Naming & Renaming - Public Places in New England

whighlander

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So the planning process is kicking off for this parcel (again), perhaps we can rename this thread back to Parcel 3 or something. The BPDA got a $250,000 grant approved this week to do environmental remediation, which they think will make the site more attractive to developers and give them some more leverage on what gets built. Presentation here: http://www.bostonplans.org/getattachment/62a0dd74-2822-40b9-b4fd-2e6e578b6b61

Planning page: http://www.bostonplans.org/planning/planning-initiatives/plan-nubian-square-parcel-p3

Perhaps merge in this old thread: https://archboston.com/community/threads/parcel-p-3.1527/

Here's the press release: https://mailchi.mp/boston/bpda-rece...ental-remediation-at-roxburys-p3?e=989e618ff4
First step should be the remediation of the ignorant name Nubian Sq. [having nothing at all to do with anything Boston] to something Boston-centric like Attucks's Square -- and then there should be an international competition for an appropriate memorial to Christopher Attucks, a true Martyr / Hero of the American Revolution
 

BronsonShore

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First step should be the remediation of the ignorant name Nubian Sq. [having nothing at all to do with anything Boston] to something Boston-centric like Attucks's Square -- and then there should be an international competition for an appropriate memorial to Christopher Attucks, a true Martyr / Hero of the American Revolution
If you’re so concerned about Crispus Attucks being properly honored, maybe you should start by getting his name right. When you’re done with that, maybe take some time for yourself to consider why you’re so bothered by this particular square being renamed by the people who live there, a group that does not include you.
 

whighlander

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If you’re so concerned about Crispus Attucks being properly honored, maybe you should start by getting his name right. When you’re done with that, maybe take some time for yourself to consider why you’re so bothered by this particular square being renamed by the people who live there, a group that does not include you.
Well for a few reasons
A -- Attucks name is variously recorded in various documents
B-- Nubian Sq is a name given to a historic square by people currently living in it -- no guarantee that one hundred years from now that Nubian will mean anything to the people residing in the area
The original name Dudley honored a family with a complex relationship to Boston -- no doubt about that -- but they were of and for Boston and hence like Attucks a worthy candidate for a name for an important square
There is no evidence at all -- that ancient Nubia or any of its descendants -- have any connection to Boston in any way -- except through the art and artifacts excavated by the MFA / Harvard archeological project and which is now housed at the MFA
By that measure Kenmore Sq should be renamed Giza Square for the similar artifacts at the MFA excavated from the Giza plateau

Note that if you think that Roxbury and Dudley / Nubian Sq will always be the way it currently is [it was once quite a Central / Eastern European Jewish enclave] -- you haven't studied the history of Boston neighborhood evolution very thoroughly

Paul Revere's house and environs have been at one time or another -- in rough chronological order:
Puritan English​
mixed "Yuppy" English [well Revere was from a French Huguenot background]​
Irish​
Eastern / Central European Jewish​
Italian​
Mixed Yuppy​
etc., etc.

And finally -- in this very strident, vituperative and confrontational era -- we need some common ground and reference points that everyone can agree upon:
Attucks is recognized by Americans for his role in igniting the American Revolution -- he and Joseph Warren are two of just the handful of names of martyrs to the American Revolution who are known to more than historians
[the others being the names of grade schools in Lexington memorializing those killed on the Battle Green April 19, 1775]

He has a simple memorial on the Common -- indeed the first memorial in Boston -- but he deserves more

and the time is ripe as we are near to [indeed already beginning the celebration of the 250th of the lead-up events such as recently the Boston Massacre and soon the Tea Party] celebrating the 250th anniversary of the American War of Independence [aka the Revolutionary War]
 
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Bananarama

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I feel that debating the name of the square is a wholly different discussion than this parcel a half mile away.

In regards to the project itself, it's sorely needed along this stretch. Fill this in with some proper street wall then put some more housing on the Crescent housing up a couple blocks and the transition to Melnea will be x10 nicer - instead of a pseudo highway on-ramp.
There's also an ivory tower quality to the police station across the street (in part the architecture but mainly the empty plots around it). Seems like a big opportunity to stitch together what remains of the social relationship of residents to the department.
 

whighlander

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I feel that debating the name of the square is a wholly different discussion than this parcel a half mile away.

In regards to the project itself, it's sorely needed along this stretch. Fill this in with some proper street wall then put some more housing on the Crescent housing up a couple blocks and the transition to Melnea will be x10 nicer - instead of a pseudo highway on-ramp.
There's also an ivory tower quality to the police station across the street (in part the architecture but mainly the empty plots around it). Seems like a big opportunity to stitch together what remains of the social relationship of residents to the department.
agree completely -- except I would suggest that the Attucks memorial be a part of the project
either there or perhaps in place of the removed Lincoln statue
 

BronsonShore

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Well for a few reasons
A -- Attucks name is variously recorded in various documents
B-- Nubian Sq is a name given to a historic square by people currently living in it -- no guarantee that one hundred years from now that Nubian will mean anything to the people residing in the area
The original name Dudley honored a family with a complex relationship to Boston -- no doubt about that -- but they were of and for Boston and hence like Attucks a worthy candidate for a name for an important square
There is no evidence at all -- that ancient Nubia or any of its descendants -- have any connection to Boston in any way -- except through the art and artifacts excavated by the MFA / Harvard archeological project and which is now housed at the MFA
By that measure Kenmore Sq should be renamed Giza Square for the similar artifacts at the MFA excavated from the Giza plateau

Note that if you think that Roxbury and Dudley / Nubian Sq will always be the way it currently is [it was once quite a Central / Eastern European Jewish enclave] -- you haven't studied the history of Boston neighborhood evolution very thoroughly

Paul Revere's house and environs have been at one time or another -- in rough chronological order:
Puritan English​
mixed "Yuppy" English [well Revere was from a French Huguenot background]​
Irish​
Eastern / Central European Jewish​
Italian​
Mixed Yuppy​
etc., etc.

And finally -- in this very strident, vituperative and confrontational era -- we need some common ground and reference points that everyone can agree upon:
Attucks is recognized by Americans for his role in igniting the American Revolution -- he and Joseph Warren are two of just the handful of names of martyrs to the American Revolution who are known to more than historians
[the others being the names of grade schools in Lexington memorializing those killed on the Battle Green April 19, 1775]

He has a simple memorial on the Common -- indeed the first memorial in Boston -- but he deserves more

and the time is ripe as we are near to [indeed already beginning the celebration of the 250th of the lead-up events such as recently the Boston Massacre and soon the Tea Party] celebrating the 250th anniversary of the American War of Independence [aka the Revolutionary War]

Your apparent respect for Cirspus Attacks is admirable (despite not actually knowing his name and then laughably insinuating that he is referred to by anyone, anywhere as "Christopher").

So if you don't like Nubian because it doesn't have any connection to Boston, then I assume you also hate all of these names:
  • The North-South Back Bay streets, which were named for random English lords who had no connection to Boston.
  • Kenmore Square, which is named for a random town in Scotland that has no connection to Boston, because some influential Bostonians really liked the poetry of Robert Burns, a man who has no connection to Boston.
  • Roslindale, which was named for yet another random a small town in Scotland, because one Roslindale resident had been there once and kind of liked it.
  • Brighton, which was named for Brighton, England, for no other reason than the fact that Prince of Wales had recently built a palace called Brighton Pavilion, and the town fathers thought it sounded like a cool name.
  • Hyde Park, which is named for a park in London for no apparent reason. There is no connection between Hyde Park and Boston.
Unless you've been railing against these names as well, I think you should consider why you, a suburbanite with no connection to Nubian Square, are so bothered by the predominantly black residents who live there deciding to rename it as they see fit.
 

Blackbird

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Besides, the name does have a connection to Boston: it comes from the name of a popular, local store that used to exist in the square.
 

sidewalks

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Your apparent respect for Cirspus Attacks is admirable (despite not actually knowing his name and then laughably insinuating that he is referred to by anyone, anywhere as "Christopher").

So if you don't like Nubian because it doesn't have any connection to Boston, then I assume you also hate all of these names:
  • The North-South Back Bay streets, which were named for random English lords who had no connection to Boston.
  • Kenmore Square, which is named for a random town in Scotland that has no connection to Boston, because some influential Bostonians really liked the poetry of Robert Burns, a man who has no connection to Boston.
  • Roslindale, which was named for yet another random a small town in Scotland, because one Roslindale resident had been there once and kind of liked it.
  • Brighton, which was named for Brighton, England, for no other reason than the fact that Prince of Wales had recently built a palace called Brighton Pavilion, and the town fathers thought it sounded like a cool name.
  • Hyde Park, which is named for a park in London for no apparent reason. There is no connection between Hyde Park and Boston.
Unless you've been railing against these names as well, I think you should consider why you, a suburbanite with no connection to Nubian Square, are so bothered by the predominantly black residents who live there deciding to rename it as they see fit.
I see what you're doing here but it is not really analogous. While you are correct, that the naming of these places did not have any pertinence to Boston itself when they were named (nor does the name Boston for that matter) the names then given have obviously become important to the city and the region over the centuries. It would be silly to object centuries later to names that have become interwoven into the fabric of the people and place. Time creates emotional bonds. That being said, I agree with him that naming a square after a store which was inspired by an Ancient African kingdom seems like quite a reach, but it is what it is. I agree that Crispus Attucks would have been a wise choice and one that would honor African Americans and the history of the city.
 

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