Hurley Building Redevelopment | 19 Staniford St | West End

tocoto

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When architecture fails its intended users or its site it is little more than art - good or bad

Boston has monstrous pieces of art here and at city hall both of which would be fine in a museum. Unfortunately a museum does not exist for such objects so they should be destroyed and replaced with better buildings for the good of the citizens and the city.

Trees, bike lanes and small parks don’t enliven the street. Wide sidewalks with cafes, stores and people enliven streets. This is a catch 22 since it’s hard to say what comes first people or things for people to do once they arrive at a place. Paris is an example of great urbanity. It has few isolated trees, tons of traffic, few parklets but lots of pedestrians and things for them to do in cafes, restaurants and stores.
 

Blackbird

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Having worked in the Hurley, it's a disaster. The internal walls are also hammered concrete and people are constantly ripping their clothes on them.
Is it the same way inside the Lindemann? Seems strange to treat patients who are at an elevated risk of self harm in a building where the walls are rough enough to rip clothing?

Am I misinterpreting the type of mental health services that the building provides?
 

whighlander

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I feel like people are letting their preexisting hatred for this building cloud their creative mind. This is the Johnson Public Library building before and after reno. This is exactly what we are talking about here.
Van -- "Would that it were" as John Kerry said upon hearing that they could move the fire hydrant on Louisburg Sq. to around the corner
The problem with the analogy is two-fold

In the first -- Johnson was constrained by the McKim Masterpiece and so while he made it look like a bunker from the outside -- the rest was close to his "Glass House" hanging all the externals on huge Steel Trusses -- making adaptive re-conquesta relatively painless -- just dump the Bunker walls and expose the rest

In the 2nd Nothing constrained Rudolph and so he let his creation loose -- since the Hurley is on a considerable slope -- Rudloph created a ridiculous number of levels which can not meet ADA -- so the minute you touch the building all the non-ADA stuff has to be addressed

Now since Rudolph was essentially sculpting in reinforced poured and brutally pounded concrete -- you can't just strip away much except the free standing walls -- the rest are sort of a monolithic structure -- to do away with the non-ADA multi-levels you have to jack-hammer and then pour more concrete converting stair-like levels into a ramp [compliant with ADA slopes and widths].
Hurley Hurley-2
 

vanshnookenraggen

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Now since Rudolph was essentially sculpting in reinforced poured and brutally pounded concrete -- you can't just strip away much except the free standing walls -- the rest are sort of a monolithic structure -- to do away with the non-ADA multi-levels you have to jack-hammer and then pour more concrete converting stair-like levels into a ramp [compliant with ADA slopes and widths].
Hurley Hurley-2
None of this sounds like problems that can't be dealt with without needing to blow up the entire building. I'd be ok if they left the bones but had to make extensive changes as long as those changes didn't alter too much of the existing sculpture. I know there is a way to do both.
 

odurandina

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Bring in the Dept of Defense for every type of bomb, field artillery and weapons test they can think up. re; what i mentioned about the whole smash all coming down. The part left standing will be left to decay in the bureaucracy, then one day be deemed too expensive to fix. 80/20 the Suffolk Courthouse tower (one day) suffers from similar fate. In Boston's economics, some buildings will be determined too expensive to save. The Suffolk Court should have been fixed properly, w/ a new curtain wall like the Little Bldg, and saved. Fixing it might not be feasible the second time around.
 
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FK4

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Having worked in the Hurley, it's a disaster. The internal walls are also hammered concrete and people are constantly ripping their clothes on them.

Also, I don't understand keeping the Lindemann. It is actually more offsetting and imposing then the Hurley. The main entrance is down a narrow corridor and through a parking lot. Most of the architectural features of the Lindemann are behind gates to prevent the patients from walking away. It seems that selling both the Lindemann and Hurley and moving patients and state employees to a modern facility elsewhere would make a lot more sense. It would also create much better pallet to create a better and more open new tower.
FYI, there are no patients here to “prevent from walking away”. All patients here are here voluntarily; there’s a clinic, a homeless shelter, and a couple group homes. The inpatient units have been gone for decades. There were a number of suicides and attempted suicides from various heights here... back when there were inpatient units... and yes, it’s a terrible set up for that in general. But the preventative measures you describe are no longer needed.
 

dhawkins

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Suffolk Superior Court is about to fall down. The State should sell the Suffolk Tower to a developer with the caveat that the Hurley and Lindermann get re-purposed into a new Suffolk courthouse; a program that could take advantage of the existing architectural language. Employment and Mental health facilities are programs that should be moved to more "inspiring" facilities with windows.
 

shmessy

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This thread is a perfect example of just how useless this site has become. This is an architectural gem and you jabronies are salivating over replacing it with the tallest glass box you can come up with. There used to be discourse on here about architecture, now it's just a bunch of Dubai fan boys.

If they seriously propose tearing this down I might have to move back to Boston and start a campaign to save it.

$200..... million......renovation..... bill....

Van, where is that tax money coming from for your "gem"? It's easy for those of us outside of Massachusetts to pontificate about this (I'm in Maryland, so I'm in the very same boat).

The $200 million is FAR better spent on the NSRL, etc.

.

.
 

Rover

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Not often that I agree with shmessy but right on. $200M bucks is real money, paid for by me and fellow citizens, all to maintain a shitstain of a building with little functional purpose. Not only are you saving that $200M, you're making ANOTHER $200M by dealing the land. I'm sorry if some people have an emotional attachment to this building, but a $400M benefit to taxpayers is worth more than any issues you'll have to work through when this pile of ruble is mercifully consigned to the scrap heap.
 

JeffDowntown

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Suffolk Superior Court is about to fall down. The State should sell the Suffolk Tower to a developer with the caveat that the Hurley and Lindermann get re-purposed into a new Suffolk courthouse; a program that could take advantage of the existing architectural language. Employment and Mental health facilities are programs that should be moved to more "inspiring" facilities with windows.
Brutalist buildings like the Hurley Building are notoriously difficult to update/renovate. They are even harder to repurpose. All that pesky CIP concrete in the way.
 

odurandina

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^^You grownups are no fun.

Condescending part of my post:
Kind of surprised by the lack of support for my Nuke holocaust/cement-turned Chernobylite-Corium tribute idea in response to Boston's crazy-loon sandcastle. Is it going too far to suggest Rudolph had no sense of humor, or the humility to not give a smile in response to such a solicitous, ironic, futuristic sendoff--in the case that it could have been "executed" cough/cough--well?? A pity no one who grew up in the West End, or patients who suffered being treated here ever had the chance to ask the King of Hostile Architecture.



*i really wanted to say "crazy-____ sandcastle," but i felt that would have been a particularly disrespectful choice of words.
 
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Lrfox

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Is it the same way inside the Lindemann? Seems strange to treat patients who are at an elevated risk of self harm in a building where the walls are rough enough to rip clothing?

Am I misinterpreting the type of mental health services that the building provides?
There are places where the concrete is the same, and there are places where it is not. Most of the clinic and shelter spaces have smooth walls. It's also worth repeating what FK4 has said, there are no inpatient units at the Lindemann. The people being treated in the clinics and shelters live with severe mental illness, but they are not at crisis levels where there is a consistent threat of self harm and would require them to be in a locked inpatient setting.
 

whighlander

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There are places where the concrete is the same, and there are places where it is not. Most of the clinic and shelter spaces have smooth walls. It's also worth repeating what FK4 has said, there are no inpatient units at the Lindemann. The people being treated in the clinics and shelters live with severe mental illness, but they are not at crisis levels where there is a consistent threat of self harm and would require them to be in a locked inpatient setting.
Lrfox -- Lindemann is not relevant to the discussion as the announcement clearly states that the proposed sale is limited to the Hurley [not the more architecturally Lindemann] -- of course if Boston Properties or Millenium put in an offer of say $500 M for the entire plot including the Brook Courthouse to develop a Pru-scale complex with a mighty tower -- is suspect that Gov. Baker might listen hard at the offer
 

Lrfox

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Lrfox -- Lindemann is not relevant to the discussion as the announcement clearly states that the proposed sale is limited to the Hurley [not the more architecturally Lindemann] -- of course if Boston Properties or Millenium put in an offer of say $500 M for the entire plot including the Brook Courthouse to develop a Pru-scale complex with a mighty tower -- is suspect that Gov. Baker might listen hard at the offer
We know. I said as much in my first post when I started this thread. There were questions up thread about the Lindemann and we answered them.
 

whighlander

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We know. I said as much in my first post when I started this thread. There were questions up thread about the Lindemann and we answered them.
Lrfox -- then why bother repeating the
It's also worth repeating what FK4 has said, there are no inpatient units at the Lindemann. The people being treated in the clinics and shelters live with severe mental illness, but they are not at crisis levels where there is a consistent threat of self harm and would require them to be in a locked inpatient setting.
When discussion of the Lindemann is not relevant to the discussion of the Hurley unless the "unthinkable happens" and the entire weird shaped block is declared a building site -- which would be my choice if my opinion on such mattered to anyone
 

odurandina

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Like Weigh says: It boils down to money.
The state can't properly fund affordable housing, barely fix the T, electrify commuter rail, or build a much needed tunnel.
Money talks.
 
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vanshnookenraggen

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$200..... million......renovation..... bill....
Van, where is that tax money coming from for your "gem"? It's easy for those of us outside of Massachusetts to pontificate about this (I'm in Maryland, so I'm in the very same boat).
I never said this had to remain a state property. I'm saying keep the building and sell it to a private developer but with the stipulation that they have to save a good chunk of it.
 

DZH22

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I never said this had to remain a state property. I'm saying keep the building and sell it to a private developer but with the stipulation that they have to save a good chunk of it.
ISN'T THAT BASICALLY WHAT THEY ARE ALREADY DOING?!?!?!?!?! The Lindemann part is supposed to stay.
 

Rover

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I never said this had to remain a state property. I'm saying keep the building and sell it to a private developer but with the stipulation that they have to save a good chunk of it.
Why? That massively devalues the funds us hard working tax paying slobs should reap from it. If it costs $200M to renovate and the land is being marketed for $200M you're basically advocating that the state give away the building for free in exchange for a rehab. That screws the state out of $200M bucks. Its a shit building with little significance. How about we stipulate that the developer put in an exhibit in the lobby of whatever gets built there showing the site's history and call it a day? With all the needs the area has (affordable housing, transportation) how can anybody justify pissing away that much money to save this thing?
 

odurandina

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They need to play inter-agency/real estate musical chairs with multiple properties.
That's been the case for a while, now.
Lindemann, O'Neill/JFK Fed, Suffolk Court tower and maybe 1 Congress, Center Plaza or other might also play a role.
With some smart planning and a bit of luck, maybe the State can pull it off.
 
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