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Old 09-29-2006, 11:58 AM   #41
Ron Newman
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I'm fine with the design. I care less about it than I do about the tenant mix and the use of street frontage.
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Old 09-29-2006, 12:21 PM   #42
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For a residential tower, that is a very good design. How many residential towers have spires out there anyway?

Totally agree, this is exactly the design that makes me think of a Manhatten residential tower.
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Old 09-29-2006, 12:36 PM   #43
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I also agree on the Manhattan look, but I think it's a good thing. If it's executed as crisply as it looks in the render, then it should be quite handsome (and note how they realistically include window shades, which seems to help the design). But at this point I'll take anything glassy, as long as it hides the 1970s brown boxes. However, I spy a winglet behind the main tower mass, and I hope we're not in for another surprise the way how the Archstone Apartments has that rather ungainly wing that was not shown in the renders.
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Old 09-29-2006, 12:51 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Newman
If they put the right use next to that plaza, it could become an attractive and popular public space, just like the one in front of Borders.
Perfect! Another place for annoying Masspirg kids to canvass, Larouche lunatics to talk down to those of us who are so uninformed and for street preachers and other religious kooks to scream at the top of their lungs!
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Old 09-29-2006, 01:44 PM   #45
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I like it. Downtown crossing does look like Manhattan from the street level, so it makes sense to have a tower like this. The mix of retail/office/residential is also nice
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Old 09-29-2006, 01:59 PM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jass
I like it. Downtown crossing does look like Manhattan from the street level, so it makes sense to have a tower like this. The mix of retail/office/residential is also nice
The useage does look good and that's the most important thing, but I think the design of the building is important too.
I'd rather have good Manhattan then 60's/70's Manhattan.
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Old 09-29-2006, 02:02 PM   #47
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Don't kid yourselves guys, there are plenty of boring and bad buildings in Manhattan. There is just so many that they all sort of blend together. There are tons of new apartment towers here that are bland and boring as hell and if one of them was built in Boston people would complain. Thats the big problem with Boston, it's small, so anything big you build will stand out.
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Old 09-29-2006, 03:13 PM   #48
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I think the proposed building would look a heck of a lot better if it were 20 stories taller and black like the Trump World Tower.
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Old 09-29-2006, 03:40 PM   #49
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That actually would be kind of awsome in a horrible way. Sort of 2001ish.
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Old 09-29-2006, 03:51 PM   #50
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When a city has 5,503 completed buildings (and 118 under construction, and 36 approved) over 13 storeys, they're bound to get repetative at some point

Boston's numbers in the same three categories are: 258 completed, 9 under construction, and 21 approved. Can we have a little diversity before we get repetative?
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Old 09-30-2006, 01:15 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by ZenZen
This is great news!
Sure is.

Quote:
It will probably be, you guessed it, Whole Foods.
OK with me.

Who's the architect on this project?
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Old 09-30-2006, 01:20 PM   #52
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Who is the architect of that rendering?
According to the paper version of the Globe it's Elkus|Manfredi but there is nothing on their site about it.
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Old 10-03-2006, 05:50 PM   #53
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Perhaps sucess here might prompt someone to take care of the Woolworth's building and also Macy's while they are at it....
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Old 10-03-2006, 09:07 PM   #54
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The Woolworth building is fully occupied with thriving retail tenants, so I don't see any need to change it.
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Old 10-04-2006, 02:23 PM   #55
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^Totally agree. I think that the stretch of Washington St from Franklin up to State is pretty good as is (even with the parking garage).

When I was out in Downtown Crossing today, I was visually trying to picture the new tower right above Filenes. What I have always loved about Downtown Crossing is that it gets the right amount of light amidst all the action that is going on. I am all for the tower, but I wonder how much darker it is going to make both Washington and Summer streets... especially Summer St, since the length of the tower will be parallel to Summer Street.
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Old 10-11-2006, 07:29 AM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Globe
Building ingredients
Plans for Filene's tower go beyond blueprints

By Sam Allis, Globe Columnist | October 8, 2006

Let's see, John Hynes is building a 38-floor big boy over Filene's. He's developing Frank McCourt's 23-acre plum on the South Boston waterfront for Morgan Stanley . He's building a $30 billion city for 50,000 people in Korea, the first U S -Korean real estate joint venture ever.

So, John, have we bitten off more than we can chew here?

``Definitely," he says, beaming.

The thing you have to understand about Hynes is that he was a hockey goalie. Played for Harvard. Hockey goalies are different from you and me. Their elevators stop on different floors. No sane person volunteers to stop pucks.

``The best part of every game was the warm-up," he concedes. ``At least I knew when the shots were coming. All the others were mysteries."

At 48, the grandson of the guy who beat James Michael Curley to become mayor of Boston is having the kind of run that developers dream of while pounding the treadmills like crazed gerbils. It began when he sold his first project, the $350-million One Lincoln Street, six months after it opened , for $705 million.

Smart, sunny , and lucky, he is perhaps the most attractive local face among a species considered by many to be the cousin of the moray eel. His biggest challenge here, strangely, may be his smallest effort -- the Filene's project. While Korea and South Boston are endlessly interesting packages, Filene's, which Hynes partners 50/50 with the New York developer Vornado Realty Trust, looks like the most complicated urban dance.

It is, for starters, sited on a claustrophobic block of Boston that provides no margin for error. Unlike the other two that are built from scratch to create needed density, this one straddles two historic structures and, when combined with a proposed 1,000-foot monster a few blocks away, will provide the breathing room of Hong Kong.

Hynes aims to transform Downtown Crossing into a vibrant place with a mix of retail, condos, and hotels and bridge the cosmic distance from the financial district to Boston Common and beyond. The first should be easy. Downtown Crossing has nowhere to go but up. Its core at the intersection of Washington and Summer is hard and stale and shiny like the seat on a pair of disreputable suit pants.

The second is anyone's guess. Downtown Crossing has stymied urban thinkers since it surfaced in 1978 as a pedestrian mall. The new Ritz complex further down Washington Street was supposed to close the gap. Will this unremarkable glass and steel affair do the job? Or will it simply be another piece of forgettable architecture east of Tremont Street?

The rise of Downtown Crossing depends upon the lessons learned from the failure of Downtown Crossing. Why do many shoppers give it a wide berth in favor of Back Bay and the ' burbs? What's up with the empty storefronts and the low-rent retail mix? What went wrong ?

For starters, says Hynes, it was conceived when the city core was marbled with parking garages built for suburban shoppers. The strategy was retrograde because it was geared to a Boston of the '50s and '60s. Before long, he notes, you had options like the malls in Chestnut Hill, Burlington, and on the South Shore. In town, give or take a few years, appeared Copley Place, a resurgent Back Bay, and Quincy Market.

``So why go to Downtown Crossing?" he asks. Today, he adds, ``I don't know of a department store that wants to be here. That's a market reality. If you're a city dweller, why not go out to a suburban mall in your car?"

There is another factor at play. The elephant in the living room -- pick your clich? -- is race. Everyone knows it but no one talks about it. The truth is that long before Filene's went south, droves of suburban matrons and urban whites were scared off by black kids in puffy parkas who hung out there. So what do you do about that?

Hynes steers clear of the subject but says this: ``You see people walking to the T after work with their heads down. They never look up because they don't want to be panhandled.

``I've asked women why they don't shop at Downtown Crossing, " he continues. ``They say, `I only shop there when when I need something. I usually get it close to home or I go to Back Bay.' I ask them `why?' They say, `It's cleaner. I feel safer. The shops are better.' Cleanliness and security come first, then the quality of the stores."

His project will clean up and maintain Filene's Park, the brutal brick and concrete area on upper Franklin Street favored by street people. (Like The Pit in Harvard Square, it should be demolished.) What about those folks? ``That's a social question," he says.

But it's his question, too. You can't separate it from projects like his. Nor can we pretend that in upgrading the area, Hynes will not further buttress Boston's emerging profile as a doughnut of rich and poor without a middle.

The death of Filene's means the rebirth of Downtown Crossing. But what kind of Downtown Crossing? John Hynes, I'm sure, will do a good job. But I hope he remembers that when the area really worked, all of Boston flocked there.

Sam Allis's e-mail address is: allis@globe.com
Link
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Old 10-12-2006, 10:31 AM   #57
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The closing of Barnes & Noble really hurts the neighborhood. Beggars have set up shop in front of the closed store. At least Filene's remains open for now, on the first floor only, as a "Clearance Center".

Borders is busy building a new store in the 'Newbry' (New England Life) building, at the Boylston-Clarendon corner. I hope this doesn't lead to them closing their Downtown location, like B&N did.
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Old 10-12-2006, 10:48 AM   #58
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For the life of me, I cannot remember the name of the store that used to occupy what is now CVS on Franklin St. Does anyone remember? I think it was some sort of discount clothing store? Help!
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Old 10-12-2006, 10:53 AM   #59
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Where on Franklin Street? CVS.com doesn't list a store there.
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Old 10-12-2006, 11:00 AM   #60
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There are no CVS's on Franklin St. There are 3 on Washington St, one on Summer St and one on Milk St.
I think you may be refering to the one on Summer St (in the black building right?) Now I can't remember the name of the store there either. It's on the tip of my tounge. :x
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burnham & root, demolition, downtown crossing, filenes, hynes, menino, new construction, tower, vornado, washington st.

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