Do you still hate the seaport?

Do you still hate the seaport?

  • Yes

    Votes: 8 17.0%
  • No

    Votes: 39 83.0%

  • Total voters
    47
  • Poll closed .

West

Active Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2014
Messages
741
Reaction score
2
I did that on purpose as a way to get peoples strong responses one way or the other.
Kind of what I presumed, and I don't have a problem at all with a question being framed to be provocative. Actually, I like it when people ask provocative questions about important issues, so thanks for starting the thread!

If you had framed it "Do you hate the seaport?" I would have found that pretty much equally provocative, I would answered the same way except without that quibbling stuff tacked on the front, and I would have voted No in response. I don't hate it, I even really like some parts of it, but I'm just very disappointed in it on some very important aspects.

The word "hate" is plenty of provocation. Putting that word "still" in there caused me to abstain from the vote and had me wasting a few lines in the response.

This is far from any sort of real problem, I'm being a stickler over a question formation and I do not consider the question formation terribly important. I just can't stop myself from being a stickler on things like this. Also: I'm over it.
 

cden4

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2007
Messages
1,112
Reaction score
39
I don't hate it, but I think the whole scale of development is all wrong. The buildings and blocks are too large. The architecture is bland and uninspired. The roads too wide. There isn't enough housing or amenities for people who live there. But I'm glad they are building there, and there have been some nice additions. Some of the restaurants are quite good, but others are very generic and not good at all. I'm pleasantly surprised by the Envoy Hotel. The rooftop bar is pretty awesome and the urban design/interaction with Barking Crab is nice too. I think Seaport Square will be very transformational as well.
 

stick n move

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2009
Messages
6,760
Reaction score
1,082
I think a few very thin residentials would add some nice proportions also an art deco liberty mutual- type library or tower would be great. I think we need some set backs and height variance here. The m parcels seem to be headed the right direction and I like how watermark didnt go max height. One good part is the envoy/fan pier step up effect from the water. There is still room/ time for these things to happen.
 

odurandina

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2015
Messages
5,328
Reaction score
252
i confess; i'm won over.

The Seaport is turning out quite good overall.

*But, it's gonna need some good bars.
 

CSTH

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 5, 2009
Messages
1,825
Reaction score
33
No longer hate it.

Or, everything I still hate about it is just a microcosm of what I hate about the state of the world in general.
 

FK4

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2012
Messages
2,500
Reaction score
134
I never hated it. It's totally anathema to Boston, but that's OK - when I lived in London, I loved Canary Wharf and also Paternoster Sq, even though both totally artificial. I do agree that the roads are too wide and there could've been better planning as far as forcing some smaller buildings. For me, it's very much like CSTH said - everything about it runs counter to what I believe in and what I like, and it perfectly represents all the horrible trends of the USA, world, zeitgeist (overpriced condos and rich yuppie places that sucked all the liquor licenses out of the neighborhoods; long lines in restaurants that aren't even that good)... and yet, my personal experience of the urbanism of it is just incredibly refreshing. I love riding my bike through it and always include it on my loops. It's such a welcome respite from the rest of the city — clean, fresh, plenty of room, a welcome change from the chaos, twists, turns, and endless lights and random +/- bike lanes of any other part of the city.
 

FitchburgLine

Active Member
Joined
Nov 5, 2013
Messages
619
Reaction score
247
Hate the 1990s hotel complex, Congress St, Summer St and Seaport Boulevard. Like the harborwalk and recent buildings. Excited for the future of the remaining surface parking lots.
 

shmessy

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2010
Messages
1,482
Reaction score
124
I never hated it. It's totally anathema to Boston, but that's OK - when I lived in London, I loved Canary Wharf and also Paternoster Sq, even though both totally artificial. I do agree that the roads are too wide and there could've been better planning as far as forcing some smaller buildings. For me, it's very much like CSTH said - everything about it runs counter to what I believe in and what I like, and it perfectly represents all the horrible trends of the USA, world, zeitgeist (overpriced condos and rich yuppie places that sucked all the liquor licenses out of the neighborhoods; long lines in restaurants that aren't even that good)... and yet, my personal experience of the urbanism of it is just incredibly refreshing. I love riding my bike through it and always include it on my loops. It's such a welcome respite from the rest of the city — clean, fresh, plenty of room, a welcome change from the chaos, twists, turns, and endless lights and random +/- bike lanes of any other part of the city.
FK, you perfectly hit on why Boston has such a distinct flavor from the homogenous Houstons and Phoenix's. You could quite literally replace the words in that last sentence "It's such...." with "Charlotte is such...."

I did a full day walk-around there two weeks ago and still felt the hotel lobby/forced vibe of the area. It's not a place to "stroll" at the moment. Never saw one person under the age of 20 or over the age of 60 (except for some tourists near the Black Falcon Terminal - the Norwegian Dawn was in port.) It currently lacks the feel of "civicness". It needs alot more housing and a BPL satellite.

But I agree with others that say "Hey, it's not finished yet, wait for the real life to fill in". If that never happens, honestly, that's ok - - . It's never going to be Coolidge Corner or Somerville, Harvard Square or the Fenway - - it can be compartmentalized as the "Innovation District" with appropriate expectations -- much like Kendall Square. In fact, I kind of like that Boston has added a nasty slider to make it a 5-pitch pitcher.

At the same time, the folks here claiming that it currently feels like a real fine urban streetscape doth protest too much.

*****As long as this stuff doesn't creep into the fine parts of Boston (like an invasive plant) I'm ok with it.

So, long story short - - put me down as a Yes - I do hate it as a stand alone, but not as a "fifth pitch". I quite like it as a "fifth pitch". But if it was an invasive plant and all of Boston turned into this...........then get the weed killer spray right now!
 
Last edited:

cadetcarl

Active Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2012
Messages
423
Reaction score
18
No longer hate it.

Or, everything I still hate about it is just a microcosm of what I hate about the state of the world in general.
I feel something close to this sentiment.

Architecturally, I have to admit it's coming into its own and will over time start to take on the trappings of a real neighborhood. Street walls are filling in, good restaurants, a couple fun night spots, and the waterfront is a real asset for the city.

But encoded into it are all the same problems which I and various other posters have lamented here for years: there's still no serious transit, it's still a bunch of megablock buildings which require moneyed retail tenants. These conspire to make it a kind of soulless, corporate paradise for the kinds of people it was made by and for, to the exclusion of a lot of people among whom I'd count myself. This isn't its fault, but the seaport is one output of a machine with inputs no one seems to be able to control, which is larger than all of us.

Buildings are turning out okay though, so there's that.
 

TheRifleman

Banned
Joined
Sep 25, 2008
Messages
4,431
Reaction score
0
The seaport is a corporate box shitshow. The taxpayers invested heavy in this area only to allow the corporations to swindle and build on priceless land for a discount only drive up local and surrounding real estate for the working class stiffs.
The architecture is not that bad but the area really has no real unique character.
Kendall square model by the ocean in my opinion.

Boston copied Cambridge biotech & development model
 

jl326

Active Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2016
Messages
648
Reaction score
13
FK, you perfectly hit on why Boston has such a distinct flavor from the homogenous Houstons and Phoenix's. You could quite literally replace the words in that last sentence "It's such...." with "Charlotte is such...."

I did a full day walk-around there two weeks ago and still felt the hotel lobby/forced vibe of the area. It's not a place to "stroll" at the moment. Never saw one person under the age of 20 or over the age of 60 (except for some tourists near the Black Falcon Terminal - the Norwegian Dawn was in port.) It currently lacks the feel of "civicness". It needs alot more housing and a BPL satellite.

But I agree with others that say "Hey, it's not finished yet, wait for the real life to fill in". If that never happens, honestly, that's ok - - . It's never going to be Coolidge Corner or Somerville, Harvard Square or the Fenway - - it can be compartmentalized as the "Innovation District" with appropriate expectations -- much like Kendall Square. In fact, I kind of like that Boston has added a nasty slider to make it a 5-pitch pitcher.

At the same time, the folks here claiming that it currently feels like a real fine urban streetscape doth protest too much.

*****As long as this stuff doesn't creep into the fine parts of Boston (like an invasive plant) I'm ok with it.

So, long story short - - put me down as a Yes - I do hate it as a stand alone, but not as a "fifth pitch". I quite like it as a "fifth pitch". But if it was an invasive plant and all of Boston turned into this...........then get the weed killer spray right now!
Reading your post was interesting in that pretty much everything that you dislike about it is exactly what I really like about it :). However, it also means that we actually share the same sentiments, albeit for different reasons. For example, I also hope it doesn't turn into a Harvard sq, Coolidge Corner, etc. I am absolutely fine if it remains clean and not overcrowded (though both would be challenging once it gets further completed).
 

DAVE

Active Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2015
Messages
229
Reaction score
103
I feel something close to this sentiment.

Architecturally, I have to admit it's coming into its own and will over time start to take on the trappings of a real neighborhood. Street walls are filling in, good restaurants, a couple fun night spots, and the waterfront is a real asset for the city.

But encoded into it are all the same problems which I and various other posters have lamented here for years: there's still no serious transit, it's still a bunch of megablock buildings which require moneyed retail tenants. These conspire to make it a kind of soulless, corporate paradise for the kinds of people it was made by and for, to the exclusion of a lot of people among whom I'd count myself. This isn't its fault, but the seaport is one output of a machine with inputs no one seems to be able to control, which is larger than all of us.

Buildings are turning out okay though, so there's that.
Is anyone aware of any zoning or otherwise policies that help prevent these megablocks? I agree with the complaint of parcel sizes being too large for the stated reasons, but I feel like I haven't heard of any concrete examples of ways of preventing that have been implemented in other places before.
 

FK4

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2012
Messages
2,500
Reaction score
134
Is anyone aware of any zoning or otherwise policies that help prevent these megablocks? I agree with the complaint of parcel sizes being too large for the stated reasons, but I feel like I haven't heard of any concrete examples of ways of preventing that have been implemented in other places before.
Stuff like this helps.

Also, the Seaport was started from a blank slate. So, city planning.
 

JumboBuc

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2013
Messages
2,139
Reaction score
201
Is anyone aware of any zoning or otherwise policies that help prevent these megablocks? I agree with the complaint of parcel sizes being too large for the stated reasons, but I feel like I haven't heard of any concrete examples of ways of preventing that have been implemented in other places before.
Parcels L3 - L6 won't really be a megablock
 

meddlepal

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2012
Messages
1,478
Reaction score
195
Still not a big fan of The Seaport. It's Kendall 2.0. Totally forgettable if you don't work their or have a reason to be there (e.g. resident or visitor).

I usually do a daily loop starting at South Station then down Congress or Summer then around D and up Seaport Blvd before hitting SS again and I just can't find a compelling reason to go to this district outside of pass-thru activity. I love Fort Point and go there often, but beyond the borders of FP are just forgettable.
 

cadetcarl

Active Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2012
Messages
423
Reaction score
18
Is anyone aware of any zoning or otherwise policies that help prevent these megablocks? I agree with the complaint of parcel sizes being too large for the stated reasons, but I feel like I haven't heard of any concrete examples of ways of preventing that have been implemented in other places before.
Like FK4 said, there was nothing there before and a lot of the property was state-owned. So as a starting condition they could have planned for more and smaller streets and more and smaller parcels.
 

tangent

Senior Member
Joined
May 11, 2012
Messages
1,778
Reaction score
52
Like FK4 said, there was nothing there before and a lot of the property was state-owned. So as a starting condition they could have planned for more and smaller streets and more and smaller parcels.
They could have planned it that way and chose to plan it this way.

The Seaport didn't somehow naturally evolve this way in the absence of planning. This is what was planned for over several decades and these are the big blocks that were called for by developers and planners.

Certainly an improvement over the planning that went into the West End clearance and big block consolidation there, but nevertheless this was very much a planned redevelopment.

What big blocks give you are an opportunity to go taller and wider more economically often at the expense of your 'quaint' human scale ground level.

I certainly prefer the street level of colonial, 19th or even early 20th century Boston... if only we could have more of that at the street level and the big towers growing above that human scale streetscape. To me more of that colonial and 19th century style street level contrasted with offset gleaming towers above would do well to define Boston's unique architectural context.

If you think about the choice GE made in its headquarters it chose this sort of contrast in Fort Point rather than a blanks slate in the seaport.

I know some people consider architecture as something that only moves forward and leaves the past behind, but that assumes that there is nothing of value in aesthetics of older styles of architecture that we should retain in future buildings.

Some of this is practical in that some materials and construction techniques become more expensive over time relative to modern techniques and are no longer relatively economic to use. And some of it is just economic in that better is more expensive.
 

Top