Hurley Building Redevelopment | 19 Staniford St | West End

odurandina

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Re; Weigh:
i need the [AMSL] for the base of 1 Boston Pl (not the antenna mast, but the tower itself).

For example, Dewey Sq/1 Financial is 16 feet.
Has City Hall been fibbing about the heights for a few buildings dating back >30 years? If so, what would be the motive? i believe i've uncovered the answer to both Q's. In doing a study of Exchange Place to uncover it's 540'ish height once and for all--i accidentally stumbled upon the true height of 1 Financial Ctr....
how?
Antenna permit (mystery solved).
Q: is Dewey Square 590', as so long, advertised?
A: no. It is in fact, a bit taller.
 
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George_Apley

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No news, but a decent Globe article from Renée Loth, which seems to fall on the preservation side.

A few excerpts:

The Hurley building may be unloved, but it isn’t unlovely. “When you go to a park and the grass is dead, you don’t blame the grass,” said Greg Galer, director of the Boston Preservation Alliance
[T]he Hurley building contrasts ponderous concrete material with curving, even sculptural lines. Rudolph, then chairman of architecture department at Yale, was reacting to what he considered the sleek, soulless Modernism of glass and steel office towers by favoring materials that are rough and tactile [...]
On the integration of the GSC and the Hurley vs Lindemann:
Proponents of the redevelopment argue that Rudolph’s vision was never completely realized; a prominent 24-story tower in his original design was scrapped as uneconomical. But by this logic, Antoni Gaudí’s Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, also unfinished, would be unworthy of preservation. Others contend that Rudolph’s involvement in the Hurley design was merely tangential to his overall role as “co-ordinating architect” for the entire Government Service Center, which includes the adjacent Erich Lindemann mental health building[...]
Closing editorial:
Even if the Hurley and all its glorious eccentricities is physically preserved, commercial redevelopment would take the building partly out of the public realm. Who knows what will become of its civic life once it is handed over to private developers? If it is not done very carefully, Rudolph’s Boston treasure could become a mere remnant, a dim reminder of a time when government was valued enough to engage the services of a world famous architect.
 

whighlander

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No news, but a decent Globe article from Renée Loth, which seems to fall on the preservation side.

A few excerpts:
On the integration of the GSC and the Hurley vs Lindemann:
Closing editorial:
The Hurley building may be unloved, but it isn’t unlovely. “When you go to a park and the grass is dead, you don’t blame the grass,” said Greg Galer, director of the Boston Preservation Alliance
All of the rest is DOA because the initial premise is false -- you can't blame grass -- you can Blame Paul Rudolph
When you go to the park and grass is dead you [assuming you are responsible for the park]:
  1. look at the calendar -- is it winter?
  2. look at the history of maintenance -- has it been watered or has it rained
  3. look at surroundings -- has a tree been planted which makes it impossible for the grass to get sunlight
  4. try some simple gardening remedies
  5. If none of the above explains or fixes the grass
  6. then you pull it up and either replant it or plant something in its place
Well we've gone through 5 of the above

It's time to "pull it up by its roots" and plant something in its place
 

Nibbles O’Plenty

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Got this from my condo building today if anyone is interested.

Charles F. Hurley Building Redevelopment Public Meeting - Nov 19 6:30pm
Charles F. Hurley Building Redevelopment
Friday, 13 November 2020 15:07:00 ·
Charles F. Hurley Building Redevelopment

REMINDER: Join Us for a Virtual Public Meeting
on November 19, 2020 at 6:30 PM

We Want to Hear from You!
The Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM) is hosting a virtual public meeting on Thursday, November 19, at 6:30 PM to discuss the redevelopment of the Charles F. Hurley Building at 19 Staniford Street in Downtown Boston. This public meeting will allow you to provide input about the site’s challenges and opportunities prior to DCAMM issuing a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a redevelopment partner. You will learn about the Commonwealth’s goals for the redevelopment and how we will work to ensure we bring on an excellent redevelopment partner to help us achieve those goals. Staff will also present draft Design Guidelines for the redevelopment and ask for your feedback. Potential private redevelopment partners will be required to follow these guidelines to meet the vision for the building and site. You can review the draft Design Guidelines in advance of the meeting on the Project Documents page.

The meeting will be held online, via Zoom. To pre-register, please click this link: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZckduCqpj4oE9cIeuXZcbcV34qntuuqoSyV.
 
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Equilibria

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Per B&T on Twitter:

Whatever gets built on the site of the state Hurley Building in downtown Boston – up to 400 feet tall – it will have to harmonize with the brutalist structure, new draft redevelopment guidelines say.

That's like asking the BSO to harmonize with Skrillex.
 

DZH22

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I'd like to 2nd that question about the 400' height. FAA map says this one could push well into the 700's, maybe even 800'. I don't understand the point in stunting growth in the actual (extremely limited) areas where it's feasible to go tall.
 

Blackbird

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I'd like to 2nd that question about the 400' height. FAA map says this one could push well into the 700's, maybe even 800'. I don't understand the point in stunting growth in the actual (extremely limited) areas where it's feasible to go tall.
Eh. I'm usually all about height, but this is on Cambridge street. There aren't any other tall buildings here. 400' is also pretty good. It's the same as the Harbor Towers and the McCormack Building.

Maybe if the tower were further back from the street, some more height could make sense?

Though, I guess Toronto has some nice examples of rapid, height-wise set-ups. For reference the building across the street from Hooters is 475' (the pinnacle on Adelaide per my research) So maybe it wouldn't look as out of place to have a tall building here as I imagine it would, though 400'-500' still seems tall enough.

Haha, check out this one on the same street! Boston NIMBYs would have a heart attack! :LOL:
 
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Nibbles O’Plenty

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Eh. I'm usually all about height, but this is on Cambridge street. There aren't any other tall buildings here. 400' is also pretty good. It's the same as the Harbor Towers and the McCormack Building.

Maybe if the tower were further back from the street, some more height could make sense?

Though, I guess Toronto has some nice examples of rapid, height-wise set-ups. For reference the building across the street from Hooters is 475' (the pinnacle on Adelaide per my research) So maybe it wouldn't look as out of place to have a tall building here as I imagine it would, though 400'-500' still seems tall enough.

Haha, check out this one on the same street! Boston NIMBYs would have a heart attack! :LOL:
Have not been to Toronto in about 20 years…and it was incredible and booming back then. Absolutely incredible city. Boston does not resemble that wonderful city in any way…sadly. 😢
 

stefal

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I prefer 400 feet here, but is that enough to cover the cost of the rehab on the rest of the building? There are a lot of costs involved with this already.
 

kmp1284

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Have not been to Toronto in about 20 years…and it was incredible and booming back then. Absolutely incredible city. Boston does not resemble that wonderful city in any way…sadly. 😢
What Blackbird linked to is absolutely devoid of any architectural or urban character. Just a couple very mediocre skyscrapers and the next thing to be demolished for another one. It’s all as generic as generic gets and it could be anywhere. Is that really the kind of city you want to live in?
 

curcuas

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What's the height of the nearby towers? Bullfinch Crossing, Garden Garage, North Station developments, etc. They're over 400, sometimes by a lot, no? Avalon was maybe just under 500? Feel like we should be aiming for something similar.
 

DZH22

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What Blackbird linked to is absolutely devoid of any architectural or urban character. Just a couple very mediocre skyscrapers and the next thing to be demolished for another one. It’s all as generic as generic gets and it could be anywhere. Is that really the kind of city you want to live in?
I never agree with you on anything so let's mark this moment as a noteworthy meeting of the minds. Toronto is ghastly.
 
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DZH22

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What's the height of the nearby towers? Bullfinch Crossing, Garden Garage, North Station developments, etc. They're over 400, sometimes by a lot, no? Avalon was maybe just under 500? Feel like we should be aiming for something similar.
Avalon 449'
Alcott either 485' or 487'
Hub Residential 496'
Hub Office 510'
Sudbury ~535'
State Street 600'+(why aren't we allowed to actually know this stuff?)

Honestly, I don't understand why we would want everything to be around the same height as everything else around it. The State Street building is going to be absolutely critical to tie this area together with an actual peak. Otherwise, as transformative as it is, it's also woefully underwhelming in a lot of ways. Why does every neighborhood have to resemble a wall-like blob, with nothing allowed to stand out? Peaks and valleys is always more visually appealing. 700' here would be an amazing peak for the new neighborhood. 400' is going to disappear into the crowd. We can do so much better than another McCormick Building, Saltonstall, or JFK, and opportunity-sites like this don't come around every day. Boston is too major of a city to artificially stunt its downtown growth. It already has enough problems with the FAA, shadows on parks, shadows on the harbor, etc. Locations like this that can naturally go tall, should go tall.

In fact, let's take the old Accordia design for Winthrop Square, plop it down here instead, and call it a day. If somebody could photoshop that render, that would be marvelous.
 

Blackbird

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What Blackbird linked to is absolutely devoid of any architectural or urban character. Just a couple very mediocre skyscrapers and the next thing to be demolished for another one. It’s all as generic as generic gets and it could be anywhere. Is that really the kind of city you want to live in?
“Generic as generic gets”? Ha! Show me some examples of cities that look exactly like that!

I thought I was going to get the opposite critique: that Toronto is the only city that has 2-3 story brick buildings directly adjacent to and across from 40-50 story towers, so there's no guarantee that Boston could pull it off too.
 
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