Four Seasons Tower @ CSC | 1 Dalton Street | Back Bay

shmessy

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i mean.... that's most major cities. if you get off the tourist track in chicago and go NW on the blue line up past Logan Circle it's the same thing, and the south side is disconnected buildings and vacant lots. NYC is similar once you get out of manhattan and go east through brooklyn and queens where it starts to become more dense suburban. i can't think of any american cities that aren't nice / walkable outside of the tourist urban core.

also generally when people think of cities they've been to they're thinking of the tourist areas they've visited, not the time they spent driving through dorchester / the bronx / chicago west side to get there...
"......off the tourist track"? The main Duckboat passenger terminal is across the street!

The direct problem here, Stoweker, is that this building IS smack dab right in the tourist area. There are 6+ major hotels within 3 blocks of this. The Christian Science Reflecting Pool is at a 90 degree angle from this. The Pru Center is one of the major tourist spots in Boston (if not the very top one). The Christian Science Center isn't too far behind. This is directly between the two. It's near impossible to get any MORE "touristy" than this.

Folks, this isn't Hyde Park or Mattapan.

.
 
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George_Apley

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I think you're misreading a lot of people. The conversation's moved past 1 Dalton to the success of Boston's urbanism/walkability in general. No one is disagreeing that 1 Dalton's base sucks. No one is saying that it's outside the tourist district.
 

George_Apley

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Continue on the "how successful is Boston's urbanism" convo: here. I've copied the posts over. (if you don't like that, fight me.)

Carry on with bashing 1 Dalton's shitty base.
 

stefal

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I don't know the exact restrictions that were imposed on One Dalton from the Christian Science Center, but I feel they were rather heavy enough to make it difficult to create an engaging street presence. If someone has the terms and can post them, it might be helpful for us to decide on if there was a significantly better alternative to what we got instead.
 

chrisbrat

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this provides a summary (it's not the actual deed), but basically: no bars, liquor stores, medical facilities, porn, or competing religious facilties on the lower floors. not being able to have a ground-floor bar/restaurant with booze really limits how inviting 1 dalton could have been made in that respect. one of the things most people like about 1 dalton is its slender proportions -- the actual footprint on the ground is pretty minimal. so, they could have a store 24 or a dunks on the ground-floor, but i think it's reasonable to concede that those types of establishments are kinda off-brand for the four seasons.
 

shmessy

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this provides a summary (it's not the actual deed), but basically: no bars, liquor stores, medical facilities, porn, or competing religious facilties on the lower floors. not being able to have a ground-floor bar/restaurant with booze really limits how inviting 1 dalton could have been made in that respect. one of the things most people like about 1 dalton is its slender proportions -- the actual footprint on the ground is pretty minimal. so, they could have a store 24 or a dunks on the ground-floor, but i think it's reasonable to concede that those types of establishments are kinda off-brand for the four seasons.
"No porn, religious or alcohol" doesn't eliminate all possibilities (except for folks like me and a few others here ;) ).

The physical footprint is not huge, but this sucker is 50+ stories - - there will be a lot of in-and-out foot traffic engendered by it. So it is a "taker, not a maker" when it comes to the urban fabric of the city.
 

kmp1284

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I don't know the exact restrictions that were imposed on One Dalton from the Christian Science Center, but I feel they were rather heavy enough to make it difficult to create an engaging street presence. If someone has the terms and can post them, it might be helpful for us to decide on if there was a significantly better alternative to what we got instead.
I don’t know what the restrictions dictate but even then there isn’t a lot of flexibility when you consider the requirements of the space - two distinct lobby areas along with some back of house space, the loading dock and the ramp to the garage. The design could have been less fortress-like but there really isn’t the space for additional programming.
 

George_Apley

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The streetscape on Dalton and Belvidere were disasters before the Four Seasons came to town. It certainly hasn't made the streetscape worse. We can all agree that the base is a miss. We all agree that the streetscape between Boylston and Huntington around the Prudential Center is bad. We mostly agree that there's not much this project could have done to change that, given the site and the restrictions put in place by the CSC.
 

shmessy

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I don’t know what the restrictions dictate but even then there isn’t a lot of flexibility when you consider the requirements of the space - two distinct lobby areas along with some back of house space, the loading dock and the ramp to the garage. The design could have been less fortress-like but there really isn’t the space for additional programming.

Fair enough point.

And to George's point just above this - - there isn't anything the developers on their OWN can be expected to do, but there sure as hell is for the city of Boston. At the very least "windows not concrete walls" at sidewalk level should be a condition the city puts on developers for the privilege of building in one of the in demand cities on earth. Boston has the cards and should use them. There's too much "patients running the asylum" going on.
 
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DZH22

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Keep in mind this is a 2 building complex and there is a bakery/sandwich shop in the first phase. When you need to accommodate both residential and hotel on a very small footprint, a lot of that space will be chewed up by the lobby. That's just the way it is.

I walked by the old park a few times. It had 3 total trees and maybe 1 person each time I saw it. This location IS tucked away in the sense that it's like the backdoor area of the Pru mall. There are a lot of uninviting streetwall faces in this immediate area. Most of the pedestrian traffic is either filtered through the mall (including the Sheraton's direct connection) or out to Boylston street. So even though it's ADJACENT to "everything" it has always kind of been treated as a back alley of sorts from a pedestrian perspective.

Frankly, this building is the reason to walk by there, just out of curiosity for such a huge tower. If it was 5 stories with a better street level it would probably fail to attract the traffic it does now.
 

stefal

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Fair enough point.

And to George's point just above this - - there isn't anything the developers on their OWN can be expected to do, but there sure as hell is for the city of Boston. At the very least "windows not concrete walls" at sidewalk level should be a condition the city puts on developers for the privilege of building in one of the in demand cities on earth. Boston has the cards and should use them. There's too much "patients running the asylum" going on.
Whether a window or stone wall, you were going to get the same result here, functionally. The windows would have been faux/opaque, as a lot of the ground floor, as KMP mentioned, is dedicated to lobbies, back of house, loading docks, and garage entrances, plus all the structural support that goes into a base for a narrow tower like this. I think they could've been more creative with the stonework, perhaps a little more detail or flair, but they were likely trying to match up with Cobb's minimal design for the rest of the tower.
 

shmessy

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Whether a window or stone wall, you were going to get the same result here, functionally. The windows would have been faux/opaque, as a lot of the ground floor, as KMP mentioned, is dedicated to lobbies, back of house, loading docks, and garage entrances, plus all the structural support that goes into a base for a narrow tower like this. I think they could've been more creative with the stonework, perhaps a little more detail or flair, but they were likely trying to match up with Cobb's minimal design for the rest of the tower.
I hear you, Stefal. That being said, a blank concrete wall at street level is a very clear defining statement.
 

kmp1284

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this provides a summary (it's not the actual deed), but basically: no bars, liquor stores, medical facilities, porn, or competing religious facilties on the lower floors. not being able to have a ground-floor bar/restaurant with booze really limits how inviting 1 dalton could have been made in that respect. one of the things most people like about 1 dalton is its slender proportions -- the actual footprint on the ground is pretty minimal. so, they could have a store 24 or a dunks on the ground-floor, but i think it's reasonable to concede that those types of establishments are kinda off-brand for the four seasons.
I meant to add this earlier but there apparently will be a street level lobby bar. I’m not sure if it was part of the original plan or if it came about because of complaints over Zuma being the only place for hotel guests to get a drink.
 

stoweker

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"......off the tourist track"? The main Duckboat passenger terminal is across the street!

The direct problem here, Stoweker, is that this building IS smack dab right in the tourist area. There are 6+ major hotels within 3 blocks of this. The Christian Science Reflecting Pool is at a 90 degree angle from this. The Pru Center is one of the major tourist spots in Boston (if not the very top one). The Christian Science Center isn't too far behind. This is directly between the two. It's near impossible to get any MORE "touristy" than this.

Folks, this isn't Hyde Park or Mattapan.

.
i think you missed the point, i wasn't talking about whether one dalton was in a tourist area or not, i was responding to other poster about the walkability of boston's neighborhoods outside of back bay.

Also arguably Dalton Street is more of a service road than anything else... i think in many ways its similar to the Trump Chicago in that both are architecturally significant buildings but have dumpy bases and Trump Chi is similarly on N Wabash which is really just a service road as well. Both have are high visibility tourist buildings but the base doesn't matter, it's the rest of the structure that stands out.
 

chrisbrat

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I meant to add this earlier but there apparently will be a street level lobby bar. I’m not sure if it was part of the original plan or if it came about because of complaints over Zuma being the only place for hotel guests to get a drink.
that's great news. i wonder to what degree this is a result of fair negotiation with CSC to loosen the restrictions somewhat, or if four seasons' (no doubt formidible) legal team discovered and navigated a loophole, b/c it seemed to be pretty cut-and-dry that nothing on the lower levels -- much less the ground level -- could sell booze.
 

JumboBuc

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that's great news. i wonder to what degree this is a result of fair negotiation with CSC to loosen the restrictions somewhat, or if four seasons' (no doubt formidible) legal team discovered and navigated a loophole, b/c it seemed to be pretty cut-and-dry that nothing on the lower levels -- much less the ground level -- could sell booze.
From a subsequent BBJ article:
Stores that sell, manufacture or display alcohol will be prohibited, but alcohol can be served as part of restaurant operations or in the hotel — "specifically including room service, so-called in-room mini-bars, and events in hotel ballrooms or meeting rooms" provided that food is also served and that alcohol is only consumed on-site, the deed states.

"The deed is really there to reflect the values that the church upholds. And because it's on the contiguous line — it's right there — it is important to us," Ingrid Peschke, a church spokeswoman, said in October concerning the Pritzger acquisition. "It would look really odd to suddenly have a bar opening right on our property. ... That's not something we would want. We want to make sure we're responsible with the transactions that take place with the church."
So it sounds like the hotel is allowed to include a bar among its amenities as long as it's done discretely. Providing a bar for hotel guests is allowed by the deed restrictions but it seems like trying to draw the public off the streets into said bar is not. This bar will likely be totally invisible from the street, which is really probably just how how the Four Seasons would want it even without the restrictions.

Also, as a general rule, I wouldn't assume that the Four Seasons' legal team is any more formidable than that of a large church.
 
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stoweker

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From a subsequent BBJ article:


So it sounds like the hotel is allowed to include a bar among its amenities as long as it's done discretely. Providing a bar for hotel guests is allowed by the deed restrictions but it seems like trying to draw the public off the streets into said bar is not. This bar will likely be totally invisible from the street, which is really probably just how how the Four Seasons would want it even without the restrictions.

Also, as a general rule, I wouldn't assume that the Four Seasons' legal team is any more formidable than that of a large church.
the bar is totally invisible from the street. it's like behind the elevator bank off the "library", kind of tucked away underneath the stairs that go up to the second floor ballrooms. when i stayed there a few months ago you couldn't even tell they had construction going on to build it out - it's totally discrete
 

chrisbrat

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Also, as a general rule, I wouldn't assume that the Four Seasons' legal team is any more formidable than that of a large church.
LMGTFY. by all reports i could find (i didn't spend hours), christian science is worth about half of what the four seasons operation is worth. and while the two (of many) links to support that which i chose are both not within the past six months or anything, there is also plenty out there to suggest that the church has been losing considerable $$$ in recent years (like most chuches) while FS has been gaining revenue. the math doesn't necessarily suggest "this organization is 2x as valuable as the other organization, so their legal representation is bound to be twice as good," but i stand by my original statement.
 
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