Boston Alt History

George_Apley

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Haven't fleshed anything out, but here's a prompt: what if the annexation revolt never happened/was unsuccessful and Boston swallowed more municipalities in the late-19th Century? How would city, regional, and state politics and policies be different?
 

Blackbird

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On the flip side, I sometimes wonder what the city would be like if the landfills hadn't happened and Boston were like Mont Saint Michel, a city surrounded by tidal flats with one road connecting it to the mainland.
 

Charlie_mta

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If JFK had not been elected President in 1960, and Nixon had been instead, the Federal funding for Government Center might not have happened, as well as several other other urban renewal projects in Boston. Also, the demolition in Kendall Square for what was to be the NASA control center (where Volpe is now) might never have happened.
 

ErnieAdams

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The year is 1978 and traffic has never been lighter in Boston. The Central Artery is flowing freely thanks to all of the stress removed from it by the completed Southwest Expressway, Inner Belt and Northwest Expressway. The population of the city proper has plummeted to 450,000, as easy highway access makes unseemly city life less and less desirable compared to the newly accessible deep suburbs. Marshfield, Andover, and Acton all pass 50,000 in population as single family home developers run wild through suburban towns with their latest innovation: the "do-deca-cul-de-sac." A spate of suspicious fires destroys several dozen abandoned homes east of Inman Square, finishing the job that the Inner Belt started and giving the developer of Charles River Park another brilliant idea. Embracing its permanent status as a commuter school, Northeastern has anounced plans to abandon its Boston campus in favor of a sprawling spread in Burlington off 128, "where the action is."
 

Blackbird

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The year is 1978 and traffic has never been lighter in Boston. The Central Artery is flowing freely thanks to all of the stress removed from it by the completed Southwest Expressway, Inner Belt and Northwest Expressway. The population of the city proper has plummeted to 450,000, as easy highway access makes unseemly city life less and less desirable compared to the newly accessible deep suburbs. Marshfield, Andover, and Acton all pass 50,000 in population as single family home developers run wild through suburban towns with their latest innovation: the "do-deca-cul-de-sac." A spate of suspicious fires destroys several dozen abandoned homes east of Inman Square, finishing the job that the Inner Belt started and giving the developer of Charles River Park another brilliant idea. Embracing its permanent status as a commuter school, Northeastern has anounced plans to abandon its Boston campus in favor of a sprawling spread in Burlington off 128, "where the action is."
Soo..."imagine if Boston were Hartford"?
 

Charlie_mta

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John F Kennedy (JFK) served two terms as President, 1961 thru 1969, and then his brother, Robert Kennedy (RFK) from 1969 to 1977. Due to US involvement in Vietnam ending in 1965, JFK's "New Frontier" and also RFK's administration was able to provide substantial urban renewal and transit funds to Boston during their terms, as well as other cities nationally. The downtown Boston shopping district is renewed with an elevated moving sidewalk above Sumner Street tying into a regional transportation center at the site of the former South Station, demolished in 1968. Freight delivery tunnels allow Washington Street in downtown to become an enclosed pedestrian shopping arcade. JFK's and RFK's policies favor transit over highways, so the proposed Inner Belt and other expressways (except for I-93), are unbuilt, and instead robust Federal transit funding is provided. By 2000, the MBTA has completed rail transit extensions to Reading, Bedford, Braintree, Needham and Lynn. Commuter rail has also been extended to outer suburbs and beyond. The Nasa Control Center in Kendall Square, along with MIT's presence, has vaunted Cambridge and Boston into the national high tech leader. Affordable, high quality housing has been provided to low income people, and slums eradicated throughout greater Boston. Drug abuse, homelessness and crime are very low due to myriad social programs and mental health neighborhood centers.
 

George_Apley

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John F Kennedy (JFK) served two terms as President, 1961 thru 1969, and then his brother, Robert Kennedy (RFK) from 1969 to 1977. Due to US involvement in Vietnam ending in 1965, JFK's "New Frontier" and also RFK's administration was able to provide substantial urban renewal and transit funds to Boston during their terms, as well as other cities nationally. The downtown Boston shopping district is renewed with an elevated moving sidewalk above Sumner Street tying into a regional transportation center at the site of the former South Station, demolished in 1968. Freight delivery tunnels allow Washington Street in downtown to become an enclosed pedestrian shopping arcade. JFK's and RFK's policies favor transit over highways, so the proposed Inner Belt and other expressways (except for I-93), are unbuilt, and instead robust Federal transit funding is provided. By 2000, the MBTA has completed rail transit extensions to Reading, Bedford, Braintree, Needham and Lynn. Commuter rail has also been extended to outer suburbs and beyond. The Nasa Control Center in Kendall Square, along with MIT's presence, has vaunted Cambridge and Boston into the national high tech leader. Affordable, high quality housing has been provided to low income people, and slums eradicated throughout greater Boston. Drug abuse, homelessness and crime are very low due to myriad social programs and mental health neighborhood centers.
Send this to the "God" thread 😉 😄
 

Equilibria

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The Nasa Control Center in Kendall Square, along with MIT's presence, has vaunted Cambridge and Boston into the national high tech leader.
FWIW, this is a myth. NASA chose Houston in 1962:


Even if Volpe's attempt to land MSC for Cambridge had been successful, I doubt we'd be happy with the results - Kendall would be a fenced off secure campus of low-rise concrete blocks, or the whole thing would have moved out to Hanscom long ago.

USDOT+Biotech >>> NASA Mission Control.
 

Shepard

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Hartford, 1814. Reps from New England states to a secretive convention resolve to secede from the union. They're pissed about shouldering so much damage from the British in 1812, and they're seeing their political clout eroded by the 3/5ths compromise and the admittance of new frontier slave states. Springfield, MA is chosen in a compromise as the new capital of this federation, but Boston will prove to be its economic and cultural powerhouse. The appreciative citizenry of the city construct a 1000 foot skyscraper to memorialize the historic event.
 

Charlie_mta

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Yes, I'm just impressed that the alt Kennedy dynasty is so able to buck 20th Century trends so much!
I think the dynamics of the 1980's would have been different if JFK/RFK had had a 16 year run. The country wouldn't have swung so far right and Reagan wouldn't have been elected. The white working class bloc that elected Reagan would have stayed more Democrat.
 

Arenacale

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It's 2020 and despite only being opened 20 years, Robert Kraft is asking for local funding for additional upgrades to Gillette Stadium to keep pace with newer NFL venues in Atlanta and LA. The nightlife area, named the Stadium District, built adjacent to the stadium in what used to be the Seaport is a popular destination even away from game days, but it's isolated from much of the rest of the city by the acres of parking lots Kraft demands be kept open to serve the venue for events.

Kraft's leverage is helped by the city having helped the Yawkey family build the new JetBlue Park at Fenway. The lot where the old Fenway stood is still mostly vacant, save for a small portion of the old Green Monster and a representation of the old diamond. The Yawkey family used the new park to boost the team's value before a sale in 2004 to investors away from the city. Neither the new stadium nor the new owners have changed the fortunes of the team much, and the team just passed the 100 year mark without a World Series win.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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It's 2020 and despite only being opened 20 years, Robert Kraft is asking for local funding for additional upgrades to Gillette Stadium to keep pace with newer NFL venues in Atlanta and LA. The nightlife area, named the Stadium District, built adjacent to the stadium in what used to be the Seaport is a popular destination even away from game days, but it's isolated from much of the rest of the city by the acres of parking lots Kraft demands be kept open to serve the venue for events.

Kraft's leverage is helped by the city having helped the Yawkey family build the new JetBlue Park at Fenway. The lot where the old Fenway stood is still mostly vacant, save for a small portion of the old Green Monster and a representation of the old diamond. The Yawkey family used the new park to boost the team's value before a sale in 2004 to investors away from the city. Neither the new stadium nor the new owners have changed the fortunes of the team much, and the team just passed the 100 year mark without a World Series win.
So the 25 years of "Bring the Pats Back From Hartford" advocacy finally succeeded? Shame our COVID relief was gutted by all the tax breaks the state had to dole out for the Suffolk Downs Megaplex. :cautious:
 

Arenacale

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So the 25 years of "Bring the Pats Back From Hartford" advocacy finally succeeded? Shame our COVID relief was gutted by all the tax breaks the state had to dole out for the Suffolk Downs Megaplex. :cautious:
No, the threat of Hartford was enough to push the state to approve what was then the New Seaport Stadium, but without any taxpayer money at that point. Not long after New Fenway got the state and city to contribute and it's all been downhill from there. Jacobs has his eye in for something new as well - the TD Center is getting long in the tooth and the footprint of the old Garden is still barren and looking like a good spot for a new building...
 

George_Apley

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I think the dynamics of the 1980's would have been different if JFK/RFK had had a 16 year run. The country wouldn't have swung so far right and Reagan wouldn't have been elected. The white working class bloc that elected Reagan would have stayed more Democrat.
That may be likely. I'm more wondering what about the Kennedys would have produced more urban-friendly outcomes relative to the LBJ thru Ford period in the OT.
 

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