Volpe Transportation Center Development | Kendall Sq | Cambridge

BeeLine

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RandomWalk

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I think they’re re-routing the utilities from the north side of the site, to the south side. They have been working all winter on new high voltage conduits at the Broadway entrance.
 

stellarfun

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I think this explains the tree-chopping.

Once completed, the new U.S. DOT Volpe development will include primarily below-grade vehicular parking and ample bicycle parking. In addition, over 100 new diverse native-species trees will be installed using current best practices in planting, and an extensive landscaping program will be available for the public to enjoy. Even though the federal government is exempt from Cambridge’s local tree ordinance, the tree replacement plan is designed to materially exceed the current local requirements for large projects. To prepare the site for construction, 21 private trees will be removed that are within the building’s footprint or security perimeter. Twenty of those trees are Norway Maples, an invasive species that Massachusetts prohibits from being sold, planted, or propagated. In addition, two street trees will need to be relocated or replaced to accommodate a curb cut required by the project.
http://news.mit.edu/2019/john-volpe-transportations-systems-design-0205
 

DZH22

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Why treeez and not 700 foot towerzzzz!?!?!?


Edit: sorry, I just had a double espresso.
The truth is, why not both? Taller towers could allow for more open space while still capturing the square footage needed. There's one corner of Volpe that the FAA says could go 1000'.
 

Czervik.Construction

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In all seriousness, this is a great place to build tall, to your point of having both. It is also far from significant legacy residential neighborhoods that would have reasonable concern for an 800' tower going up across the street.

However, would that create a "city in a park" that people seem to disdain?


The truth is, why not both? Taller towers could allow for more open space while still capturing the square footage needed. There's one corner of Volpe that the FAA says could go 1000'.
 

stick n move

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Thats good theyre getting rid of invasive species. How did 20 invasive trees get here? Must have been planted before they knew... or cared.
 

Jouhou

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Thats good theyre getting rid of invasive species. How did 20 invasive trees get here? Must have been planted before they knew... or cared.
I don't know about you, but I personally can tell the difference between a maple and an oak but telling the difference between different maples ?????? I'd be lost.

I'm having really nasty allergies right now and am currently looking at every tree with suspicion thinking " Is this tree causing my allergies? ". Stupid trees.
 

Downburst

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Thats good theyre getting rid of invasive species. How did 20 invasive trees get here? Must have been planted before they knew... or cared.
Norway maples were popular street trees in the 1950s-1960s as tall shade trees that grow well in urban environments. I'd argue it was ignorance over negligence here- the same qualities that make Norway maples suitable street trees also tend to choke other species out. This only became clear as the trees matured, and the trees were labelled as "invasive" after the fact.

FWIW, these trees are reaching the end of their lifespan (Norway maples in urban environments tend to last about 60 years at most) and will start to drop limbs with some regularity soon, if they haven't already. From a safety perspective, it's time for them to come down.
 

SeamusMcFly

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I don't know about you, but I personally can tell the difference between a maple and an oak but telling the difference between different maples ?????? I'd be lost.

.
I have maples on one side of my house, and a big oak on the other side. Come raking season you learn the difference real quick.
Raking maples end of October early November. Raking oak leaves well into December, and it still ain't dropped em all yet.
 

odurandina

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Is there yet a formal proposal?
Is there an approved formal proposal?
Is this in site prep as an actual approved project?
 

stellarfun

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Is there yet a formal proposal?
Is there an approved formal proposal?
Is this in site prep as an actual approved project?
The design, massing, height of new Volpe was approved by GSA's Regional Chief Architect (G. Conard) and the Chief Architect of the General Services Administration (D. Insinga). Complaints, criticisms, misgivings, suggested changes etc. should be lodged with them.

But hurry if you do. Construction starts later this year.
 

tocoto

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If there will be a 500' tower, this project might have the greatest impact on the skyline among all current proposed and U/C buildings. 500' in Cambridge is another milestone I never thought would happen in my lifetime. I guess I am getting old.
 

odurandina

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The design, massing, height of new Volpe was approved by GSA's Regional Chief Architect (G. Conard) and the Chief Architect of the General Services Administration (D. Insinga). Complaints, criticisms, misgivings, suggested changes etc. should be lodged with them.

But hurry if you do. Construction starts later this year.
Thanks. Wow. Then this could be u/c around the same general time as the 395' resident tower at 145 Broadway.

Why treeez and not 700 foot towerzzzz!?!?!?
i appreciate the enthusiasm--sarcastic or not,
i'll take it anyway we can get it.
 

DZH22

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If there will be a 500' tower, this project might have the greatest impact on the skyline among all current proposed and U/C buildings. 500' in Cambridge is another milestone I never thought would happen in my lifetime. I guess I am getting old.
By the time it's built it will probably be the Boston area's 25th 500' tower. If it's basically stuck right around that height it won't have much impact except for up close, but otherwise will blend into the rest of the city. I still think MIT should go bold, 800'+, with a shorter tower connected by a skywalk. Something like this:

https://www.designboom.com/architecture/william-kaven-broadway-corridor-towers-portland-oregon-02-13-2018/

Or this:

https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/construction-begins-shop-architects-new-york-skyscrapers-linked-skybridge

Or this:

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/343892121518517700

However, I would like to see it culminate with a pointy top and not another flat roof. Maybe 2 towers almost "hugging" each other with a couple different connecting points. Mainly, I want to see something truly iconic and not the same old tripe that we tend to end up with. There are very few opportunities to go very tall, and this is one of them. It seems like most of Kendall has been "mailed in" and Boston/Cambridge deserves better.

Speaking of iconic, Detroit (yes, THAT Detroit) is going 912' with this stunner! Add Detroit to the continuously growing list of cities that eclipse Boston's height!
https://archpaper.com/2018/11/detroit-hudsons-michigans-tallest-building/#

So how about, instead of just 500' (and using a spire to get their based on the initial placeholders) let's go big, bold, beautiful, and get the new icon that we deserve!
 

Hubman

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What are the chances the 500' tower will actually be built? It seems that it could be just be a proposal that goes nowhere or ends up as another 200' residential building.
 

Equilibria

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What are the chances the 500' tower will actually be built? It seems that it could be just be a proposal that goes nowhere or ends up as another 200' residential building.
MIT has built everything they've proposed in Kendall more or less how they initially conceived it. For that matter, BXP and others have built what they proposed/approved essentially without any loss of height.

Also, MIT paid a lot of money for that site. It's not going to "go nowhere".
 

bigpicture7

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MIT has built everything they've proposed in Kendall more or less how they initially conceived it. For that matter, BXP and others have built what they proposed/approved essentially without any loss of height.

Also, MIT paid a lot of money for that site. It's not going to "go nowhere".
Yes, and MIT has essentially just raised $1.1bil for this...
See posts 38-41:
http://www.archboston.org/community/showthread.php?t=5561&page=3

So if they have funding and zoning variance approval, those are some serious hurdles cleared.
 

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