Middlesex County Courthouse Redevelopment | 40 Thorndike St | East Cambridge

Equilibria

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Re: New Design for Middlesex Courthouse

Here's hoping the SJC quickly refuses to hear the matter. These plaintiffs and their counsel are out of control.
I mean, there are situations where this logic would be reasonable. In some communities we'd probably rather state-owned buildings be torn down than redeveloped outside of local zoning. East Cambridge just isn't one of those cases...
 

Arlington

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Re: New Design for Middlesex Courthouse

I mean, there are situations where this logic would be reasonable. In some communities we'd probably rather state-owned buildings be torn down than redeveloped outside of local zoning. East Cambridge just isn't one of those cases...
Personally, I think local zoning should be torn down.
 

Equilibria

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Re: New Design for Middlesex Courthouse

If this is actually happening, we should rename the thread.

"Sullivan Courthouse/Office Renovation | 40 Thorndike Street | East Cambridge"

I can't find the "new renderings" (and neither can the Globe, apparently, since the one they use is 5 years old), and I can't find any documentation on the City Council meeting, but I'll keep looking for it...
 

34f34f

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Re: New Design for Middlesex Courthouse

Curbed's summary says
The plans now call for 430,000 square feet of office space, 15,000 square feet of ground-level retail, open space, and two dozen apartments for lower- and moderate-income renters
and
so what’s the holdup? It needs City Council approval to lease 420 parking spaces in the city-owned First Street Garage across the street
...but maybe they shouldn't get the parking spaces? It's a 3-minute walk to Lechmere station (4-min from new Lechmere), a 12-minute walk from Kendall, and a block from the EZRide route to North Station.

If Cambridge is serious about reducing car dependency, they should negotiate something different here—how about discounted T-passes and BlueBikes memberships? Contribute to EZRide?

The office market is bonkers right now—and this development will easily fill up with Kendall spillover. We should take advantage of this to push for better outcomes for the city (fewer cars).

an image from the article:
 

Equilibria

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Re: Middlesex County Courthouse Redeveloment | 40 Thorndike St | East Cambridge

Not to be "that guy", but whichever of you changed the name left the "p" out of "redevelopment" :p
 

statler

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Re: Middlesex County Courthouse Redeveloment | 40 Thorndike St | East Cambridge

Please, always be that guy! Thank you!
 

Rover

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Projects like this warm my heart. Nothing funnier than watching a handful of dead end NIMBY's openly weeping in the street as their idiotic arguments get used for toilet paper and the project goes forward despite all their bleating. In more good news, I'm assuming four new dwellings will hit the market in East Cambridge as these loons now look to sell since the building will not be demolished.
 

stick n move

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I didnt really have a prob with the old building, ground level needed improvement for sure, but this is definitely a vast improvement. Great project and a major win that it wasnt chopped down.

New






Old
 

North Shore

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If ever there was a case for denying parking spaces, this is it. As others have said, this is incredibly close to Lechmere and just a bit longer to Kendall.
 

JumboBuc

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^ Call me crazy, but I think I prefer the old tower over the new. Keep the brutalism but hire whoever did the BPL Johnson Building reno to open the ground floor and generally spruce things up.
 

Equilibria

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^ Call me crazy, but I think I prefer the old tower over the new. Keep the brutalism but hire whoever did the BPL Johnson Building reno to open the ground floor and generally spruce things up.
I'm not sure you can get enough light in there for office tenants with the current window configuration (the top floors were literally jail cells, remember), even if I liked the brutalism (I don't).
 

Brad Plaid

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^ Call me crazy, but I think I prefer the old tower over the new. Keep the brutalism but hire whoever did the BPL Johnson Building reno to open the ground floor and generally spruce things up.
This is exceptional brutalism, nothing else like it in the region. So of course it can't stay, it must be disappeared to please those who demand it "blend in" and "look like it has always been there." Are the top 2 floors still being removed? If so just what does that accomplish? Existing square footage is destroyed just to appease extremists, so absurd.
 

cca

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Brad,

Brutalism is just so ..... brutal. I must go away, it makes us all uncomfortable and less human. Its cold ... cold like a New England winter. Its communist at its roots ...right ... something like that. Who cares about carbon footprint or history or efficiency. Just tear it down and lets put up something that we all like .... like .... well .... bricky. Something bricky.

cca

(if you did not catch the sarcasm ... now you have)
 

Beton Brut

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The most stunning thing about this thread is that it's very nearly six years old.

Six years to begin an adaptive reuse...

And count me as not a fan of the terracotta fondant they're looking to apply to this concrete cake.
 

Equilibria

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This is exceptional brutalism, nothing else like it in the region. So of course it can't stay, it must be disappeared to please those who demand it "blend in" and "look like it has always been there." Are the top 2 floors still being removed? If so just what does that accomplish? Existing square footage is destroyed just to appease extremists, so absurd.
It's not about that, it's about the fact that brutalism is hideously ugly to 95% of humans. I like you guys (your posts, I mean - I haven't met you), but you're in the 5%.
 

cca

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It's not about that, it's about the fact that brutalism is hideously ugly to 95% of humans. I like you guys (your posts, I mean - I haven't met you), but you're in the 5%.
That is because good design does not HAVE to do with beauty. It does often have beauty as a criteria (when the client says it need to be attractive-whatever that means) ... but modernism was about something very different. I wont go into it here ... but there is lots to appreciate about modernism on a design front.

And no ... 95% dont hate how it looks ... 95% hate how it looks on the outside. But that says more about how we judge things (by their outward appearance) than what it feels like to occupy a good piece of modernist design.

cca
 

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