Winthrop Center | 115 Winthrop Square | Financial District

stefal

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If they are in fact doing top down construction then they dont have to wait for the foundation to be finished so that should speed it up a bit no?
The piles have to be complete and all work requiring large equipment (larger than an excavator) also has to be completed, but yes, top down is still the chosen method, I believe.
 

bigpicture7

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^I really wish we could have a "key facts & info" sticky post/banner atop each page of each development thread. We've discussed that this project is doing up/down construction like a dozen times in here - but I can empathize that folks aren't always tuned it, so it will just keep coming up over and over again...
 

HenryAlan

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I think you are confused, but I suspect you also partly have the story right. Try this:

The Burnham Building/10 Summer St. (aka Filene's, the magnificent Beaux-Arts masterpiece): 100% preserved/restored

The Jones McDuffee Stratton Bldg. at the corner of Hawley & Franklin: Vornado may have intended to tear it down as part of its proposal and Menino probably did block that, as you state. When MP Boston took over, they got permission to tear it down. In my opinion it was nowhere near a historically significant building--especially considering the embarrassment of riches surrounding it in the immediate vicinity. But that's just me.

The Filene's Basement annex at the corner of Washington & Franklin: A soulless 1970s-era monstrosity. Literally a bunker complex--completely hulking and military-like in appearance. Demolished right at the start of the Vornado project, leading to the "Filene's hole" of 2008-2013 when Vornado's construction loans went bust during the 2008 crisis. Anyway, good riddance to an utter abomination.

Right?
Regarding the (B) building, I think it was going to get a facadectomy, but the facade was no longer structurally sound by the time Millenium took over. At least that's kind of what shows up in the back of my foggy memories about the project.
 

whighlander

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truly apologize if/that my attempt at humor fell flat. what i was getting at is that a small park replaced by another small park isn't necessarily a terrible thing. for all any of us know this new space will actually be *better* (sure, it could be worse, too).

in no way meaning to be a grouch or unkind/intollerant.

fwiw i'm not a 100% giant fan of the winthrop tower, myself.

you make a good point and i'll try to not be so reactionary. this is a fun and informative forum and i absolutely don't mean to add to the sometimes-vitriolic nature that can overtake it.
Anyone remember and care to comment on the multiple incarnations of Copley Square over the past 40+ years

Winthrop's small park was nice but right next to it was the Ugliest Parking Garage in creation --- and that was when it was being used. Its only redeeming quality was its top offered some good places to take building fetish photos with unusual and unexpected only in Boston juxtapositions [clearly a limited interest -- but a passionate one]

All of that said -- I'd gladly trade the park for a nice neighbor to the Winthrop building with a nice place to get warm and have a cuppa Joe on one of those still-happening despite Climate Change Boston Lousy winter days

I do like the idea of lobbying MP to commission a nice stature of John Winthrop to highlight the new small park [ready for 20130]
 

meddlepal

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They must be behind schedule they're working on the slurry walls at 9:30pm
 

DZH22

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I really hate this stage of construction. It seems even worse (so much worse) for Boston than for other cities. The garage has been down for 16+ months already, work has been steady and ongoing, and yet there's still no hint of visual progress at the site!
 

DZH22

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^^One World Trade Center took 7 years to construct.
Yeah, but that's also literally double the height. It would be a lot easier to stomach the wait if we were getting a sleek 1000'+ instead of some ultra girthy, disco looking hulkasaurus.
 

jpdibenedetto

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Any chance they're doing some additional foundation work post San Fran tower shifting? Well highly unlikely any goof would sure sink MP on a reputation risk.
 

stefal

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From the start, the neighboring properties voiced their concerns about the surrounding buildings' foundation stability. That might have some play into the duration, but I don't see this being that much longer than the usual building foundation for a building of this size. One Dalton took a very long time as well. Granted, they are kind of apples to oranges, with different site conditions and building materials. There will be a lot of steel sitting on top of this foundation. It's going to be a heavy building, so extra time will be spent on the foundation accordingly.
 

odurandina

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Any chance they're doing some additional foundation work post San Fran tower shifting? Well highly unlikely any goof would sure sink MP on a reputation risk.

1. SF is built on top of the coastal Sierra Nevada alluvial plain, on sands and gravels resulting from weathering over tens of millions of years.

2. At wide-ranging depths, San Francisco's bedrock can be reached. In some parts of SF the bedrock is of a lesser quality (sedimentary layers) of sandstone and shale vs (igneous) granite reefs typical of the East Coast. In other parts of the city, hard bedrock is reached at just a few feet of depth. In the Transit Center district of the Transbay area, the depth is somewhere around 200' give or take.

3. Complicating the problem with building in San Francisco are their "soft soils" and geosoils being subject to liquefaction during seismic events. To give you an idea of just how serious this problem is, SF's sedimentary formations give rise to soils moving as much as 10 times as much as soils of typical cities east of the Rockies during seismic events. Not good.

4. MP was advised by Webcor & UC Berkeley consultants to go for friction piles down deep enough into compact gravels and sands to force x resistance times x number of piles. As is commonly known, the plan stopped short of reaching bedrock. City engineers approved the analysis and plan. Together, their geo-technical analysis and oversight woefully underestimated the ability of the sands and gravels to settle and push back against the tower loading.

Millennium can be seen somewhat as a victim companion alongside the buyers of the condominiums. It sounds good, anyway.

5. It should be considered no accident that the extremely heavy Transbay supertall has altered/moved/compressed the geosoils on that side of Millennium Tower--as that is indeed the side upon which the tower leans.

6. Either way, it's a very hard and painful lesson learned.

7. They will attempt to add density and pressure by installing micro-piles on the 'settling end' of the foundation--in hopes that the tower will correct its lean over x number of centuries, i mean years.

Manhattan is at a distinct advantage for its shallow granite and uncomplicated pile installations. Such places as Chicago & Boston, present a significantly greater challenge, and are in a riskier situation; as mud and sands reach to greater depths (leftovers from advancing & receding glaciers). But it also leaves builders with a clearer fork in the road: Chicago and Boston both have histories, and experiences with buildings of various heights settling over time.

*This is precisely why their 19th century foundations were subject to various and well-documented settling/sinking/cracking, etc for low-rise & tall mid-rise brownstones, hotels and office structures. **(A famous case is the 16 story Monadnock Building built in the 1890s, which after just a few decades had settled something like 2 feet!) Unfortunately, bedrock in Chicago and Boston is often found at challenging depths >150'. Mud simply doesn't cut it, so geosoil engineering plan submittals have buildings above a given height resting on bedrock, or they aren't allowed to get built.

In this context, San Francisco & Boston have some interesting things in common: Millennium Partners and Boston Properties both happen to build towers in these cities. To the layman, it's danger Will Robinson. However, the challenges for geotechnical science & engineering seem to call an alarm, and while building in either city presents its own unique challenges, and both share histories of mistakes being made, the similarities end there.

As they say, apples and oranges.
 

617

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Yeah, but that's also literally double the height. It would be a lot easier to stomach the wait if we were getting a sleek 1000'+ instead of some ultra girthy, disco looking hulkasaurus.
Lolol harsh....I do think this thing is gonna look sweet tho...especially from the “stairs” at DTX subway station/Washington st and from PO square/franklin st and obviously from the Longfellow bridge.
 

JANAM

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1. SF is built on top of the coastal Sierra Nevada alluvial plain, on sands and gravels resulting from weathering over tens of millions of years.......

.........In this context, San Francisco & Boston have some interesting things in common: Millennium Partners and Boston Properties both happen to build towers in these cities. To the layman, it's danger Will Robinson. However, the challenges for geotechnical science & engineering seem to call an alarm, and while building in either city presents its own unique challenges, and both share histories of mistakes being made, the similarities end there.

As they say, apples and oranges.

Great post, very informative, thank you.

Some new developments in Seaport are going down 165' to bedrock which obviously adds complexity and huge costs in an already very expensive market to build. Hence the need to get $2000/sf and more for condos.
 

George_Apley

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Great post, very informative, thank you.

Some new developments in Seaport are going down 165' to bedrock which obviously adds complexity and huge costs in an already very expensive market to build. Hence the need to get $2000/sf and more for condos.
Height restrictions in the Seaport certainly exacerbate these problems.
 

whighlander

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Great post, very informative, thank you.

Some new developments in Seaport are going down 165' to bedrock which obviously adds complexity and huge costs in an already very expensive market to build. Hence the need to get $2000/sf and more for condos.
Boston is too general a term --things vary enormously over small distances

Consider Beacon Hill [and the other parts of the original Shawmut Peninsula]-- topped by the Glaciers and then by the Colonial and Federal Era -- but a stable long-term geology. Beacon Hill could have hosted monster towers if the airport wasn't where it is and if the Statehouse had been built in Cambridge -- but that didn't happen as we know. The then "beautiful people" crowded in around the New State House and the Park [Common & Garden].

Just down the hill is the Back Bay -- which is Needham gravel dumped on top of the bottom of the Charles River -- so everything is floating including the massive Trinity Church. The only exceptions are the tallest towers such as the Pru and the formerly John Hancock which do go to bedrock.

Down the hill toward the harbor is solid for quite a ways such as DTX -- but eventually you get to the 19th early 20th C fill along Atlantic Ave and the area near South Station [side of the approaches for the tracks]

Seaport and most of East Boston were 19th early / mid 20th Century fill jobs*1 [often unknown sources for the material such as 'old ships"] on top of mud flats -- so deep piles are in order to support buildings of any significant mass


th dak green is the original land above high tide

The best thing to do is look at one of the web sites covering the filling process or read the book called Gaining Ground by Nancy Seasholes

*1 she calls the process Land making -- and talks for almost an hour at the Boston Atheneum on this Youtunbe

https://youtu.be/0QilREF4Z0s
 

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