Boston - Most Embarrassing Blight That Tourists See

bakgwailo

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Even tourists with no architectural interest can tell that its ugly and doesn't fit what they thought (cobblestone streets, brick churches).
Reasonably well kept buildings aren't really blight, though. I can think of a few ways of describing the West End, but blight wouldn't be one.
 

bigpicture7

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^ yeah, exactly...some people don't seem to be getting the theme for this thread. It wasn't meant to just be about "stuff you don't like"...it was meant to be about instances of neglect/under-maintenance/inaction in prominent places...
 

JumboBuc

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Hubman

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^ yeah, exactly...some people don't seem to be getting the theme for this thread. It wasn't meant to just be about "stuff you don't like"...it was meant to be about instances of neglect/under-maintenance/inaction in prominent places...
OK. If it's speficific to blight, than I nominate State Service Center.
 

bdurden

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Although improved, there is still a healthy amount of urban blight in Charlestown especially to the east of the Bunker Hill memorial. The Sullivan Square rotary and road network is also a mess, and will become even more visible to tourists once Encore casino is open.

Generally speaking though, Boston has much less visible blight than other cities in the northeast corridor.
 

DBM

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Still isn't blight.
No--in a way it's much worse, because in its bland sterility it completely erases the horrific history behind its development: that it literally emerged out of the ashes of a series of heinous arson attacks that deliberately targeted that low-income neighborhood in the early 1970s:

http://archive.boston.com/blogs/yourtown/boston/dirty-old-boston/2013/08/burning_greed.html

For a variety of reasons, people (quite understandably) accuse the BPDA of heinous misdeeds with the West End, etc. But the Symphony arson crime ring--which was technically homicidal--seems orders of magnitude worse.
 

Arenacale

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The Twins Enterprises building on Brookline Ave. Actually, a lot of the Red Sox owned buildings by Fenway that aren't the Park itself. I'm sure inside they're okay, but the exteriors look sketchy as all get out, which is odd considering how many hundreds of thousands pass by them every summer.
 

JumboBuc

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The Twins Enterprises building on Brookline Ave. Actually, a lot of the Red Sox owned buildings by Fenway that aren't the Park itself. I'm sure inside they're okay, but the exteriors look sketchy as all get out, which is odd considering how many hundreds of thousands pass by them every summer.
The "Twins Enterprises" building isn't owned by the Red Sox, it's owned by the D'Angelo Family (the "twins" who started '47 brand). That family owns just about the entire block of crappy run-down buildings on Brookline Ave and Jersey St (formerly Yawkey Way) across from Fenway Park. (Samuels owns the nicer stuff on that block further down Brookline Ave that houses Yard House / Wallburgers / etc.).

Most of the Red Sox-owned parcels in the Fenway are parking lots (e.g., the one behind Tasty Burger, the one behind CVS / Guitar Center, the one across from Boston Beer Works) or garages (e.g., the one on Lansdowne across from the Green Monster). And as has been discussed elsewhere in this forum, the Red Sox are actively putting together plans to build up their Fenway lots into mixed use / entertainment developments.
 

dhawkins

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I believe the State Police Building next to the Museum of Science drawbridge could use some love. The main building is fine but the parking lot cuts people off from the water. The roof of one of the buildings (old stable?) next to the park is rotting away, I hate to see a historic structure decay. It would be nice to make this area more park and less police outpost. Maybe it could be activated as support for the kiddy pools or tennis courts. I think it would be a great Esplanade connection from the MoS.
 

dhawkins

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Also the pool in Lederman Park is proposed to be demolished, do it already. Leaving it to rust away is not good practice.
 

Sprngh2o

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No--in a way it's much worse, because in its bland sterility it completely erases the horrific history behind its development: that it literally emerged out of the ashes of a series of heinous arson attacks that deliberately targeted that low-income neighborhood in the early 1970s:

http://archive.boston.com/blogs/yourtown/boston/dirty-old-boston/2013/08/burning_greed.html

For a variety of reasons, people (quite understandably) accuse the BPDA of heinous misdeeds with the West End, etc. But the Symphony arson crime ring--which was technically homicidal--seems orders of magnitude worse.
Went to NU in the early 70’s, watched Westland Ave and Symphony Rd area burn...very sad.
 

34f34f

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I believe the State Police Building next to the Museum of Science drawbridge could use some love. The main building is fine but the parking lot cuts people off from the water. The roof of one of the buildings (old stable?) next to the park is rotting away, I hate to see a historic structure decay. It would be nice to make this area more park and less police outpost. Maybe it could be activated as support for the kiddy pools or tennis courts. I think it would be a great Esplanade connection from the MoS.
You’re in luck: http://beaconhilltimes.com/2017/07/07/dcr-unveils-design-concepts-for-proposed-esplanade-riverfront-pavillion/

The three plans are floating around the web somewhere, probably on this forum.
 

HalcyonEra

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No--in a way it's much worse, because in its bland sterility it completely erases the horrific history behind its development: that it literally emerged out of the ashes of a series of heinous arson attacks that deliberately targeted that low-income neighborhood in the early 1970s:

http://archive.boston.com/blogs/yourtown/boston/dirty-old-boston/2013/08/burning_greed.html

For a variety of reasons, people (quite understandably) accuse the BPDA of heinous misdeeds with the West End, etc. But the Symphony arson crime ring--which was technically homicidal--seems orders of magnitude worse.
Does anyone know where to find that documentary? I’ve looked around but all of the links to it are broken or websites are down. The twitter account hasn’t been updated since 2016.

The arson for profit of the 70’s certainly wasn’t unique to Boston. It’s very reminiscent to what was happening in the Bronx and Brooklyn, except Fenway was a much smaller scale. As a history buff who lived through it, that period and the urban decay of that time fascinates me. It is difficult to fathom what those property owners were doing then, a total decline of decency. Don’t forget too that you can’t go to any city or town in Massachusetts with a population of over 5K and not find an example of a downtown building where the upper floors were chopped off by the owner to save on maintenance costs and property taxes. The landscape is littered with them. We could sure use that lost housing today.

When it comes to the 70’s, as a country we were going in a very, very bad direction. I really think people have forgotten about it or simply gloss over it, from both economic and social perspectives. The grime of the time certainly made an impression on me growing up and I think the depth of it is frankly unimaginable to anyone under 40. I always laugh when people of certain ilk rail against the Reagan years and all the voodoo economics that were put in place. While yeah not everything benefited all for sure, and there were ramifications of those fiscal and social policies, when taken as a whole from where we were to where we went, the success is undeniable. I shudder to think what type of nation we would be had become had we continued along on the 70’s path of destruction. Apart from a few severely downtrodden areas (e.g. Detriot, Baltimore) virtually nothing compares to then and as a country we are much better shape.
 

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