Harvard Enterprise Research Campus | 100 Western Avenue | Allston

stefal

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They are building a road named Cattle Drive? Someone had some fun.

And we have a new road name: Cattle Drive.

And its based on history. This apparently is not a Texas-sized joke on Boston.


^^^ the image refuses to load. Caption. Circa 1850, showing the Cattle Fair hotel. Most of the 19th Century livestock pens and abattoirs were west of N. Harvard St., and south of the Mass Pike. Boston Landing, Leo Birmingham Parkway, etc.

http://www.bahistory.org/CattleIndustry.html
 

FK4

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It's really great how Harvard has totally chucked the possibility of ever having light rail transit through here. Where in the HELL is the city on protecting possible rights of way on the largest tract of undeveloped land that also happens to be right in the middle of one of the highest areas of transit need in the whole region? It's just unfathomable how brainless officials are around here. ZERO vision, ZERO long term planning. Oh, but tell me all about the climate resiliency of these buildings! And thank you for the pictures of trees on N Harvard, all my concerns are now assuaged.
 

Equilibria

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It's really great how Harvard has totally chucked the possibility of ever having light rail transit through here. Where in the HELL is the city on protecting possible rights of way on the largest tract of undeveloped land that also happens to be right in the middle of one of the highest areas of transit need in the whole region? It's just unfathomable how brainless officials are around here. ZERO vision, ZERO long term planning. Oh, but tell me all about the climate resiliency of these buildings! And thank you for the pictures of trees on N Harvard, all my concerns are now assuaged.
That's not Harvard's fault, it's MassDOT's. Also, the light rail corridor would be on Stadium Road, which isn't in this project's boundaries. The map is only there for context.
 

FK4

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That's not Harvard's fault, it's MassDOT's. Also, the light rail corridor would be on Stadium Road, which isn't in this project's boundaries. The map is only there for context.
Sorry, Equilibria, but that's a load of complete, utter, and total horseshit. Harvard is a leviathan and holds a massive amount of power and influence over this entire region. To bury your head in the sand and say "well, it's the state's job" is an absurd degree of exculpation of any responsibility to the community whatsoever on Harvard's part. Not to mention the sleazy way Harvard acquired all the land in the first place. No, the government has responsibility but so does Harvard, and they are absolutely not blameless and in fact it should be expected of them to be taking the lead on helping solve local transit issues given the obscene amount of leverage they hold — not to mention the fact that as a university that studies and solves problems, they actually have on faculty large numbers of people and sub-groups that would, if given the responsibility to do so, contribute greatly to a cause which the state and city appear to have walked away from.
 

Equilibria

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Sorry, Equilibria, but that's a load of complete, utter, and total horseshit. Harvard is a leviathan and holds a massive amount of power and influence over this entire region. To bury your head in the sand and say "well, it's the state's job" is an absurd degree of exculpation of any responsibility to the community whatsoever on Harvard's part. Not to mention the sleazy way Harvard acquired all the land in the first place. No, the government has responsibility but so does Harvard, and they are absolutely not blameless and in fact it should be expected of them to be taking the lead on helping solve local transit issues given the obscene amount of leverage they hold — not to mention the fact that as a university that studies and solves problems, they actually have on faculty large numbers of people and sub-groups that would, if given the responsibility to do so, contribute greatly to a cause which the state and city appear to have walked away from.
It's MassDOT's job to build literally any infrastructure that connects this light rail segment to anything. MassDOT is also building the entire road and ramp network at Beacon Park, with Harvard filling in buildings on the blocks. Harvard can build a shuttle trolley, but they already have shuttle buses, so what would be the point?

I'm no Harvard loyalist or apologist. They could push harder, but it is ultimately the Government's job to plan regional transportation, not Harvard's.
 

stick n move

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Didnt F line say Harvard was required to leave space for a ROW. Theyre probably not that far along yet in planning so the placeholder renders dont reflect this.
 

stellarfun

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Didnt F line say Harvard was required to leave space for a ROW. Theyre probably not that far along yet in planning so the placeholder renders dont reflect this.
IIRC, the master planning way back when included a right-of-way for the Urban Ring. Without the Urban Ring, I am not sure where a light rail line would go.
 

FK4

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IIRC, the master planning way back when included a right-of-way for the Urban Ring. Without the Urban Ring, I am not sure where a light rail line would go.
I think the most recent plan makes a tiny mention of a ROW for BRT only.
 

FK4

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It's MassDOT's job to build literally any infrastructure that connects this light rail segment to anything. MassDOT is also building the entire road and ramp network at Beacon Park, with Harvard filling in buildings on the blocks. Harvard can build a shuttle trolley, but they already have shuttle buses, so what would be the point?

I'm no Harvard loyalist or apologist. They could push harder, but it is ultimately the Government's job to plan regional transportation, not Harvard's.
Yes, it is technically correct that it’s ultimately the government’s job. That doesn’t let Harvard off the hook here. It just doesn’t. They are a major institution and they have a responsibility to exercise their power justly. It’s not a question of whether they “could” push harder, but a fact that they “should”. Simply stating technical facts is like saying ultimately it’s the government’s responsibility to ensure good architecture in kenmore and ignore the real lapse in responsibility that BU has to contribute something to the table, instead of the Related Beal fiasco. More broadly, it’s ignoring the fact that institutions and individuals have a responsibly to act justly, beyond what’s illegal or legal. There’s a lot of behavior on an individual level and an institutional level that is completely unacceptable and not tolerated, despite not being illegal. And people should continue to voice those concerns because that’s the way society works, unless you want the nightmare scenario predicted by de Tocqueville where the only behavioral code that anyone abides by is the sterile, dispassionate government with zero input from anyone or anything else. And hiding behind what the law says as the end all be all of any ethical or moral code allows for exactly the sort of bad institutional behavior we are getting.
 

Equilibria

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BCDC: https://bpda.app.box.com/s/wcmfkphuttkkz92maeokelsr9hdnwjgd

Too many renders to clip. Here's the main one:

Credit is due to Marlon Blackwell for conceiving possibly the only building uglier than the Harvard State Penitentiary on the other side of Western. I'm not sure what kind of a joke it is calling it "4" on this diagram, when it will be referred to as the "1 Building" for its whole life. The conference center looks lovely. The other buildings are forgettable.

Genuinely, how do you take a site directly adjacent to the very nice Genzyme plant and not speak to it aesthetically at all?

1638389746339.png
 

stefal

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I'm surprised Studio Gang even opted to design the other lab building - they have nothing of the sort on their Portfolio, and it does give off the appearance of being a well-established firm's confused first attempt at a lab building. It's not terrible, though. The conference center, however, does illustrate their strengths, and I'm looking forward to it.

And yeah, Marlon Blackwell really didn't read the room, huh? Though, again, looking at their Portfolio, why are they working on a high-rise hotel?

Not that Gang or Blackwell should stick to what they're known for - nothing wrong with branching off, but I would figure if Harvard's paying for a number of quality firms, I'd want to be getting what they're good at, if I were in their shoes.
 

stellarfun

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I'm surprised Studio Gang even opted to design the other lab building - they have nothing of the sort on their Portfolio, and it does give off the appearance of being a well-established firm's confused first attempt at a lab building. It's not terrible, though. The conference center, however, does illustrate their strengths, and I'm looking forward to it.

And yeah, Marlon Blackwell really didn't read the room, huh? Though, again, looking at their Portfolio, why are they working on a high-rise hotel?

Not that Gang or Blackwell should stick to what they're known for - nothing wrong with branching off, but I would figure if Harvard's paying for a number of quality firms, I'd want to be getting what they're good at, if I were in their shoes.
The choice of architects is Tishman Speyer's. Don't know how much say Harvard has about that, other than perhaps the conference center, which I expect Harvard would use extensively. Tishman Speyer is leasing this land from Harvard, annual lease payment not publicly revealed.
 

DwnTwnr

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Agreed about Studio Gang doing the lab. Boston is lab central these days but I don't know how much that applies in the rest of the country--so is this an opportunity where they are in the project team and they get to do a lab in essentially a safe space. But there are other firms around that do great lab buildings and might have been a nice addition to the team.


I'm surprised Studio Gang even opted to design the other lab building - they have nothing of the sort on their Portfolio, and it does give off the appearance of being a well-established firm's confused first attempt at a lab building. It's not terrible, though. The conference center, however, does illustrate their strengths, and I'm looking forward to it.

And yeah, Marlon Blackwell really didn't read the room, huh? Though, again, looking at their Portfolio, why are they working on a high-rise hotel?

Not that Gang or Blackwell should stick to what they're known for - nothing wrong with branching off, but I would figure if Harvard's paying for a number of quality firms, I'd want to be getting what they're good at, if I were in their shoes.
 

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