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FK4

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From a Lechmere station discussion in the GLX thread:

Study after study has shown that putting pedestrians up on the bridge is a loser--what the 1950s thought the 1980s should look like. Overpass thinking led to downtown hamster tubes in Minneapolis, Cinci, Atlanta and they've since been acknowledged as an urban-design disaster.
I have no idea if this is true or not, but back in college my friend from Minneapolis (who, incidentally, was really was a major factor in getting me interested in urban stuff) would often talk about how the Twin Cities were the only major city that frequently had to broadcast hypothermia warnings, and then would talk about how there were more skyway tubes than any other city, due to the cold (not anything anti-urban). Not gonna bother to investigate the truth of that, but that's what he used to say. It's probably both, since it certainly is cold af there.
 

chrisbrat

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I have no idea if this is true or not, but back in college my friend from Minneapolis (who, incidentally, was really was a major factor in getting me interested in urban stuff) would often talk about how the Twin Cities were the only major city that frequently had to broadcast hypothermia warnings, and then would talk about how there were more skyway tubes than any other city, due to the cold (not anything anti-urban). Not gonna bother to investigate the truth of that, but that's what he used to say. It's probably both, since it certainly is cold af there.
all of the above, PLUS said "hamster tubes" in minneapolis birthed the 'mats track, "skyway," so i'm on board with em.
 

ivyhedge

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From @Equilibria's third doc:
"We have submitted for a building permit for Parcel I"
Says they expect to begin construction Q32019
Hey, Fitch ... since our last discussion Lot I has seen an uptick in activity. There hasn't been significant soil removal, but much of the workspace is below grade. Additionally, there is quite a bit more equipment in the space and they're doing something to mitigate post storm pooling (they weren't doing that in months past).
 

stick n move

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These “shed” things... right at the new Lechmere, new park, and the Charles waterfront are going to be a massive hit, mark my words. These are also surrounded by a couple more 1-2 story retail buildings, then office/res towers all around with yet more multi floor retail. Getting better and better each time.








PCA
 
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Arborway

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The sheds aside, everything above follows the miserable Kendall Square / Rt. 128-style architectural motifs.

It's all really, really soulless and looks like something you'd see go up 10-15 years ago in a place nobody wants to be after 5 pm on a weekday.
 

Money

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I cant get excited about this at all either. I'm tired of super blocks, I'm tired of the same old, lazy, and uninspired architectural motifs (that's not an indictment on designers, but rather the people that pull their strings), I'm tired of not pushing for greater density where it absolutely should be, I'm tired about the lack of opportunity for independent small businesses owners...I could go on and on...but we got a park and a couple of faux industrial buildings for that ever critical beer garden and cafe Nero. But that's my two cents...meaningless as they are.
 

Arlington

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^ Agreed. I would have preferred more "sidewalks' edge retail" (such as Assembly and Seaport have) rather than this "EPCOT" walk-between-pavillions spacing (which is what failed at Volpe, for example)
 

stick n move

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We need to remember what these are. Theres not enough space left downtown to build millions of sq ft of office space, so office space is spilling over both sides of downtown to here and the Seaport. It has to go somewhere unless we want to stagnate. It makes more sense when you think of it as an extension of downtown and its lack of space than an assembly row. Still they are making an effort to build a harbor square in the seaport and this new square at lechmere, which the neighborhood squares really are the lively areas of the neighborhoods of the city. I think ppl need to readjust what they think these areas are, office space has to go somewhere. The arguments for smaller blocks should go for Allston yards, pike realignment neighborhood..etc.
 

Charlie_mta

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A lost opportunity to have developed some wetland strips, not huge ones but at least a couple of them 1/2 block wide. The Miller River used to run right through this site, and it would have been wonderful to reestablish some wetlands along its original corridor. I also agree that that the superblocks and office park architecture shouldn't have happened; instead a street grid with normal size blocks. I'm hoping any redevelopment that happens at Widett Circle will learn from these mistakes.
 

Charlie_mta

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We need to remember what these are. Theres not enough space left downtown to build millions of sq ft of office space, so office space is spilling over both sides of downtown to here and the Seaport. It has to go somewhere unless we want to stagnate. It makes more sense when you think of it as an extension of downtown and its lack of space than an assembly row. ....I think ppl need to readjust what they think these areas are, office space has to go somewhere. The arguments for smaller blocks should go for Allston yards, pike realignment neighborhood..etc.
The office space need could have been accommodated with some supertalls on smaller blocks, on a normal street grid. This area could have been a continuation of Boston's "high spine". I would have liked to have seen a mix of supertalls , low-rise high density housing, street level retail, and medium rise, all placed randomly throughout a small street grid, with wetlands and pocket parks in the mix. Instead we got another Disneyworld office and condo park.
 

Czervik.Construction

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I think this has already been covered, but why are there no proposals / renders with actual height, like 400+ ft? Is it the soil, zoning in Cambridge, FAA?

It just seems like a wide-open space perfect for some tall office / hotel / residential, far enough from any parks that could be cast into shadows, historical landmarks, dense existing residential where NIMBY's could argue whatever it is they want to argue, etc. I get that it costs a lot to build an 800 foot tower, but WTF?
 

Massachoicetts

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I think this has already been covered, but why are there no proposals / renders with actual height, like 400+ ft? Is it the soil, zoning in Cambridge, FAA?

It just seems like a wide-open space perfect for some tall office / hotel / residential, far enough from any parks that could be cast into shadows, historical landmarks, dense existing residential where NIMBY's could argue whatever it is they want to argue, etc. I get that it costs a lot to build an 800 foot tower, but WTF?
Also very curious too. It seems like a perfect place to put some 400-600 footers (Maybe 3 or 4) and have it scattered around whats being developed. Its not the FAA limits...

It looks very uninspiring too. Its decent, but its literally sitting adjacent to Downtown Boston, lacking the density, architecture and city feel. Not a huge fan of this.

I can put everything aside if I am reassured that this will be interconnected to the surrounding neighborhoods... because I have a feeling it will be office parky and not.
 
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HarvardP

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The sheds look ripped from a performing arts center in the sticks or an outlet mall in the burbs. The main structures are uninspiring and relatively low-slung, yes, but the sheds are just a blatant hipster pander, like a sign that says "beard oil and vintage flannel --->"
 

BarbaricManchurian

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Renders look like some not quite satisfyingly urban DC-area development. Obviously the surroundings are better here but this does look a bit corporate. I do like most of the existing buildings that got built here though so hopefully they future ones will be more inspiring than the renders or just look better irl vs in the renders.
 

ivyhedge

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Interesting thought, BM.

I lived in NoVA for many years before moving to CX 6+ years ago. While Pentagon City, Shirlington, and Ballston weren’t exemplars of high architecture, I find much of what’s in, and around, CX/East Kendall (Avalon scheisse excepted) to be of relatively high quality, at least in the bones, and generally better than what I experienced going up in NoVA in the $0.8-$1.1m range. Granted, I’m a bit out of date now but while this is somewhat corporate, it’s quite what folks here want, that is, if I’m correctly interpreting our annual surveys. And with portions of The Common reopening soon, it’s like DivCo gets to serve us something new...again.

...doesn’t mean it can’t be better, though...

Renders look like some not quite satisfyingly urban DC-area development. Obviously the surroundings are better here but this does look a bit corporate. I do like most of the existing buildings that got built here though so hopefully they future ones will be more inspiring than the renders or just look better irl vs in the renders.
 

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