[ARCHIVED] Harbor Garage Redevelopment | 70 East India Row | Waterfront | Downtown

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found5dollar

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Re: The Boston Arch (Aquarium parking garage)

i understand the pegging of the height of the scenarios to various nearby buildings, my only qualm is matching it to the harbor towers... that would create a visual plateau right on the waterfront instead of stepping up or down which i think is more appropriate.
 

itchy

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Re: The Boston Arch (Aquarium parking garage)

Wait, does it matter at all what the owner of this parcel wants to do or build?

Can the BRA simply dictate down to the massing, materials and architecture (banal, like a Marlborough office park) what must be built in any privately owned plot of land in Boston?

How is this in any way legal? Given that even in New York, Boston or Chicago it's never entirely clear if landmarks ordinances are truly constitutional, how can a shadow group of unelected bureaucrats decide to a T what every private landowner (or at least those who don't kiss Boss Menino's ring) does with his own property?

Are the suggestions (orders?) put forth at this meeting the BRA so graciously convened binding, or was the meeting intended to be just a shot across Chiofaro's bow for his having an independent will and not deferring to the Mayuh and BRA?

Whatever's at play, it doesn't sound good or decent. This crapification of Boston courtesy of the BRA makes my blood boil. Whenever I hear about any of the shenanigans of this bizarre group of unaccountable, seemingly omnipotent creeps, I can't help but think this city is hopeless.

Is there any chance of this organization getting disbanded, or are they like the League of Shadows in "Batman Begins" -- lurking in the shadows and destroying cities as they see fit for the duration of human history?
 

mikem978

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Re: The Boston Arch (Aquarium parking garage)

I thought one of the original complaints was that the towers would block views. It looks like scenario III would block the about same amount of view as the original design.
 

ablarc

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Re: The Boston Arch (Aquarium parking garage)

If anyone thinks those are the three options, they're on a Ship of Fools.

Why does the BRA have to determine the alternatives?

This isn't planning, it's doodling.
 

itchy

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Re: The Boston Arch (Aquarium parking garage)

But the constitutionality of landmarks laws remains a somewhat-fuzzy issue. What I have in mind in particular is a case from Chicago last year (I think it's still making its way through the courts there -- I couldn't find any sign of resolution) where some property owners challenged the landmark status that had been conferred on their neighborhood as vague and subjective. (See here for more info.)

I'm not personally trying to argue that landmarks laws should be overturned. In fact, I think one of the best things all US (or for that matter non-US) cities could do would be to grant a blanket landmark status to all pre-WWII buildings. The point is that any fiddling around by a city agency with how people can use their property raises eyebrows.

If even landmarks laws are subject to some scrutiny, then the BRA dictating the massing, number of allowable separate structures, and who knows what else for property owners at random (not even those who live in a specially designated landmarks zone) would seem to be of extremely dubious constitutionality; it violates the core of the right to control one's own property and given that it is currently popping up in the case of a developer who is a known, er, "non-friend" of Boss Menino, it seems massively subjective and vague. So much for rule of law.

It's pretty unclear what exactly those BRA "suggestions" were, though -- if they are binding or just the BRA trying to show Chiofaro what they *would* like but without being binding. If they're the former, it strikes me as rather arbitrary and unlawful. But I'm not a lawyer ... Toby, any thoughts?
 

palindrome

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Re: The Boston Arch (Aquarium parking garage)

It would look silly to have to sets of twins right next to each other imo.
 

buju b

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Re: The Boston Arch (Aquarium parking garage)

Itchy,

I agree. It pisses me off to no end as well the power that the BRA and other groups similarly comprised of political hacks have.

Government at this level as it relates to development should exist soley to ensure that there are some minimum standards of safe building construction, not suggest/recommend/tell/demand a private landowner what he can and cannot do with his property.

If an owner makes a foolish business decision with how he develops what he owns, or how he operates that what he develops/owns, he will be 'punished' by losing his shirt and a new owner will emerge with the opportunity to unass what the previous owner did wrong or poorly.
 

czsz

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Re: The Boston Arch (Aquarium parking garage)

Okay, so we should let Druker do whatever he wants to the Shreve building as long as the demolition is "safe"?
 

itchy

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Re: The Boston Arch (Aquarium parking garage)

I don't think these things are at all the same -- certainly I would never argue that. Historic buildings should be preserved -- as I've already said (and will say over and over, since I think it's one of the three most important no-cost things any city could do to improve its quality of life), I'd like to see a blanket landmark of all pre-WWII properties.

But here there's no historic, or otherwise notable, property at all. What's at stake is, for all intents and purposes, an empty lot. I don't see any reason how the BRA can dictate on such a micro level what can go on an empty lot. Outside of something like the WTC or places where a developer needs special height, historic preservation or other permissions, it's fairly unprecedented for a city body to take such direct control (if that is what's happening -- I'm still unclear on how binding these renders from the BRA actually are) of a landowner's private property.

In this case, though, there is no Shreve's, no Dainty Dot. Indeed, building taller buildings on these sorts of "empty" lots takes pressure off of Boston's historic building stock -- the more office/residential space you can build on these currently worthless plots (here, on the Mass Pike, where various parking lots/garages are across the city), the more supply you have and the less need to raid the city's architectural heritage.

Rather than compare it to Shreve's, I'd say it's a question of whether the city can micromanage people's as-of-right developments (and, Boss Menino machinations aside, I doubt that this would hold much legal weight in any transparent system) and de facto turn every development into another fine piece of BRA craftsmanship, like Government Center, the West End, etc.
 
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ShawnA

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Re: The Boston Arch (Aquarium parking garage)

The BRA makes me sick. They dont relaize that there are tons of other cites that will work the developer/airport to get things bulit. With that being said, I think neighborhood meetings are a waist of time. Unless you give all the neighborhoods of boston a chance to give there opinions there is no need for these meetings. This project affects all of boston not just 2,000 residents in a couple of towers. Mayor Menino and the BRA need to take a lot at Charlotte, NC and Atlanta,GA these are cities that are passing boston in population and are being becoming world class cites. Both of their skylines are making boston look sick too.
 

armpitsOFmight

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Re: The Boston Arch (Aquarium parking garage)

^^^hahaha...Charlotte and Atlanta, are you kidding me!?!? Go ahead and live in the South if you want your civil liberties stripped and thrown in the garbage.
 

ShawnA

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Re: The Boston Arch (Aquarium parking garage)

Originally Posted by armpitsOFmight
Go ahead and live in the South if you want your civil liberties stripped and thrown in the garbage
IDK?
 

armpitsOFmight

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Re: The Boston Arch (Aquarium parking garage)

Don't act like retards; if you aren't white, protestant, heterosexual, or a male then the South will shit all over you. Have fun getting shit on boys!!!
 

AmericanFolkLegend

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Re: The Boston Arch (Aquarium parking garage)

Ummm . . . both Charlotte and Atlanta have black mayors . . .
 

Ron Newman

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Re: The Boston Arch (Aquarium parking garage)

There are good reasons I would not want to move to either Charlotte or Atlanta, but none of them have been stated here.
 

ShawnA

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Re: The Boston Arch (Aquarium parking garage)

I wasnt talking about moving there I am talking about the fact that they are getting things/built and becoming world class cities
 
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