Photo of the Day, Boston Style: Part XVI (2022)

xec

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Post Office Square/Norman Leventhal Park on 10/16/22. This park is so consistently well taken care of that it makes you think more private but publicly accessible parks would be beneficial for the city.

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I'm your typical eat-lunch-at-my-desk nerd programmer, but the year and half I worked for Wellington at 75 State St. I had lunch at the park 2-3 times a week if the weather allowed it. It really is a great public space, and very lively at lunchtime.
 

DZH22

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PO Square is an amazing park during the day but always feels creepy at night. That covered wooden area always seems to have somebody hiding in the shadows. I agree that it's a great place for lunch during business hours, and also took advantage of that in the (increasingly distant) past.
 

xec

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I think that problem isn't due to the park itself though, but to the fact that nobody lives around there. There probably isn't much that can be done to the park that will fix that, but conversion of older office buildings to residential would improve the situation. Every once in a while there'll be a flurry of newspaper articles, or proposals by developers, or by the BSA, or the city or whoever to do just that, but somehow it never happens and the park remains creepy at night.

Does anyone have any info on how Boston compares to other U.S. cities in converting older downtown office buildings to residential?
 

vanshnookenraggen

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Does anyone have any info on how Boston compares to other U.S. cities in converting older downtown office buildings to residential?
Realistically, how many places have done that? Office buildings are hard to convert to residential because of their completely different needs and uses. During the pandemic I saw a few articles saying we should convert modern office buildings into affordable housing and damn if I didn't get a chuckle.

Lower Manhattan "worked" for these conversions because many of the old buildings had relatively small floor plates which makes conversions "easier". That said, when I was a realtor I toured many of these buildings and the floor plans are less than ideal. Many of them had to be classified as studios because there was only one window and the apartments went deep into the building. And those were the pre-war towers! Modern offices with larger floor plates just can't be converted.

So, where exactly are there buildings like this in Boston? It anything, it's gonna be the small walk ups that could be converted to lofts, if they haven't yet. Yes, there are a few pre-war buildings that have winged layouts that could offer a happy medium. But those are few and far between, and aren't really big enough to provide the levels of housing you'd need to make the area more lively at night.

Boston wasn't building a lot of office towers until the 1960s, and like I said those buildings are damn near impossible to convert.

People want and easy answer to housing and there just isn't one.
 

Java King

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Not so far back in late July, I took a stroll through the park in the evening. I was impressed the cafe was open later than I expected. Maybe it was a Thursday night because it seemed open until 9pm. I remember it being quite dark, and it was late July. So, it had to be after 8pm.

Winthrop Tower will be adding residences nearby, but maybe those people won't be wandering over in the evening? I certainly would if I could afford those prices. LOL

Anyway, on a warm summer evening, the park and cafe were just about perfect.

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