East Boston Infill and Small Developments

HelloBostonHi

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I love the density in east boston, the buildings are built right up against eachother like they should be. Anyone know why east boston developed this way and dorchester, roxbury, somerville etc didnt?
Roxbury did, but urban renewal targeted dense buildings built up right next to each other so very few remain in Roxbury.
 
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stick n move

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somerville *didn't*?!?!? it's crazy dense. the densist city/town in new england. i live there and have forever and it if it was any denser i'd see my next door neighbor take a shit while i'm watching the celtics on tv. "...the most densely populated municipality in New England and the 16th most densely populated incorporated municipality in the country."
Nowhere did I say somerville wasnt dense. The premise was that east boston buildings are built abutting up to eachother and in many other neighborhoods the buildings are built with space between them. Yes there are exceptions, but overall east boston has a lot more abutting buildings than the other outer core neighborhoods. The question I was asking is why did this happen in east boston and not those neighborhoods mentioned.

East Boston


Somerville


See the difference? Both are dense, both have pros and cons, I was just asking why east boston is different to the other outer core neighborhoods. My guess is its small size but chelsea is small too and isnt like this so idk.
 

bdurden

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Nowhere did I say somerville wasnt dense. The premise was that east boston buildings are built abutting up to eachother and in many other neighborhoods the buildings are built with space between them. Yes there are exceptions, but overall east boston has a lot more abutting buildings than the other outer core neighborhoods. The question I was asking is why did this happen in east boston and not those neighborhoods mentioned.

East Boston


Somerville


See the difference? Both are dense, both have pros and cons, I was just asking why east boston is different to the other outer core neighborhoods. My guess is its small size but chelsea is small too and isnt like this so idk.
Likely because sections of East Boston, Chelsea, Jeffries Point, etc are just as old or older than Boston's core area and thus have a less suburban approach to urban form.
 

chrisbrat

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Nowhere did I say somerville wasnt dense. The premise was that east boston buildings are built abutting up to eachother and in many other neighborhoods the buildings are built with space between them. Yes there are exceptions, but overall east boston has a lot more abutting buildings than the other outer core neighborhoods. The question I was asking is why did this happen in east boston and not those neighborhoods mentioned.

East Boston


Somerville


See the difference? Both are dense, both have pros and cons, I was just asking why east boston is different to the other outer core neighborhoods. My guess is its small size but chelsea is small too and isnt like this so idk.
gotcha. my apologies for misunderstanding.

bdurden's explanation/guess makes sense to me.
 

DZH22

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Cortes

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I love the density in east boston, the buildings are built right up against eachother like they should be. Anyone know why east boston developed this way and dorchester, roxbury, somerville etc didnt?
To add to those who already replied:. Most Boston neighborhoods started rather agrarian, with most of the land dedicated to farming, while East Boston was specifically geared towards fishing. Land was used to stack workers close to the docks even at the very beginning, instead of being tilled.
 

Lrfox

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Looks like one of the biggest blights in the Maverick area is about to change for the better: http://www.bostonplans.org/projects/development-projects/2-10-maverick-square

This is a dirt lot that has been used as a parking lot (managed by Stanhope Garage, I think) next to the 7/11. I walked by today and some additional construction fencing is up, a permit is on the fence and "Construction Zone" signs are posted. The parking lot "Public Parking" and signs with the rates are gone too. Maverick has a ton of potential to be an outstanding urban square and the two large vacant lots on either end need to be developed in order for that to happen. the one at Chelsea/Bremen/Maverick St. seems to be perpetually stalled, but this one actually looks like it's finally about to go (it's been proposed since 2018).
 

AndrewOnTheMBTA

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Looks like one of the biggest blights in the Maverick area is about to change for the better: http://www.bostonplans.org/projects/development-projects/2-10-maverick-square

This is a dirt lot that has been used as a parking lot (managed by Stanhope Garage, I think) next to the 7/11. I walked by today and some additional construction fencing is up, a permit is on the fence and "Construction Zone" signs are posted. The parking lot "Public Parking" and signs with the rates are gone too. Maverick has a ton of potential to be an outstanding urban square and the two large vacant lots on either end need to be developed in order for that to happen. the one at Chelsea/Bremen/Maverick St. seems to be perpetually stalled, but this one actually looks like it's finally about to go (it's been proposed since 2018).
These two plots will fix a lot - agreed. Some of the buildings in the square could use a facade makeover as well. Things will loook nice once the Grace Apartments finish up across from thus too
 

Lrfox

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These two plots will fix a lot - agreed. Some of the buildings in the square could use a facade makeover as well. Things will loook nice once the Grace Apartments finish up across from thus too
Definitely. I'd be all for the replacement of some of the single story retail storefronts too (like the 7/11), but at least those are active and urban. These vacant parcels are really inexcusable for being adjacent to a rapid transit stop in a dense urban neighborhood so close to the city center.
 

AndrewOnTheMBTA

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Definitely. I'd be all for the replacement of some of the single story retail storefronts too (like the 7/11), but at least those are active and urban. These vacant parcels are really inexcusable for being adjacent to a rapid transit stop in a dense urban neighborhood so close to the city center.
Building atop the building that has Eddie C's, TD Bank, Cactus Grill seems long overdue considering the newly redeveloping EBNHC and apartment building next to it. Even just a 4 over 1 there would be an improvement.
 

DAVE

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Definitely. I'd be all for the replacement of some of the single story retail storefronts too (like the 7/11), but at least those are active and urban. These vacant parcels are really inexcusable for being adjacent to a rapid transit stop in a dense urban neighborhood so close to the city center.
My google map I work on when I'm bored if you're curious about the parking lots in Maverick Sq. (only surface parking lot/parking garages)
 

Lrfox

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My google map I work on when I'm bored if you're curious about the parking lots in Maverick Sq. (only surface parking lot/parking garages)
Pretty cool - one of them is right next to my place and I doubt it'll ever get redeveloped. By some of these really need to go. Very few are public, so I can't see a ton of community outcry either.
 

Lrfox

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Looks like one of the biggest blights in the Maverick area is about to change for the better: http://www.bostonplans.org/projects/development-projects/2-10-maverick-square

This is a dirt lot that has been used as a parking lot (managed by Stanhope Garage, I think) next to the 7/11. I walked by today and some additional construction fencing is up, a permit is on the fence and "Construction Zone" signs are posted. The parking lot "Public Parking" and signs with the rates are gone too. Maverick has a ton of potential to be an outstanding urban square and the two large vacant lots on either end need to be developed in order for that to happen. the one at Chelsea/Bremen/Maverick St. seems to be perpetually stalled, but this one actually looks like it's finally about to go (it's been proposed since 2018).
This one is definitely underway. They've moved the taxi stand over over to Henry St. added additional construction fencing and tarp, created a temporary sidewalk where the cab stand was, and they've got an excavator on site tearing up the lot. The BPDA website has been changed to "under construction." So glad to see this corner filled.
 

HenryAlan

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somerville *didn't*?!?!? it's crazy dense. the densist city/town in new england. i live there and have forever and it if it was any denser i'd see my next door neighbor take a shit while i'm watching the celtics on tv. "...the most densely populated municipality in New England and the 16th most densely populated incorporated municipality in the country."
You realize, right, that there are neighborhoods in Boston with significantly higher density than Somerville? East Boston happens to be one. Areas like Eagle Hill have nearly three times the population density as Somerville.
 

chrisbrat

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You realize, right, that there are neighborhoods in Boston with significantly higher density than Somerville? East Boston happens to be one. Areas like Eagle Hill have nearly three times the population density as Somerville.
No, I didn't realize that. According to this report, "The highest density areas of Boston are particularly concentrated in Brighton, Allston, and the Fenway. area" -- not East Bston. Also, based on this map, most of Somerville has population density as high, or higher, as any area in East Boston, including Eagle Hill, which may well "have nearly three times the population density as Somerville," but if you're going to go neighborhood by neighborhood, are you positive it's as dense as the most packed-in parts of Somerville? I'd be interested to see that.

Regardless, my comment wasn't delving into specific neighborhoods, and was mostly going by commonly sourced city evaluations such as this one.

If you know better about this stuff, then truly I'm happy to learn more (honest!) and appreciate the education (again: for real!), but the condescending "You do realize, don't you..." tone could maybe take a back seat, since there are plenty of metrics suggesting that Somerville is as dense as it comes in the New England -- specifically Boston metro -- area and it's not like my post was so wildly unmoored from reality.
 

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