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Old 04-10-2008, 05:27 PM   #21
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Christian Science Church Office Building

Was either of these buildings one that Berklee was potentially interested in?

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Christian Science church to lease Back Bay office space

Boston Business Journal - Boston Business Journal

The First Church of Christ, Scientist in Boston's Back Bay is leasing about 190,000 square feet from two office properties on the Christian Science Plaza.
About 120,000 square feet will be leased at 177 Huntington Ave., a 26-story building formerly used for administrative offices, and 70,000 square feet will be leased at 103 Belvidere St., a five-story building.
"I think it's a win-win situation for a firm to find some short-term space, and to get some revenue to cover some costs on the buildings," said Debbi Lawrence, a church spokeswoman. "But it's not because the church is in some financial straits. We are committed to retaining ownership of the 14-acre site."
The two- to three-year short term leases are being handled by DTZ FHO Partners Asset Advisory Group.
The spaces are being leased for between low $40s and $50 per square foot, said Duncan Gratton, a partner at DTZ FHO Partners Asset Advisory Group.
The administrative offices are now at the renovated Publishing House at 210 Massachusetts Ave.; employees in the other buildings will be moved to the Publishing House.
Lawrence said the nonprofit is embarking on updating its 40-year master plan, which will be a two- to three-year process.
The church employs about 550 people; that count was 800 four years ago, said Lawrence.
The First Church of Christ, Scientist publishes The Christian Science Monitor. Mary Baker Eddy, founder of Christian Science, established the paper in 1908.
Boston Business Journal
http://www.bizjournals.com/boston/st...ml?jst=b_ln_hl
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Old 04-10-2008, 05:58 PM   #22
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Re: Christian Science Church Office Building

Are they leasing out the entirety of the two buildings? What would they say if medical doctors wanted to open offices in them?

I think 103 Belvidere is the long modern Colonnade Building that runs alongside the reflecting pool.
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Old 07-24-2008, 06:43 PM   #23
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Re: Christian Science Church Redevelopment

Boston wants public input on future of Christian Science plaza - By Michelle Hillman, Boston Business Journal

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Mayor Thomas M. Menino and the Boston Redevelopment Authority are asking residents to join a task force and comment on the redevelopment of the Christian Science Plaza.

The Christian Science Plaza is located on a prime swath of property in Boston?s Back Bay neighborhood and is owned by The First Church of Christ, Scientist. The church is updating its master plan to the plaza which has remained unchanged for several decades. In April of 2006 The First Church of Christ, Scientist announced its intention to update the master plan. Shortly after, the church began taking steps to consolidate its campus and moved all of employees into the largest building on the site ? the Christian Science Publishing House ? which also houses The Mary Baker Eddy Library and The Christian Science Monitor. The move freed up other buildings, including a 26-story tower, to be available for short-term leasing.

The Christian Science Plaza will remain as the world headquarters for the Christian Science Church, and the Church will maintain control of the plaza and any new development. In updating its master plan, the church is seeking to enhance the plaza for the community, increase the environmental sustainability and explore opportunities for underutilized real estate.

The BRA is asking neighbors of the Plaza, which is bordered by Huntington Avenue, Massachusetts Avenue and Belvidere Street, as well as representatives of nearby citizens groups, civic associations, business organizations and others to join the task force which will be selected by Mayor Menino. Nominations are due by Sept. 12, 2008.
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Old 07-24-2008, 07:08 PM   #24
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Re: Christian Science Church Redevelopment

This does not need to be monkeyed with. It is a completely realized work of art.
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Old 07-24-2008, 07:30 PM   #25
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Re: Christian Science Church Redevelopment

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This does not need to be monkeyed with. It is a completely realized work of art.
Amen! From day one I have loved this plaza and its reflecting pool. Please don't let them futz it up.
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Old 07-24-2008, 07:53 PM   #26
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Re: Christian Science Church Redevelopment

Chandigarh in miniature. Leave it alone.

Across the street, have at it.
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Old 07-24-2008, 08:26 PM   #27
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Re: Christian Science Church Redevelopment

Wow. Check out the temperatures in Chandigarh. I think I'll leave my visit until the autumn. Interesting Islamic twist on brutalism. (Could we work a waterfall into the Hurley steps?)

Midtown Hotel or that building on the east corner of Boylston and Dartmouth: which is the worst in the city?

I hope they don't mess up this plaza. Truly monumental.
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Old 07-24-2008, 09:15 PM   #28
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Re: Christian Science Church Redevelopment

^I was in Chandigarth in June 2004. Hotter than hell, but then again, so is most of India. It's the most un-Indian city in the country (well, that I've been to anyway-- New Delhi, Chennai, Hyderbad, Pondicherry, Port Blair, Goa, Mumbai, Ooty, Amristar, and others). My father did some consulting for some IT companies (namely, Office Tiger, Merrill, and Verizon) so on visits to him we toured the country. I loved this city, but the heat prevented me from doing too much walking. Comparing the Christian Science Center to bits of Chandigarth is accurate, yet much of the city (of Chandigarth) is falling victim to Suburban Style IT Campuses/Parks which they are so proud of. I'd say Chandigarth has more to worry about in terms of preserving it's architecture and urbanism than the Christian Science Center. In anycase, I appreciate the connection, you're right.

Midtown should go.
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Old 07-24-2008, 09:27 PM   #29
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Re: Christian Science Church Redevelopment

Too bad they changed the name of the airport in Kolkata. No longer can you hear: "Now boarding at gate 12: British Airways Flight 1071 to Calcutta - Dum Dum Airport". Hmmm, now that the name is available... never mind!

How much of the CSC campus (other than the plaza) is underutilized/developable? I hate to see anything that spoiled the view of the plaza, Mother Church and Publishing House.
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Old 07-24-2008, 09:28 PM   #30
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Re: Christian Science Church Redevelopment

I agree with all of the above. This space works. Keep it as it is. Reuse the vacated buildings, but don't build more here.

Isn't the reflecting pool an integral part of the complex's air-conditioning system?

The Christian Science Church owns some unremarkable low-rise commercial buildings on the east side of Mass. Ave. These could usefully be replaced with higher-rise development, bringing in additional rental income. (And yes, please demolish the Midtown.)
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Old 07-24-2008, 10:52 PM   #31
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Re: Christian Science Church Redevelopment

I don't know. This space works but it's far from perfect. If this development only took place on the Huntington Ave side, I think it could enhance what works already. As it is, the Huntington Ave border leaves much to be desired--it's dead space. I think enclosing the existing space with a colonnade opposite Pei's crumbling Chandigarh-lite could really put this place over the top if done correctly.
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Old 07-25-2008, 05:27 AM   #32
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Re: Christian Science Church Redevelopment

The reflecting pool is integral to the a/c system, and the newly improved fountain is great. The perennial gardens are some of the best in New England. There's nothing wrong with "breathing room" in a city, particularly surrounding by fairly interesting brutalist architecture, and, of course the church buildings.
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Old 07-25-2008, 07:10 AM   #33
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Re: Christian Science Church Redevelopment

This is the one example of 60's brutalism that actually worked.
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Old 07-25-2008, 04:36 PM   #34
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Re: Christian Science Church Redevelopment

Although I am adding nothing new, I too want to chime in regarding the Christian Science Center.

All periods and styles of architecture and planning have their successes and failures. The Christian Science Center was a success. It would be a shame to lose it.
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Old 07-25-2008, 08:11 PM   #35
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Re: Christian Science Church Redevelopment

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This is the one example of 60's brutalism that actually worked.
Minority viewpoint: Brutalism could be good. It went to hell when it turned into a cheapskate's way of developing, for example, every outdoor Red Line station, or every parking garage 1967 to 1980. "Hey, we can build a cheap crappy cement building and call it Progressive Design".

Cull all those phonies. Leave the CSC Plaza and (gulp) City Hall and Hurley alone! (Well, reuse and repair them.)
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Old 07-26-2008, 08:03 AM   #36
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Re: Christian Science Church Redevelopment

I think I am just echoing most, but leave the CSC Plaza alone. It works and it is a beautiful execution.

Replace the Midtown Motel -- FYI this is the only part of the original masterplan not completed. It should have been replaced already with an 11 story building, similar to the Colonnade Hotel or Greenhouse Apartments -- per plan.
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Old 07-26-2008, 11:22 AM   #37
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Re: Christian Science Church Redevelopment

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I think I am just echoing most, but leave the CSC Plaza alone. It works and it is a beautiful execution.

Replace the Midtown Motel -- FYI this is the only part of the original masterplan not completed. It should have been replaced already with an 11 story building, similar to the Colonnade Hotel or Greenhouse Apartments -- per plan.
I agree with the replacement of the Midtown Hotel, but can you imagine the rantings and ravings that an 11 story building proposed there would create from the NIMBY's!

I am sure whoever proposed this CSC redo have the best of intentions, but remember the old saying: "The road to hell is paved with good intentions".
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Old 07-26-2008, 12:11 PM   #38
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Re: Christian Science Church Redevelopment

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I agree with the replacement of the Midtown Hotel, but can you imagine the rantings and ravings that an 11 story building proposed there would create from the NIMBY's!

I am sure whoever proposed this CSC redo have the best of intentions, but remember the old saying: "The road to hell is paved with good intentions".
You are right that the NIMBY's would rant and rave. I used to live in the St. Botolph neighborhood behind the Midtown Motel. Redevelopment of the site surfaces about once a decade.

What is impressive about the original masterplan is that the 11 story buildings are a carefully selected height. You cannot see the buildings form the street in St. Botolph -- the row house height and angle block the visibility. This was specifically selected to minimize the visual impact on the St. Botolph neighborhood back when the original masterplan was created. Also the building is to the North of the neighborhood, so no rational "shadow" complaints.

The original Christian Science Center masterplan was really very well thought out!
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Old 08-02-2008, 12:39 PM   #39
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Re: Christian Science Church Redevelopment

There's an article in the current Boston Courant about this project that said the CSC is forming a citizens advisory committee. Maybe someone from this forum should volunteer. The Christian Science representative (Im not sure what her position is there) mentioned something about making the plaza more "permeable", or softening it. There was also mention of adding trees along the reflecting pond.
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Old 08-02-2008, 07:07 PM   #40
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Re: Christian Science Church Redevelopment

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Maybe someone from this forum should volunteer.
Some of us already have, but have jobs where it'd be embarrassing to have folks connect the dots.
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