Worst New Development of 2012

Worst New Development Completed in 2012

  • 1. Allston CVS Strip Mall (WINNER)

    Votes: 38 49.4%
  • 2. 1075 Mass. Ave, Cambridge

    Votes: 17 22.1%
  • 3. Harvard Northwest Law Building

    Votes: 5 6.5%
  • 4. BU East Campus Center

    Votes: 1 1.3%
  • 5. 800 Huntington Ave

    Votes: 10 13.0%
  • 6. No Award

    Votes: 6 7.8%

  • Total voters
    77

briv

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Worst New Development completed in 2012.

Please choose one. Polls close 11:59pm on Monday Feb. 25.

A list of all previous winners can be found here: http://www.archboston.org/awards/

In no particular order:

1. Allston CVS Strip Mall


2. 1075 Mass. Ave, Cambridge


3. Harvard Northwest Law Building


4. BU East Campus Center


5. 800 Huntington Ave


6. No Award
 

vanshnookenraggen

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As much as I'd like to hate on 800 Huntington I'm going to have to see it in person before I can judge it.
 

Arborway

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I can't believe #2 and #3 are even on this list.
 

czsz

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It's amazing how easily this choice crystallized once I saw them all together.
 

BostonUrbEx

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Strip Mall. Hands down. At least the others are all urban (to varying degrees).

Also, I believe I recently said that all of Boston's terra cotta use has been positive... scratch that. 800 Huntington is an example of how NOT to use terra cotta.
 

found5dollar

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I don't care how good the picture of it here looks, Harvard Northwest Law is my vote.
 

BostonUrbEx

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I don't care how good the picture of it here looks, Harvard Northwest Law is my vote.
Have you walked by it?

I honestly don't understand all the hate.

It doesn't interact well, but it's a damn academic building... a three-story one at that.
 

czsz

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It's an evil, imperious building. But my vote went to the strip mall for being the obvious worst. Evil and imperious > evil and suburban.
 

Shepard

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I assume CVS could build their store as of right, since Rite Aid occupied the same position. Hopefully the city can learn from this and change the zoning rules to ensure a review in situations like this...
 

Brad Plaid

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800 Huntington would have been better had there been some facade depth. The 2 large window blocks could have projected out a foot or two, and they do come out a bit, but it's so slight as to be negligible. The overall effect is disappointingly flat.

CVS strip has my vote. They renovated existing buildings? Otherwise there would be no excuse for not building up to the sidewalk and putting the parking in the back. Dull and generic.
 

Matthew

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Yes it's a renovation although I think they did tear down part of the building. If it was a new building then I believe that the BRA would force them to build up to the sidewalk and put parking in the rear, as that is in the zoning code (one of the few decent parts of it).
 

PlanBoston

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The Blue Box (1075 Mass Ave) - hands down.

1 - An ugly facelift of a generic strip mall isn't even worth mentioning. If it were in Woburn or Saugus, nobody would even notice it (or they'd be happy the run-down strip mall was fixed up). Because it's in Allston Rat City, part of Boston, it's so tragic? Yes, a lost opportunity, but otherwise - yawn.

3 - I don't find this very offensive. Not my taste, but the psudo-brutalist look is fitting for a law school. It feels like a substantial, well constructed building. Certainly worse can be found.

4 - Again, not so offensive. It's what you'd expect from BU - not as well executed as Harvard's building (more obvious value engineering), but sort of fits into its surroundings (if you squint).

5 - The biggest issue with this one is the lost opportunity from this site. Something cool could have been done here, but instead we get a big pile of terracotta crap. (Maybe the terracotta fad has jumped the shark)? It's bad, but doesn't come close to...

...THE WINNER...
2 - This architectural abortion is an insult to all of Cambridge. If you think the front (pictured) is ugly, the back side is far worse - crappy prefab panels that make Alucobond look nice, with just a few small windows. It looks like a self-storage facility. You'd think the facades were from two different buildings, no continuity. Every surface of the building is garbage. This is an exercise in maximizing profit, with zero regard for aesthetics. It has been so value-engineered, it's blue because blue glass is cheaper than green glass. Truly an eyesore.

If you have the time, experience each building in person. I think 1075 Mass Ave will make you long for the warmth of the strip mall EFIS.
 

kz1000ps

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^ What PlanBoston said. The Cambridge blue box makes my head spin how awful it comes off in person. Wrong wrong wrong.

I also don't get why everyone is piling on to the Allston CVS. That particular area--the triangle between Cambridge, Brighton and Harvard--is still very rough and far off from being in the position to sprout some mixed-use whatchamacallit. Maybe in 10 years, but until then I'm not holding my breath.
 

Matthew

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I dunno about that. The surroundings on Brighton Ave are pretty lively. More than a dozen restaurants and shops right across the street. A bunch of stuff on the same side of the street ... until it abruptly ends at that parking lot. Then there's a gap before you reach Union Sq.

Cambridge St is still rough though.
 

underground

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Cambridge St and Brighton Ave between Union Square and Harvard St are both REALLY under utilized and could easily absorb some of the crowed packed into the bars and restaurants in the "Golden Triangle" of Allston Village (Harvard, Comm, and Brighton Ave).
 

kz1000ps

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I dunno about that. The surroundings on Brighton Ave are pretty lively. More than a dozen restaurants and shops right across the street. A bunch of stuff on the same side of the street ... until it abruptly ends at that parking lot.
Right, but a block's worth of prospering nightlife establishments whose lifespans are tenuous at best doesn't exactly translate into rising land values and residential demand. It can, but there's no easy correlation there.

Having said that, you know I'm rooting for this area to shape up.
 

Coyote137

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I will put myself out there for extreme ridicule, and admit that I kind of like the blue box. Admittedly, I will not have the opportunity to see it in person until the fall.
 

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