Kenmore Square North | 533-541 Commonwealth Ave | Fenway

Equilibria

Senior Member
Joined
May 6, 2007
Messages
5,133
Reaction score
2,384
The usage moves to the surface streets, just like it was pre-1963. This issue comes down to a choice between: 1) freeways for suburbanites to zip quickly through the city, or 2) real parks (not shoe-horned underneath an elevated highway) and a functional, healthy Muddy River.
The Bowker isn't a freeway for suburbanites, though. It's a key connection between neighborhoods.
 

HenryAlan

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 15, 2009
Messages
2,634
Reaction score
724
A few years ago here on AB there was quite a discussion on tearing down this POS 1960's elevated highway. Arborway at Forest Hills is down, hopefully someday the Mcgrath will be, and this ugly SOB needs to be wiped out as well. The local NIMBY's don't want it down for fears of increased surface traffic, but how can that justify the smothering of the Emerald Necklace and Muddy River?
I'm largely sympathetic to this suggestion, but there is something about the Bowker that I really like. I'm kind of in to viaducts for some aesthetic/engineering reason, and we don't have enough of them in Boston.
 

Charlie_mta

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2006
Messages
2,055
Reaction score
885
I'm largely sympathetic to this suggestion, but there is something about the Bowker that I really like. I'm kind of in to viaducts for some aesthetic/engineering reason, and we don't have enough of them in Boston.
I also like highway viaducts, and elevated rail as well. I'm a registered civil engineer and I became interested in that field as a boy because of highways, viaducts, and expressways. I just don't think a viaduct covering over most of a key link in the metro Boston park system is all that great of an idea. The traffic situation could be remedied in the long term by providing on/off ramps to the Mass Pike to replace the capacity lost by tearing down the Bowker overpass (as well as the outright elimination of Storrow Drive west of Arlington Street). In the short term, perhaps the Bowker should stay in place until those larger fixes are implemented.
 

curcuas

Active Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2015
Messages
496
Reaction score
280
Exactly. A polluting, loud viaduct in the center of Boston's densest residential neighborhoods, cutting a key park link is a terrible idea.

I would also argue there's no reason to have the Bowker as a highway. The demand is induced by our unnecessary waterfront highways. A road link, sure. But let's keep the highways to the pike and 93.
 

TomOfBoston

Active Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2007
Messages
991
Reaction score
138
^Boston did it’s damage during urban renewalism.
Look at old, old pictures of Boston circa 1900. Destruction of beautiful old buildings did not begin with "urban renewal" in the 1960's. The original Museum of Fine Arts and the old US Courthouse being prime examples. They were both demolished not long after 1900.
 

Equilibria

Senior Member
Joined
May 6, 2007
Messages
5,133
Reaction score
2,384
Look at old, old pictures of Boston circa 1900. Destruction of beautiful old buildings did not begin with "urban renewal" in the 1960's. The original Museum of Fine Arts and the old US Courthouse being prime examples. They were both demolished not long after 1900.
They also weren't that old, then. The presumption was that we'd never stop designing beautiful buildings. Well....
 

Charlie_mta

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2006
Messages
2,055
Reaction score
885
Look at old, old pictures of Boston circa 1900. Destruction of beautiful old buildings did not begin with "urban renewal" in the 1960's. The original Museum of Fine Arts and the old US Courthouse being prime examples. They were both demolished not long after 1900.
The difference is that 1960's urban renewal totally wiped out huge sectors of the city, namely Government Center, Charles River Park, parts of Roxbury, and the South End (on either side of the Mass Pike), Prior to that the losses were limited to single buildings scattered around.
 

bdurden

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2006
Messages
1,223
Reaction score
134
Interesting angle - this must be taken from Qualstrom?
 

Massachoicetts

Active Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2019
Messages
474
Reaction score
532
This seems like its taking a while. They've added two stories in the same time SSHQ added 16 stories lol.

But Im starting to visualize the impacts of the Street Wall and I think it will be pretty alright. Great pics. This might turn out better than we hoped.
 

Top