City Hall Plaza Revamp | Government Center

vanshnookenraggen

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Re: Official City Hall Plaza Proposals

What the fuck? Who is bringing their children to Government Center to play? This is ridiculous.
 

stick n move

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Re: Official City Hall Plaza Proposals

“Massive proposal” ... trees some tents and a jungle gym.

This is getting ridiculous, city hall is not a jungle gym. Also planting a bunch of trees isnt anything groundbreaking. The crappy city hall is still there. Now that Pei died its time to get the bulldozers out. The Globe had an article saying the reason it wouldnt be touched is because hes still alive. Well if thats the case the second he died they should have had a crane and wrecking ball delivered to the site. The second he died there should have been a wrecking ball swinging. Dont even waste the money on all this crap lets get serious...
 

type001

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Re: Official City Hall Plaza Proposals

Yeah, this is complete absurdity. That is prime space just wasting away, and now they are going to waste 70 mil on trees.
 

HarvardP

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Re: Official City Hall Plaza Proposals

“Massive proposal” ... trees some tents and a jungle gym.

This is getting ridiculous, city hall is not a jungle gym. Also planting a bunch of trees isnt anything groundbreaking. The crappy city hall is still there. Now that Pei died its time to get the bulldozers out. The Globe had an article saying the reason it wouldnt be touched is because hes still alive. Well if thats the case the second he died they should have had a crane and wrecking ball delivered to the site. The second he died there should have been a wrecking ball swinging. Dont even waste the money on all this crap lets get serious...
If we're talking crazy, let's raze City Hall and Center Plaza, as both are scars that remind people of how badly Scollay Sq was trashed. Build two high-rises on the Center Plaza lot and slap a park betwixt them, allowing a much better view of, imo, one of the most beautiful buildings in the city: the John Adams Courthouse.
 

odurandina

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Re: Official City Hall Plaza Proposals

In the Globe comments there are several suggestions to do something rational like that w/ those 2 monstrosities w/ some saying don't stop there.... This is an incredibly stupid waste of money--that could go a long way for projects, such as cutting away dead flesh like the State Services Bldg in sections and eventually replacing it w/ 3 or 4 Downtown Supertall's.

i have an additional idea. Since they're putting up this foliage, why not change the shape and facade to full faux Mayan ruin or some other type of Ziggurat ? It would be an improvement imo.
 

type001

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Re: Official City Hall Plaza Proposals

I actually agree with you here. The city could easily sell a majority of the space and make a ton of money by having developers build a few supertall residential buildings. And heck, keep the Center Plaza and City Hall, as they won't be as noticeable. They probably look as bad as they do because they are so exposed.
 

fatnoah

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Re: Official City Hall Plaza Proposals

What the fuck? Who is bringing their children to Government Center to play? This is ridiculous.
I'm going to assume people with kids who may live nearby. Speaking as someone who's done exactly that, I would have used it. However, the real lack of play space in the area is for older kids, like 8+ years old. Nearly everything except the Esplanade playground is geared towards much younger kids.
 

type001

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Re: Official City Hall Plaza Proposals

As if the Common and Greenway, both just nearby, weren't enough.
 

JSic

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No. Tear it down. Tear Center Plaza down. Tear the State Service Center down. And tear the JFK down (yup, I went there) or at least fix it so it doesn't look like a tribute to the space shuttle.
 

stick n move

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If you didnt already know and had to guess you would imagine of all cities in America that Boston has an extremely old city hall that is a historical gem and architectural marvel... instead it punches your eyeballs in the nuts.

In fact our old city hall IS that... Why not just move back and sell the land that the turd is on to make downtown bigger? As someone else suggested you could leave some of the space for a park/square and then build around it. Boston doesnt need a huge open plaza, thats not what this city is about, its about tight spaces, a bond with history, and human scale. If not move then hire the best architect we can to make the best modern city hall possible with high quality materials like copper to make up for all the years of having a shitter. Seriously though nobody likes it and its universally known as a disaster why do they refuse to do something about it?


 
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JeffDowntown

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^ Because the City needs about 5x the space available in Old City Hall. City government is just a wee bit larger than it was in 1865.
 

tangent

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^ Because the City needs about 5x the space available in Old City Hall. City government is just a wee bit larger than it was in 1865.
No it doesn't... electronic records mostly eliminate the need for one big centralized bureaucratic office. More than half of the current city hall staff could relocate to satellite offices in the neighborhoods where they are actually needed. And the mayor and city council could certainly meet in the old city hall building.

The city does need public meeting spaces for large and small groups and committees. And the city does need offices for planners and staff. I would like to see the current City Hall and plaza kept as a public space, but I don't believe the highest and best use is a bunch of filing cabinets and cube farms... oh and press offices for the two town newspapers.

To me the real issue is the demolition cost and the need for public spaces. By the time you discount the demolition costs how much one-time money are we really talking and how much is the loss of all that public space really worth if it is sold off?

If the city netted $100 million and then some millions per year in property taxes does that really make it worth the disruption and the loss of public space? If the city would net $500 million (after all expenses) then maybe it is worth consideration, but I really doubt they would do any better than break even with the way costs get inflated.

Seems we are falling into the same trap that wrecked the West End in the first place... the land is so central and valuable and visible that we seem to want to keep knocking it all down to make way for something better only to end up wrecking the place for decades at a time while we try to figure it out.
 

Ruairi

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This whole 'tear down city hall plaza' thing is a lot like the new soccer stadium thread. There is no compelling reason to disrupt everything other than the aesthetics of the place. Day dream about what you want to build on that plaza all you want but at the end of the day a few trees, a play ground and a water feature might be the only thing that can actually go there without everyone having a massive fight and wasting millions.
If it's done right, it'll be an improvement and if people start using that space, it'll continue to improve. Over the years the actual city hall building has grown on me but the plaza never has. Some greenery will take the edge off.
Enough with the rounds of 'how do we improve this' and just actually try something.
 

bakgwailo

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This whole 'tear down city hall plaza' thing is a lot like the new soccer stadium thread. There is no compelling reason to disrupt everything other than the aesthetics of the place. Day dream about what you want to build on that plaza all you want but at the end of the day a few trees, a play ground and a water feature might be the only thing that can actually go there without everyone having a massive fight and wasting millions.
If it's done right, it'll be an improvement and if people start using that space, it'll continue to improve. Over the years the actual city hall building has grown on me but the plaza never has. Some greenery will take the edge off.
Enough with the rounds of 'how do we improve this' and just actually try something.
I think the thought is that if the city does it correctly it could end up being a net win money wise by putting the street grid back in and then subdividing and selling (or land leasing) the area to developers. I think its a reasonable concept, although I have never attempted to crunch the numbers on it. As for the old city hall - doesn't the city also own 26 Court St directly behind it? Seems like the two buildings could be cominbined into a workable new City Hall. Court Square behind the buildings could be removed to connect them - maybe even do an air rights between the two, giving more space higher up without touching the existing buildings.
 

DZH22

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And tear the JFK down (yup, I went there) or at least fix it so it doesn't look like a tribute to the space shuttle.
The exposed staircases on 2 sides of the tower are unbelievable and the tower is worth preserving just for that. The lowrise section, on the other hand, should be demolished and rebuilt with both more height and permeability to Sudbury Street.
 

Ruairi

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I think the thought is that if the city does it correctly it could end up being a net win money wise by putting the street grid back in and then subdividing and selling (or land leasing) the area to developers. I think its a reasonable concept, although I have never attempted to crunch the numbers on it. As for the old city hall - doesn't the city also own 26 Court St directly behind it? Seems like the two buildings could be cominbined into a workable new City Hall. Court Square behind the buildings could be removed to connect them - maybe even do an air rights between the two, giving more space higher up without touching the existing buildings.
It's a great concept, I just don't ever see city hall going for it. Maybe, maybe if a developer came in and did all the work but I cant see what developer would want to deal with the bureaucracy of moving city hall.
 

TheMagicMan

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No matter how much I hate Boston City Hall Architecture--- This cannot be removed at all cost.

Boston City Hall Architecture has become a symbol of Boston in my opinion. Timeless piece of what is truly a monstrosity but its Boston.
 

stick n move

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I dont like that. Yea its a piece of shit monstrosity, but now its old so we have to keep it. I disagree, but regardless thats whats happening.
 

TheMagicMan

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I dont like that. Yea its a piece of shit monstrosity, but now its old so we have to keep it. I disagree, but regardless thats whats happening.
Somebody made a comment to me about Boston changing but its not into NYC. Its into East Coast Hollywood.
 

JeffDowntown

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No it doesn't... electronic records mostly eliminate the need for one big centralized bureaucratic office. More than half of the current city hall staff could relocate to satellite offices in the neighborhoods where they are actually needed. And the mayor and city council could certainly meet in the old city hall building.

The city does need public meeting spaces for large and small groups and committees. And the city does need offices for planners and staff. I would like to see the current City Hall and plaza kept as a public space, but I don't believe the highest and best use is a bunch of filing cabinets and cube farms... oh and press offices for the two town newspapers.

To me the real issue is the demolition cost and the need for public spaces. By the time you discount the demolition costs how much one-time money are we really talking and how much is the loss of all that public space really worth if it is sold off?

If the city netted $100 million and then some millions per year in property taxes does that really make it worth the disruption and the loss of public space? If the city would net $500 million (after all expenses) then maybe it is worth consideration, but I really doubt they would do any better than break even with the way costs get inflated.

Seems we are falling into the same trap that wrecked the West End in the first place... the land is so central and valuable and visible that we seem to want to keep knocking it all down to make way for something better only to end up wrecking the place for decades at a time while we try to figure it out.
Record storage, sure (although some old ones are likely not fully digitized).

But ACCESS to city functions cannot all go online due to equity issues. Lots of city residents need in-person access to services (as well as public meetings). These access and meeting functions take space, lots of space. And it needs to be public, reasonably central and accessible space.
 

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