM   #22
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Re: Kenmore Sq

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The cars in the upper-left parking lot are jammed together so closely, and look so similar, that I have to believe this belonged to a car dealer.
Not at all, Ron. Here's a blowup of the upper-left parking lot. You can see that they're all different cars from every manufacturer and even foreign cars (click):



Entrance was from the curb cut at far left, you'd give your keys to the guy in the booth and tell him when you'd be back. He'd place your car accordingly. The path to the exit --second curb cut, further east-- would generally be kept as clear as the space around the booth; there's an Oldsmobile headed out in it in the photo.

Can you spot the Nash Rambler convertible? The Morris Minor?
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Old 05-12-2010, 02:44 PM   #23
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Re: Harvard Square in Allston?

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Kenmore Square was more lively before Boston University started buying up large pieces of it and removing nightclubs (anyone remember Lucifer/Celebration/K-K-K-Katy's/Yesterday?)
Just came across this thread - I remember Lucifers/KKK-Katy's and Yesterday just like it was yesterday. I was a studen, living near Kenmore Square and worked at all three clubs part time. Saw many great bands come through and some great solo artists wlking in off the street to jam. Great memories. Haven't been back there in many years, have no idea what the building or areas is now.
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Old 05-16-2010, 01:36 PM   #24
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Re: Kenmore Sq

I wish more restaurants with outdoor setting, like Eastern Standard, would move into that side of Kenmore. A little restaurant row would work out nicely with the wide sidewalks on that corner.
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Old 05-16-2010, 02:39 PM   #25
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Re: Kenmore Sq

I really wish the Citizens Bank would be replace with a Flatiron/Times Square style triangular building with large digital screens. The under-utilization of that lot and the parking lot on the Deerfield Street side really leave the square dead to one side.
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Old 05-17-2010, 08:40 AM   #26
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Re: Kenmore Sq

Kenmore Square should look like this:



This is almost the exact formation of Kenmore Square. Brookline Ave in the bottom left corner, then Beacon, and Comm Ave in the top left corner. Deerfield due North, and to the right is Comm Ave.
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Old 05-17-2010, 11:13 AM   #27
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Re: Kenmore Sq

We almost could have gone that way had they not royally fucked the place with the Hotel Commonwealth. Speaking of which, does anyone have pics of what it used to look like before the city made them redo it?
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Old 05-17-2010, 11:30 AM   #28
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Re: Kenmore Sq

Like pre-Bloomberg Times Square, Piccadilly Circus is nothing but a high-volume car intersection that happens to be tourist ground zero. It's painful to walk around and locals avoid it.

I like Kenmore's cool under-statedness. And people need to stop whining about the Hotel Commonwealth. It's not great, but it didn't "royally fuck" Kenmore. Visitors probably don't think twice about it.
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Old 05-17-2010, 11:53 AM   #29
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Re: Kenmore Sq

The Hotel isn't the problem. The lack of nightlife in Kenmore square because the hotel displaced those venues is.
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Old 05-17-2010, 12:30 PM   #30
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Re: Kenmore Sq

I thought the problem was that retarded busway.

Oh, and it's not very pedestrian-friendly when it comes to crossing the streets, IMO.
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Old 05-17-2010, 01:59 PM   #31
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Re: Kenmore Sq

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Speaking of which, does anyone have pics of what it used to look like before the city made them redo it?
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Old 05-17-2010, 02:17 PM   #32
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Re: Kenmore Sq

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I thought the problem was that retarded busway.

Oh, and it's not very pedestrian-friendly when it comes to crossing the streets, IMO.
The square is far safer and easier to cross than it was before the reconstruction project. With so many major roads coming into one intersection, a busy bus-way, a major metro station, a large university full of students with appalling situation awareness, and a ballpark full of crazy suburban drunkards, it is a perfect storm of complicated factors. The traffic engineers did a remarkable job given the difficulty of those factors.
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Old 05-17-2010, 02:53 PM   #33
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Re: Kenmore Sq

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Contextualism is over rated, especially when we don't have the wealth to properly decorate a building.
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Old 05-17-2010, 08:53 PM   #34
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Re: Kenmore Sq

The original Hotel Commonwealth almost makes me appreciate the redo. Almost.

I've actually become accustomed to what we ended up with--if they'd just fix that dopey retail situation to encourage a bit more street level activity, things would be just fine there.
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Old 05-19-2010, 08:59 AM   #35
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Re: Kenmore Sq

And bring back the Rathskellar!
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Old 05-19-2010, 09:10 AM   #36
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Re: Kenmore Sq

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The Hotel isn't the problem. The lack of nightlife in Kenmore square because the hotel displaced those venues is.
What nightlife businesses were displaced by the hotel? Other than the Rat, I can't remember anything else in the 10 years leading up to HC's construction. And although I would prefer to have the Rat still there, one could argue that Eastern Standard fills the void (albeit by catering to a completely different demographic).
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Old 05-19-2010, 09:45 AM   #37
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Re: Kenmore Sq

The other 'nightlife businesses' were on the north side of the square -- the Kenmore Square (movie) theatre and the Kenmore Club (a multi-club complex whose components at various times were called Narcissus, Celebration, K-K-K-Katy's, Yesterday, and Lucifer).

The Commonwealth Hotel didn't displace any other music clubs besides the Rat. It did displace some retail shops and restaurants. In the late 70s when I lived in the area, I recall a Paperback Booksmith bookstore, a CVS (without pharmacy), the Kenmore Army-Navy store, some cheap burger joints, an overpriced convenience store, not sure what else.
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Old 05-19-2010, 10:12 AM   #38
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Re: Kenmore Sq

A lot of what was good about the South side of the square left on its own before the hotel arrived (and related demolition). Charlies had become an IHOP, Pizza Pad had become a McDonalds, etc. Of the remaining interesting businesses, only the Ratt died. Cornwalls moved across the street (though I'd argue the current incarnation is not up to par with what once was) and India Quality moved closer to Mass Ave. Planet Records is gone, but that would have happened anyway. What was lost wasn't much in terms of specific stores or clubs. What was lost was a wonderfully gritty atmosphere.

As for the Kenmore Club, that was killed by B.U.
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Old 05-19-2010, 10:25 AM   #39
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Re: Kenmore Sq

Pizza Pad became the McDonalds but I can't remember where Nemo's was exactly. Was it demolished for the hotel?
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Old 05-19-2010, 10:34 AM   #40
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Re: Kenmore Sq

Nemo's was demolished. However, it re-located!

Captain Nemo's in Hyde Square
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