Kenmore Sq

Ron Newman

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IHOP was a chain but it's still missed, as it had very late hours. They later opened one in Harvard Square but it's much smaller than the Kenmore location was.
 

Beton Brut

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Don't forget Planet Records. I don't believe the building that they occupied was demolished, but I believe their closure was collateral damage as a result of the Barbie Motorlodge. The only thing I like about the Hotel Commonwealth is its southern fa?ade.
 

Ron Newman

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Barbie Motorlodge? Do you mean the former Howard Johnson's hotel that's now a BU dorm? That's been there since at least the early 1970s.

Used record stores have been disappearing all over. Davis Square used to have both Disc Diggers and CD Spins, now it has none. CD Spins was a local chain that has entirely closed.
 

Beton Brut

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I'm being a smart-ass, Ron. I'm referring to the Hotel Commonwealth. As I've said since the wrap came off of it, the entire building is a fraud, made of plastic, with all the architectural integrity of a Mattel toy.
 

belmont square

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Cornwalls moved across the street (though I'd argue the current incarnation is not up to par with what once was)
Forgot about Cornwalls. The old location (downstairs from the street) was definitely better than the current one across Kenmore.
 

HenryAlan

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Forgot about Cornwalls. The old location (downstairs from the street) was definitely better than the current one across Kenmore.
You can thank ADA for that. Although I'm largely supportive of the ADA, the loss of split level store fronts is a tragic consequence. Cornwalls of old always felt like this cozy hideaway, sort of a Cheers type of atmosphere. Now it mostly resembles a frat boy/sports bar.
 

kz1000ps

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Re: BU Development Thread

^ You're not suggesting --are you-- that those lots were vacant 100 years ago?
That's exactly what I'm saying.

Here's Kenmore in 1902:



And 1938:



Excuse me if I'm presuming too much ablarc, but it seems you don't know the history of the area, that being that it was laid out with the expectations of being an extension of the Back Bay in both form and function, an expectation that never materialized as the demand for single-family homes (especially mansions) in the city disappeared once streetcars made living in the suburbs a possibility.

Instead, Comm Ave's use went commercial and became the region's first Auto Mile, but even at its peak Comm Ave never came close to seeing its urban fabric made whole.

Lastly, this area's fate mirrors that of the West Fenway neighborhood, particularly Boylston Street, which also saw development come on very slowly and in the form of light industry (or tenements on Peterborough and Queensberry).
 

kz1000ps

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Re: BU Development Thread

I wouldn't call ablarc a newbie, he grew up here decades ago. But on with more pics!

1930s:



1939, taken from a book on BU's (architectural?) history:



And 1955:

 

czsz

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Cornwalls of old always felt like this cozy hideaway, sort of a Cheers type of atmosphere. Now it mostly resembles a frat boy/sports bar.
I feel this way about the entire city of Boston.
 

HenryAlan

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I feel this way about the entire city of Boston.
That's certainly true of significant parts of downtown. Most of the outer neighborhoods have cleaned up, yet retained the more homy vibe.
 

eljusticiero67

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I'm being a smart-ass, Ron. I'm referring to the Hotel Commonwealth. As I've said since the wrap came off of it, the entire building is a fraud, made of plastic, with all the architectural integrity of a Mattel toy.
jeez, i feel like you guys are being a bit harsh eh? it looks almost exactly the same to me. and its certainly better than some of the other crap thats gone up recently...
 

vanshnookenraggen

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I copied KZs historical images over here cuz I kept thinking they were here to begin with. The posts are still in the BU thread.
 

Beton Brut

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jeez, i feel like you guys are being a bit harsh eh?
The Rubbermaid shed in my back yard has more architectural integrity.

...and its certainly better than some of the other crap thats gone up recently...
This may be true (in the Seaport), but there is no excuse for such piss-poor design and cheap finishes in such a prominent location.

Epic Fail.
 

JohnAKeith

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The old Waterman funeral home building(s) are being listed for sale. In 2006, a developer bought it for $5,650,000 and hoped to convert the buildings into condos. Don't know why that fell through.

493-495 Commonwealth Ave
Price: $9,999,999,999 (not a misprint, apparently open to best offers)



 

Matthew

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I have long been wondering what this building's deal is.

Anyone know?
 

Arlington

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Nope, but here are some handy sources for 482 Commonwealth Realty Trust Grace Darrigo, Trustee,who are listed as owners and it appraises for a cool $1m.

Accordigg to a fight over a 1995 foreclosure,
Darrigo vs South Boston Savings Bank Martin Weinstock was actually the sole beneficiary of the trust (the hidden owner), and that he behaved badly, saying "[Weinstock] simply ignored his mail and remained incommunicado for a period of months, had never been declared legally incompetent and never provided any effective notice of any legal incompetence to the Bank"
 
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DBM

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Nope, but here are some handy sources for 482 Commonwealth Realty Trust Grace Darrigo, Trustee,who are listed as owners and it appraises for a cool $1m.

Accordigg to a fight over a 1995 foreclosure,
Darrigo vs South Boston Savings Bank Martin Weinstock was actually the sole beneficiary of the trust (the hidden owner), and that he behaved badly, saying "[Weinstock] simply ignored his mail and remained incommunicado for a period of months, had never been declared legally incompetent and never provided any effective notice of any legal incompetence to the Bank"
I hate to play Captain Obvious, but in the more general context--above and beyond the specific legal complications this property is ensared in--it's pretty deceptive to call this "Kenmore Square." How about, "the dead zone surrounding the Charlesgate Overpass." Until that overpass gets softened/moderated, the abutting neighborhood will always be at-risk for being blighted/run-down like this building, no? Because how many pedestrians/potential retail customers feel comfortable traversing Comm. Ave. here as traffic roars overhead at 45 mph, the Muddy River continues its derelict splurge to the Charles, and everything generally looks cruddy?
 

Arlington

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"the dead zone surrounding the Charlesgate Overpass."
Doesn't Tom Brady's gazillion dollar mansion also fall in that zone? (just on the Back Bay side?). With a little love, anything here should do just fine.
 

DBM

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Doesn't Tom Brady's gazillion dollar mansion also fall in that zone? (just on the Back Bay side?). With a little love, anything here should do just fine.
You're right, I think; also, I just realized that the fine, fine watering hole that is the Lower Depths bar is actually closer to the Muddy River by a storefront or two than is this blighted/boarded-up dead spot.

That said, it still is interesting to note how this stretch of Comm. Ave., despite being so relatively close to the glamour and glitz that is the reinvented Kenmore Square, seems so relatively "seedy"--and I have to think the deteriorated condition of the Charlesgate/Muddy River corridor here plays some kind of role in that.
 

FK4

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I hate to play Captain Obvious, but in the more general context--above and beyond the specific legal complications this property is ensared in--it's pretty deceptive to call this "Kenmore Square." How about, "the dead zone surrounding the Charlesgate Overpass." Until that overpass gets softened/moderated, the abutting neighborhood will always be at-risk for being blighted/run-down like this building, no? Because how many pedestrians/potential retail customers feel comfortable traversing Comm. Ave. here as traffic roars overhead at 45 mph, the Muddy River continues its derelict splurge to the Charles, and everything generally looks cruddy?
Disagree... while the overpass itself is unpleasant, the blocks immediately inbound of it on both sides, right from Charlesgate to the Harvard Club, are some of the nicest looking, well kept and stately of all the Back Bay townhomes. The weird mixedness of the outbound blocks is more due to the confusion of identity resulting in the transition from posh Back Bay to Kenmore Sq, the ownership by BU of many of the buildings on Beacon, and the historic but fading skeeziness of the blocks in Kenmore proper. Also, whereas the rest of the Comm Ave Mall is unfenced, the last segment approaching Kenmore is completely fenced in (WHY?!), which effectively makes it a dead zone.
 

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