Cambridge Crossing Parcel I | 151 N First Street | East Cambridge

cca

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That is a very nicely put together set of documents. Very clear, very informative, very honest in regards to the architectural intentions. I wish all submissions had this much meat.

cca
 

Equilibria

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That is a very nicely put together set of documents. Very clear, very informative, very honest in regards to the architectural intentions. I wish all submissions had this much meat.

cca
I wish they'd stuck with the flatiron look for this or given it more of a crown (since it's the highest point in the development IIRC), but I don't disagree.
 

CBCArch61

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Really like the emphasis paid to the bike parking. Would've hoped to have more than one fix-it stand or bike wash, but baby steps.
 

Gameguy326

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It's boring, but also really nice.

Question: Why is zoning only to 220' here? Can't we push 300' or even more here? Is it to reduce shadows on the new park?
 

theSil

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Still frustrated that the developers think Parcel I needs its own green space, when this project's "Common" is within throwing distance. More infill would go a long ways to avoiding a suburban campus feel.
 

Gameguy326

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Still frustrated that the developers think Parcel I needs its own green space, when this project's "Common" is within throwing distance. More infill would go a long ways to avoiding a suburban campus feel.
I agree.
 

tysmith95

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It's boring, but also really nice.

Question: Why is zoning only to 220' here? Can't we push 300' or even more here? Is it to reduce shadows on the new park?
Usually I make fun of the height fetishes but it totally makes sense here. It's the perfect place for a newer neighborhood with some height. Unfortunately Cambridge is awful at planning.
 

Poolio

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Thank you datadyne for taking the time to extract and post all these images! Still trying to decide if I think this is boring or elegant. Both maybe. I really like the street level render on page 15.
 

Brad Plaid

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Still frustrated that the developers think Parcel I needs its own green space, when this project's "Common" is within throwing distance. More infill would go a long ways to avoiding a suburban campus feel.
It's probably not the developers but likely a Cambridge requirement for a certain % of open space. It really is extreme and there is also a lot of plaza area with only one or 2 story buildings adding to the too-open feeling. It's a rigid ideology that favors the suburban over the urban and Volpe is likely to turn out the same way in spite of the higher height allowed there.
Also, hopefully the surrounding buildout in the renderings only indicates massing rather than the design direction they are going in, but that kind of mediocrity is always a possibility especially if CBT is involved.
 

odurandina

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Oh, Let's build Winthrop Square even where we don't have to

Because there's just not enough crazy, short, fat, L-shaped garbage in the world.

In the 17-60 story group, 97.7% are 17-20 stories.


Future generations:

"A nice mix of 30-35 story slender Vancouver would have been so much better

instead of a handful of oranges and kiwi's drowned out in cow feces."


*just now reading your posts to see if it had a similar reaction.
 

JumboBuc

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Usually I make fun of the height fetishes but it totally makes sense here. It's the perfect place for a newer neighborhood with some height. Unfortunately Cambridge is awful at planning.
Yeah, I'm far from a height fetishist (and those types typically drive me crazy on this forum) but capping this area at 220' is completely ridiculous. It is bounded by two rapid transit lines but borders an enormous train maintenance facility, an elevated highway, a community college, and multiple industrial parks. There are no residential neighbors to the north within about a 600m radius, and the residential neighbors to the south don't have shadow effects and are separated by Monsenior O'Brien "Highway."

Everything to the south of this is in Cambridge and everything to the North is in Boston (Charlestown). The only neighboring area in Somerville is the train facility and some more distant industrial parks.

Every parcel in the area is at-least partially located in Cambridge, except for parcel EF which lies 100% in Somerville.

It'd be fun for Somerville to tell the developers that they can build as tall as they like on Parcel EF, with absolutely no height restriction, since no Somervillian neighbors would be at all affected. I wonder what we'd get...
 

Equilibria

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Yeah, I'm far from a height fetishist (and those types typically drive me crazy on this forum) but capping this area at 220' is completely ridiculous. It is bounded by two rapid transit lines but borders an enormous train maintenance facility, an elevated highway, a community college, and multiple industrial parks. There are no residential neighbors to the north within about a 600m radius, and the residential neighbors to the south don't have shadow effects and are separated by Monsenior O'Brien "Highway."
Let's bear in mind for a moment that 250 feet is pretty large. They aren't proposing 5-story buildings here. MIT is building the same height in the heart of Kendall Square, and this is about the height ceiling outside of the Financial District/Back Bay across the Boston Area.

The only buildings outside of Downtown slated to be taller are the Pierce, the tallest MIT SOMA and Volpe buildings, one of the Flower Exchange buildings, and one or two towers in Union Square, plus the tallest stuff at Assembly, and that's all in this same height range.

You want 600 feet. Okay. And if they proposed 600, you'd want 1,000. And if they proposed 100', you'd want 250'. It's all reactionary.
 

JumboBuc

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Let's bear in mind for a moment that 250 feet is pretty large. They aren't proposing 5-story buildings here. MIT is building the same height in the heart of Kendall Square, and this is about the height ceiling outside of the Financial District/Back Bay across the Boston Area.

The only buildings outside of Downtown slated to be taller are the Pierce, the tallest MIT SOMA and Volpe buildings, one of the Flower Exchange buildings, and one or two towers in Union Square, plus the tallest stuff at Assembly, and that's all in this same height range.

You want 600 feet. Okay. And if they proposed 600, you'd want 1,000. And if they proposed 100', you'd want 250'. It's all reactionary.
Again, most of the time I'm totally opposed to the height obsession that is all too prevalent on this forum. But if you are ever going to build tall in a new place, this is the place to do it. The primary/only reason to limit height is to limit the effect that height has on its neighbors. This is frequently/usually a valid concern! But here there are practically no neighbors to be affected, despite the rapid transit lines and stations that run along both sides of the site.

But as to a specific number: 400', 600', 800', whatever, I don't care. I'm sure some of those numbers are more economically viable than others, so let the market decide. I just don't see any reason why Cambridge (primarily) feels that they need to limit the new buildings in this new area to 220' when there is SO MUCH demand for space in this area.
 

cadetcarl

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I don't know if that's exactly true. If they proposed 100', the scoff would just be louder; I don't read these as calls to make it taller by any particular factor, but instead to rightsize it. This area is closer to downtown than the Fenway and Assembly; it's not inappropriate for it to be taller. It's within spitting distance of the Hub on Causeway; at least for me, whatever those are, this could have been.

And, to quibble, that's not what reactionary means.
 

Brad Plaid

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Divco surely was watching all of the silly Middlesex Courthouse drama and could very well have decided it wasn't worth the time and money fighting rabid activists to get more height. What could have been a phenomenal new neighborhood will be living up to only half it's potential. Extremists: 1, everybody else: 0.
 

tangent

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It's boring, but also really nice.

Question: Why is zoning only to 220' here? Can't we push 300' or even more here? Is it to reduce shadows on the new park?
In this case they did a reasonably good job having that park open to the South to avoid shadows so it isn't that. It is just Cambridge not wanting to go tall apparently.

Not that the developers would have wanted to either, but it certainly could have made sense to go to twice the height here to take advantage of proximity to the existing transit infrastructure and the GLX. Transit-wise it is one of the better connected locations around Boston.
 

tangent

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Divco surely was watching all of the silly Middlesex Courthouse drama and could very well have decided it wasn't worth the time and money fighting rabid activists to get more height. What could have been a phenomenal new neighborhood will be living up to only half it's potential. Extremists: 1, everybody else: 0.
Well I think the point is that it was somewhat of the opposite of that situation because there is less of an established neighborhood to deal with.
 

curcuas

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The additional green space here, as mentioned above, is ridiculous. Park fetishism by Cambridge that leads to mediocre parks and incomplete urbanism.
 

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