Prudential Tower Observatory Closure & Renovation | 800 Boylston St | Back Bay

Jahvon09

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According to the plan that dman 10089 posted, there is supposed to be a new restaurant put in somewhere. I wonder where it will be & what it will look like.
 

JumboBuc

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Boston Properties said Wednesday that it’s getting started on an indoor-outdoor observatory in the top three floors of the Back Bay tower, Boston’s second-tallest building. Earlier this month, the company pulled a building permit for $42 million worth of interior work, according to city data, and executives said Wednesday they ultimately plan to spend $182 million on the project, which will include outdoor decks at the top of the 750-foot-tall building and a dedicated entry area in the main concourse of the Prudential Center mall.
 

Jahvon09

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Just getting started?!! What stark-raving idiocy! I thought that they were working on it all this damn time! Must've been taking coffee breaks & twiddling their thumbs, wondering what to do! :coffee:
 

atlantaden

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Dude, this is Boston, and frankly, for Boston developments, this project is on the fastest damn track I've ever seen. It's been just a little over a year that Equilibria first posted on this thread.
 

DZH22

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Dude, this is Boston, and frankly, for Boston developments, this project is on the fastest damn track I've ever seen. It's been just a little over a year that Equilibria first posted on this thread.
I think one could argue that renovating 3 stories in an existing 52 story skyscraper isn't exactly apples-to-apples with building a new tower from scratch. I honestly don't even know what we would compare it to here in Boston. We'd have to look at other cities and see how long it took to refit existing buildings with observation decks (including Top of the Rock NYC, and 1 Liberty Place Philadelphia for more recent offerings). Plus, I can't imagine the NIMBY's came out for this one, forced it through 100 neighborhood meetings, etc. Also assuming a much faster approval process, and a lot less legwork before visible work starts showing.
 

stefal

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I've posted it on here before: is anybody else scratching their heads over the $182 million renovation cost? What the hell does that include? $42 million of interior renovation work for an observatory space is going to bring a huge cost per square foot.
 

JeffDowntown

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I've posted it on here before: is anybody else scratching their heads over the $182 million renovation cost? What the hell does that include? $42 million of interior renovation work for an observatory space is going to bring a huge cost per square foot.
Not sure how this all stacks up, but this includes a major reconfiguration of the access to the tower for the observatory, down at ground level. There is a sunken lobby, significant crowd control and accessible access design, additional security and dedicated elevator access at -1 floor level from the new lobby.
 

BosDevelop

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I wrote about the cost earlier in the thread. It's nuts. A lot can be built with nearly a fifth of a billion dollars. I am no construction expert but it seems like this project should be able to be done for about half the announced cost.
 

chrisbrat

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When this was first announced, I was also confused at the projected cost and speculated that it might hopefully include some repair or at least power-washing of the exterior of the tower. Nothing like that has yet to be mentioned, but I'm still hopeful it winds up being part of the overall project and cost. That cladding is well past its projected expiration date and, if nothing else, needs to be cleaned.
 

stefal

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When this was first announced, I was also confused at the projected cost and speculated that it might hopefully include some repair or at least power-washing of the exterior of the tower. Nothing like that has yet to be mentioned, but I'm still hopeful it winds up being part of the overall project and cost. That cladding is well past its projected expiration date and, if nothing else, needs to be cleaned.
This is the first time I've seen separation between interior renovation costs and total costs. 42 million for interior, which, if it includes the elevator and circulation alterations, I guess it could be warranted, to an extent, but that leaves 140 million left for something else.
 

Gunner02

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I've posted it on here before: is anybody else scratching their heads over the $182 million renovation cost? What the hell does that include? $42 million of interior renovation work for an observatory space is going to bring a huge cost per square foot.
Can anyone on bldup with a membership.. what's the comparison in cost of One Post Office, a full demo with re-facidification (sic) vs this which is $182 for...
 

Java King

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I wrote about the cost earlier in the thread. It's nuts. A lot can be built with nearly a fifth of a billion dollars. I am no construction expert but it seems like this project should be able to be done for about half the announced cost.
I'm no expert either, but I think reconfiguring the garage on the lower level to support the access from the Prudential Center Main Court, has to be pretty expensive. According to the plans that I saw, the whole lower level is a gut renovation. I used to park on the Yellow Level all the time, and I'm still not sure how all this renovation is going to impact that garage level where you would enter the Pru Tower at the lower level and take the escalators up to the Main Court.

The article in the Globe said it was $21.00 for a Skywalk ticket before the closure. I don't remember it being that expensive, but what will it be after the renovation? $30 or $40 I'm looking forward to it, but it might not be something you could do that often if it's really expensive.
 

chrisbrat

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The "trick," which will no longer apply now that all three floors are to be part of the same complex, was to skip the $20 (or whatever it was) fee for SkyWalk and instead go one floor higher to Top of the Hub and buy an $8 drink and hang out at the bar/walk around. You didn't get the Western-most views, but it was still a pretty great work-around.
 

stellarfun

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Can anyone on bldup with a membership.. what's the comparison in cost of One Post Office, a full demo with re-facidification (sic) vs this which is $182 for...
$300 million, according to Curbed, three years ago.

But that $300 million buys a lot more than what's being done at the Prudential building.
The upgrades to the office tower will include the replacement of the existing façade with a glass curtainwall from the ground level to level 30, an overclad system between levels 31 and 38, along with the addition of mid-level and roof level attractions, and the addition of infill areas below existing cantilevered corners. The existing parking structure and associated spaces will be demolished and replaced by a new 18 story structure with ground floor retail and drop-off for an automated parking garage. The automated parking garage will include 3 stories above grade and 2 stories below, with a 13-story addition above the garage that extends the existing office floor plates from the One Post Office Square office tower, and two floors of mechanical space above.
 

bakgwailo

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The "trick," which will no longer apply now that all three floors are to be part of the same complex, was to skip the $20 (or whatever it was) fee for SkyWalk and instead go one floor higher to Top of the Hub and buy an $8 drink and hang out at the bar/walk around. You didn't get the Western-most views, but it was still a pretty great work-around.
Trick I always did was go the one level down to the Skywalk elevator and just keep on it to the top of the Hub to grab a drink & view, skipping any line for the Top of the Hub elevator.
 

DZH22

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The "trick," which will no longer apply now that all three floors are to be part of the same complex, was to skip the $20 (or whatever it was) fee for SkyWalk and instead go one floor higher to Top of the Hub and buy an $8 drink and hang out at the bar/walk around. You didn't get the Western-most views, but it was still a pretty great work-around.
I still preferred SkyWalk. For the $20 you could literally stay up there all day if you wanted to. I would leisurely do the full 360 degrees on the tower about 10 times over 3-4 hours. There was no special room to fight through others for the money-shot view. Always tons of open windows in all 4 directions. It had good music too, lots of 70's/80's throwbacks. Such a laid back vibe, totally worth the price.

I guess if you're one of those people where a 5-10 minute viewing time is more than enough, then the Top of the Hub would have been better. But how well would it work up there if you wanted to stay for hours?
 

Jahvon09

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They could make the Pru Tower look even prettier by redoing the facade & getting rid of that ugly dirty '60's look!! :giggle:
 

squidman1

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Despite how freakin' disgusting the facade looks, replacing it takes away the classic Boston from the tower. The inelegant 60s facade may be outdated, but it's the Pru everyone knows well. A panel cleaning wouldn't hurt though
 

gac108

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Despite how freakin' disgusting the facade looks, replacing it takes away the classic Boston from the tower. The inelegant 60s facade may be outdated, but it's the Pru everyone knows well. A panel cleaning wouldn't hurt though
I think there are ways to modernize the facade without totally losing the "Pru feel", like keeping the color palette the same but using a different material and more modern, streamlined glass. I've also always thought they should make an actual pointed crown incorporating the huge antenna on top. Plus it will bring the official height somewhere close to 900'.
 

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