Flats on First (Kendall East) | 107-139 First Street | East Cambridge | Cambridge

bigpicture7

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Beautiful brick work on this, making it a solid, quality building.

The overall look reminds me a lot of the Analex Building. which was on Causeway St:
I think they did a nice job creating an industrial-era homage without it coming across as too forced or tacky. My wife and I both like the brickwork, but she's not a fan of the metal cladding. I actually feel that the overall composition works. I agree with your Analex reference as well because the Analex had brickwork between the windows (though lighter color), differentiating it from buildings from that era (1910-1930) that looked similar but just had the cast-in-place concrete around the windows.
 
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atlantaden

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Nothing says cheap like that damn single pole stuck in the sidewalk! Cambridge, you’re so damn fussy about what get’s built, yet you allow this! Thanks BeeLine for the pics!
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bigpicture7

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Nothing says cheap like that damn single pole stuck in the sidewalk! Cambridge, you’re so damn fussy about what get’s built, yet you allow this! Thanks BeeLine for the pics!
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I definitely agree generally speaking, but in this case it's mixed bag. Utilities are all buried on the First St. side (the main frontage of this project), and IIRC, power lines were buried on Charles St. going to this complex's transformer room. I think those lines you are seeing on the Hurley St. side are not even connected to this project. This complex, I believe, gets all its power from the new transformer room they installed on the Charles st. side. So who is supposed to bury those lines that head inward to the East Cambridge residential neighborhood and don't feed this project? I can see how this developer wouldn't be responsible for the Hurley St. side since it's not even their utilities and the lines extend well beyond their frontage.
 

atlantaden

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Actually, there are other poles along the sidewalks of this building as shown in BeeLine’s other pics The city of Cambridge demands much (rightfully so) from developers of large projects, they could have easily have included burying these offending poles as a condition to build (or had a trade off on some other condition with the developer) which would have certainly enhanced the immediate environment for the local community. And thanks, BP for your info.
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bigpicture7

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Actually, there are other poles along the sidewalks of this building as shown in BeeLine’s other pics The city of Cambridge demands much (rightfully so) from developers of large projects, they could have easily have included burying these offending poles as a condition to build (or had a trade off on some other condition with the developer) which would have certainly enhanced the immediate environment for the local community. And thanks, BP for your info.
I really do mean to agree with you thoroughly on this one, but just want to point out how there are intricacies to these demands that include the involvement of the City and even other parties/property owners. It's not a simple economies-of-scale to bundle the work with this project.

And I don't at all dispute what's shown in the photos (& my daily routines take me by here all the time) - but I stand by what I've observed: in that (fugly) Charles St. pole you are showing above, the main power lines have been stripped off the top of it already (I saw them doing this); there's some other stuff still clinging to it. Though it is undeniably incomplete, there was some utility burial that took place for this project.

But these side street utilities (again, First St. already has all of its utilities buried) undeniably involve coordination with others. Houses/buildings further upstream on this circuit have aerial power leads. This developer can just force unrelated parties to accept below grade utility penetration etc. This needs to be a city policy, and the work is vast and extends far beyond this project's frontage (i.e., we can't just say "you have this stretch of road/sidewalk dug up anyway, just finish the job") because other homes/buildings are involved in this case. The city would have to choreograph something grander - and I hope they get into the mode of doing so.

That particular Charles St. pole, though, definitely seems to be a candidate for removal and I hope the above-ground portion gets pushed back at least a pole or two. That would vastly improve the aesthetic of this corner.
 
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