500 Boylston Infill | 500 Boylston St | Back Bay

whighlander

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Re: 500 Boylston

" fill in the “underutilized” oval-shaped courtyard in front of the tower with 80,000 square feet of office and retail space. The company also said it wanted to convert 50,000 square feet of office space to more retail space."

http://www.bostonglobe.com/business...s-courtyard/d4FliSOsTfwQxRTp3EZaaP/story.html
We are supposed to hear more as the article says in about a month

Meanwhile perhaps we can get a list of how many 19th C lamps were misappropriated from the BPL and turned up at 500 Boylston ;)
 

bigeman312

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Re: 500 Boylston

I'm really glad they are better utilizing this plaza (read: vacant, unused concrete plot).

Also, I hold an unpopular (around here) opinion of 500 Boylston: I really like it and always have! I love how intimidating, in a good way, the massing feels when entering the "plaza." With that being said, bravo that they are putting better use to the land. I will mourn, however, the loss of my favorite PoMo (I can be corrected, as I'm no expert on architectural styles) architectural experience in the city.
 

George_Apley

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Re: 500 Boylston

I'm really glad they are better utilizing this plaza (read: vacant, unused concrete plot).

Also, I hold an unpopular (around here) opinion of 500 Boylston: I really like it and always have!
You're not alone.
 

citylover94

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Re: 500 Boylston

I like this building too but I think that plaza is kind of pointless in that there is not a reason to go inside. I hope the addition matches the building or contrasts with it well. I would leave a setback from the sidewalk where the entrance to the current plaza is.
 

Lisbon

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Re: 500 Boylston

I like this building too. I can understand where the hate is coming from, and I am happy that Stern designed it's neighbor, but I'm a fan of how it interacts with its peers in the Back Bay skyline.

The courtyard is visually appealing, but I agree that there's never any reason to use it. I remember being awed the first time I saw it, and haven't stepped into it since. In that regard, I am OK with filling it in, given that the design is attractive. One thing I will miss is looking up at the building from just outside the courtyard. It's my favorite angle of the building.

Overall, I think Phillip Johnson's PoMo contributions to Boston (this and IP) are better than many of his other PoMo stuff.
 

mcus29

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Re: 500 Boylston

I hate it. The over proportion of everything I'm sure was intensional but it's like a giant exclamation point on how insignificant the experience of walking thru here is.
 

vanshnookenraggen

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Re: 500 Boylston

I'll take 500 Boylston over International Place any day. But the courtyard is dead space even when people are coming and leaving work. An indoor retail/winter garden would be a huge boost not just to usage but to the property value.
 

TomOfBoston

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Re: 500 Boylston

When the project was first proposed, it was to be twin buildings.
 

Brad Plaid

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Re: 500 Boylston

Good news. Would love to see a Zaha Hadid-ish glass winter garden bubble blob thing happen.
 

datadyne007

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Re: 500 Boylston

I hate it. The over proportion of everything I'm sure was intensional but it's like a giant exclamation point on how insignificant the experience of walking thru here is.
The fact the whole building is shaped like a giant Palladian window is a literal middle finger to Boston and critique of his own post-modernism that he was becoming very very tired of. It's a brilliant PoMo building that demonstrates just how absurd PoMo actually is.

I really love 500 Boylston, not just because of the statement it makes about Post-Modernism, but because it's actually a good looking building.

Highly recommend this fantastic article about why Johnson designed 500 Boylston the way he did: http://www.iqubeddesign.com/thespaceunseen/2015/1/10/a-wag-of-philip-johnsons-middle-finger
 

mcus29

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Re: 500 Boylston

Ok. Not that this building compares to the misery of the Town Hall building but wasn't that a big deal for brutalism when it was built?
 

FK4

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Re: 500 Boylston

This is one of the best buildings in Boston. It looks great from Storrow: my favorite panorama is this with the two Hancocks. I like the courtyard. Who gives a shit if it's "underutilized"? It looks good. Guess what - if you want a nice open space, walk yourself 100 feet west and go to Copley. When I ride my bike around here I'll often take a little dip into the courtyard. It has cold, quiet feel. Sometimes that kind of space is nice. And now they're going to ruin it.
 

bigeman312

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Re: 500 Boylston

Who gives a shit if it's "underutilized"? It looks good. Guess what - if you want a nice open space, walk yourself 100 feet west and go to Copley.
Who gives a shit if it "looks good?" It's underutilized. Guess what - if you want a nice open space, walk yourself 100 feet west and go to Copley.

We won't see eye to eye on this one. In this case, I value utility over aesthetics, and you value aesthetics over utility. So be it.
 

akmags

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Re: 500 Boylston

I'll take 500 Boylston over International Place any day. But the courtyard is dead space even when people are coming and leaving work. An indoor retail/winter garden would be a huge boost not just to usage but to the property value.
They have a winter garden -- it sits between the connection of 500 Boylston and 222 Berkeley.

There is a neat public corridor in this building. If you've never been inside, I recommend checking it out.
 

elemenoh

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Re: 500 Boylston

I have fond memories of going to 500 Boylston for my first job interview back in the early 1990s. I loved that odd angled outdoor passage that went between Rebecca's and Skipjack's. The courtyard was never programmed appropriately, so of course it was a lifeless place. Despite the nice fountains, there was never really anywhere to sit and eat your lunch, so people went to Copley Square instead.
 

datadyne007

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Re: 500 Boylston

While the courtyard looks cool from Google Maps, it's totally void of life for the pedestrian experience. Building out a streetwall onto Boylston with retail is a fantastic idea. Right now it's quite literally a massive hole in the Boylston streetwall.
 

FK4

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Re: 500 Boylston

Who gives a shit if it "looks good?" It's underutilized. Guess what - if you want a nice open space, walk yourself 100 feet west and go to Copley.

We won't see eye to eye on this one. In this case, I value utility over aesthetics, and you value aesthetics over utility. So be it.
yes, de gustibus non est disputandum.

still, to me there sometimes is a too much pressure for streetwalls, street level retail, and making sure every single public space is "utilized". i disagree with this philosophy. this is a cold part of boylston, but it's not dead, and it's never going to be lively like other stretches owing to the types of buildings on this block. it feels monumental and it should. it just doesnt bother me. like parts of stewart. the stone quietude is nice. we dont need every single road and space to be quincy market or coolidge corner. its nice to have quiet spots that ARENT so appealing to everyone that theyre choked with crowds, just to go think in peace for a few minutes.
 

davem

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Re: 500 Boylston

I also like 500 Boylston, far more than its neighbor with those gigantic urns.

As for the courtyard, if it was on the opposite side of the street and got some sun it would be a loss, but as it stands it's perpetually dark, cold and damp. The lack of any meaningful programming is the final nail in the coffin. Good to see something being done with it, it always felt like a waste.
 

sm89

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Re: 500 Boylston

I've always liked the building, though maybe it's because I also liked the show Boston Legal which was "set" there. It should look great with the courtyard filled in.
 

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