Paul Rudolph's Government Services Center

meddlepal

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Does anyone know what the deal with this building is? The entire courtyard structure is encircled by lots of chain link fences and much of it is in decrepit condition. Is the city basically waiting for it to become so bad they can label it blighted and tear it down?
 

vanshnookenraggen

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This is probably my favorite building in Boston. It needs so much love. The city should sell it off and have a developer come in to rehab it.
 

BeeLine

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^^ VAN I agree with you 1000%. The problem is that the "State" owns it and hasn't a clue how to maintain or protect our property. Look how long it's taken them to stop the leaking Statehouse.

P.S. I'd better get off this soapbox before I fall off. Now to hit the road to the beach.
 

vanshnookenraggen

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I don't really know how that tower would have aged. The success in this building is the pedestrian experience which fails for different reasons other than design. This whole complex needs a reason for people to use the spaces he designed.
 

statler

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How was it supposed to work? Because I can't see a successful pedestrian experience around that building without a massive reworking of the ground level.
 

vanshnookenraggen

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It fails because it's a super block surrounded by highways. If you look at it you can see how the plaza was supposed to be accessed by those funky steps but there are no reasons for people to be anywhere near this building if they don't work there. Put this in a populated area and it would work better. But you can't do that.

I think the best use for this would be a hotel of some type. All the private spaces would be great for restaurants that don't require street traffic. Glass over some of the plazas and create winter gardens. Build out the building to give people a reason to use it. Otherwise you've basically got a work of art for people that can't appreciate it. I mean for fuck's sake they use the plazas as parking.

Give this to someone who can appreciate it!
 

Padre Mike

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Does anyone know what the deal with this building is? The entire courtyard structure is encircled by lots of chain link fences and much of it is in decrepit condition. Is the city basically waiting for it to become so bad they can label it blighted and tear it down?
I asked someone who worked there about the fencing (our tax dollars at work!). They said it was for safety reasons....apparently someone tried to do himself in by jumping off a parapet so now EVERYONE has to be protected (and suffer) this stupid fence. I agree with those who think this building needs love. I can see so much potential here, simply by dividing it off in pieces with a number of entrances. The remember when the tower was proposed and never built....but at least the new courthouse kind of fills in the space after decades of seeing an empty pit.
 

atlantaden

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I rank this building right up there with the Moakley Courthouse, the State Transportation Building, the Congress Street Garage, and the Johnson addition to the Boston Public Library!
 

vanshnookenraggen

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I've never been able to find out why exactly the building was unfinished. The final section with the tower was supposed to be for the Dept. of Health, Welfare, and Education so I assume someone there finally nixed the plan when the 2 other sections were being built (more so out of cost than design I'd assume). Anyone know the details?
 

datadyne007

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I've never been able to find out why exactly the building was unfinished. The final section with the tower was supposed to be for the Dept. of Health, Welfare, and Education so I assume someone there finally nixed the plan when the 2 other sections were being built (more so out of cost than design I'd assume). Anyone know the details?
My best guess is that since the construction lasted until 1971, urban renewal had begun to fall out of favor and they cancelled it. At the start of the 70s, a nation-wide revolt against urban renewal happened. 1970 was also the year of the moratorium on all highway construction within 128, including the Southwest Expressway and inner belt.
 

Scipio

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Her proposal seems like a good compromise: save the most heroic and brvtal facades of the building while rebuilding on the rest of the site. I've been fond of the Merrimac and Staniford corner of the building and those ridiculous exterior stairs:



Whether that makes sense economically is another question, isn't tearing into those concrete buildings going to be massively expensive?
 

Lrfox

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^That's the entrance I use to get to my office. Most of what's been said about the building (Lindemann) in that article is pretty much true. Today, for example, I spoke with someone from the mail room who is dealing with water damage. I also had to go outside to find someone who had a meeting with us and couldn't find the main entrance. The temperatures in this building are so varied it's incredible. My office is stuffy as all get out. Two doors down, it's frigid year round.

There's value here. The buildings are neat. I've been able to explore some nooks and corners of this building that are fairly remarkable. So I agree with the author's comments on preserving some of it. I love showing visitors around. They're always fascinated with A) how challenging it is to find their way around the interior and B) how hulking and massive the structure feels.
 

CSTH

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I've been fond of the Merrimac and Staniford corner of the building and those ridiculous exterior stairs:
Wow...must have gotten there early in the morning to get the photo before someone parked their car on the stairs
 

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