Middlesex County Courthouse Redevelopment | 40 Thorndike St | East Cambridge

meddlepal

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2012
Messages
1,656
Reaction score
411
But I thought the developers plan was always to remove the jail portion at the top. (?)
Oh maybe. Hmmm... too busy to go look at the documents right now. I suspect the cost of conversion from jail to luxury units is not economically feasible for whatever reason (even under a demolish and rebuild X floor scenario).
 

shmessy

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2010
Messages
1,867
Reaction score
662
Does anyone else actually like the original facade? I think itd be better to instead of anonymizing the tower into just another generic anywhere usa design, to modify it to work as a residential building while keeping the historic and interesting facade.

This could definitely be made to work and would be much more interesting that some generic slapjob.

On which floor did they poison Navalny?

.
 

stick n move

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2009
Messages
7,230
Reaction score
1,774
In isolation, out of context, maybe. Rising like a dystopian secret police headquarters over a residential neighborhood, not so much.

The fact that it actually was a prison made it even worse/better.
The fact that it was a prison makes it even more interesting. What has more architectural merit, a former prison being turned into a visually interesting, unique and dynamic housing tower, or scrolling through a book of prefab and picking one?

I think in most cases refitting something that can hold on to its past while being updated for the future comes out better. Thats what separates architects. Most generic buildings that go up fade into the background, but tasteful refits almost always stand out because theyre always unique. Cities are better because of their uniqueness. Look at the converse building, or the bolling building in dudley sq... iconic. Compare these to northpoint, no contest.
 

bigpicture7

Senior Member
Joined
May 5, 2016
Messages
1,751
Reaction score
158
Looks like work on the jail tower has now begun in earnest. Snapped these earlier today:

4T-1.png


4T-2.png


4T-3.png


Project website, with construction updates is: www.fortythorndike.com

Since the developer's description says "20 floors", they are not removing much height from this. Probably just the mechanical portion atop the jail part.
 

Arlington

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 10, 2011
Messages
4,747
Reaction score
887
The developer wants the height and FAR that the jail represents. I recall that redevelopment was going to be a gut-and-skin job.

On the upper floors it seems to me you can see lots of metal patches whose job is to hold cracked panels on lest they fall off in chunks.

Reskin the whole thing and never think Twice.
 

RandomWalk

Active Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2014
Messages
876
Reaction score
190
I thought the plan involved demo of the jail floors and rebuilding them.
 

bigpicture7

Senior Member
Joined
May 5, 2016
Messages
1,751
Reaction score
158
...
On the upper floors it seems to me you can see lots of metal patches whose job is to hold cracked panels on lest they fall off in chunks.
...
In the corners especially:
J1.png


...the sheer size of it, in its location, was always an awe-inspiring oddity...
Indeed; it's really quite a fascinating effect...
J2.png
 

Bananarama

Active Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2020
Messages
214
Reaction score
303
I'm going to miss the evil red glow of that upper balcony floor. But this can't come soon enough.

Will have an interesting backstory and patch the hole of urban hell in its place. (even if the design is meh)
 

stick n move

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2009
Messages
7,230
Reaction score
1,774
I wish they could salvage the facade and just upgrade it while keeping the same look. I may be an outlier here but I think as far as brutalist towers go this one is pretty nice and has lots of potential. It doesnt have anything weird going on anywhere its simple, clean, and clearly of a bygone era. With the new facade its really going to look like another anywhere usa tower.
 

Gameguy326

Active Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2015
Messages
315
Reaction score
38
I think the biggest issue for why you'd want to redo a building like this is not because of aesthetics, but usability. Working in that building with those tiny slat windows looks awful.
 

Top