Raffles Boston (40 Trinity Place) | 426 Stuart Street | Back Bay

whighlander

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I am stepping into the breach. Foolish, no doubt, but patience has worn thin. This forum, to my mind, once a prodigious (remember aBlarc, and others) resource of pictures and thoughtful observations about our city, architecture and urban issues has become something quite different. It seems now mostly adolescent fetishism for erections. (Allusion, regretfully, intended.) ....

Filling the gap? Really? Let other cities race to "fill gaps." Our gaps are part of our brand. Our signature symbols stand mostly alone. And it succeeds! Our identity is to be different, not to be like other cities. This is good and should be protected at all cost. How many other cities look like us - large and small - and still provide the street setting we offer? Few. Very. At least in America.

.....
Up to a point I agree with the above sentiments.

However, above all --- the principal reason that Boston is unique has nothing at all to do with the land, buildings, trees -- its all about the kind of people who've made Boston their own for 400 years. From Winthrop's original command and admonishment that We are to be as a City on a Hill --- not in terms of the literal hills -- but rather that people would see what Boston was doing and we should not hide out achievements. And we haven't -- the people who have made this place home have contributed more innovation than many other cities combined in fields as diverse as medical procedures and missile guidance.

But putting that human component aside and looking to the Boston aesthetic -- its a product to a large extent of hills, coves, rivers and the sea. Basically we are the product of the Last Ice Age which provided the underlying land forms. And upon which we not only built -- but to a large extend we have restructured the underlying land to fit our reeds at the time in a way few other cities have attempted. From building wharfs into the harbor and then filling in behind -- e.g. State Street and Atlantic Ave.; to filling whole swaths of tidal flats {Back Bay, South Boston Seaport, Logan] to dismantling hills for fill [Beacon, Pemberton, Fort Hill]. And above all the conversion of the tidal Charles River into the engineered and managed Charles River Basin and the banks in Boston and Cambridge.

We don't have a rectilinear grid of streets over any large extent because of the hills and the coves which created the "cow paths" early on. Where we do have a rectilinear grid its because the land is all fill and limited as a foundation for building big. The rivers too shallow and limiting in length for commerce nevertheless isolated all of the uplands from each other giving rise to an opportunity for sculpting the rivers into recreational channels.

All of this and more gave us the High Spine in the Back Bay along with the Charles River Basin and the hump of downtown following the contour of the filled harbor edge. Hence the traditional Boston Skylines.

Now however, things are changing to the tune of the newly defined Seaport Skyline with its limits imposed by Logan and the Kendall Cambridge Skyline still very much a work in progress.

As a result of the above -- With the exception of few iconic towers most of the Skyline is interesting because of the unexpected juxtapositions of the various tall buildings due to the curving streets. The only other place where this is the norm is London.

That is also to a significant extent the reason that details on buildings are less important than they would be where everything is lined up along streets and avenues running at right angles.
 

HarvardP

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FWIW, the Copley Tower developers rightly judged the city as verging on overbuilt in the ultra-lux segment, so a major 'white glove' res tower would be a huge gamble. That was 2016; look to NYC now and you'll see the developers' hesitation was prescient.

But take heart: Boston's commercial developers are increasingly keen to go tall.
 

awood91

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FWIW, the Copley Tower developers rightly judged the city as verging on overbuilt in the ultra-lux segment, so a major 'white glove' res tower would be a huge gamble. That was 2016; look to NYC now and you'll see the developers' hesitation was prescient.

But take heart: Boston's commercial developers are increasingly keen to go tall.
But Boston is not NYC and prices in Boston are still rising. Copley Place tower would have been a run away success, probably coming to market next year. I dont understand why you jumped to compare it to NY.
 

HarvardP

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But Boston is not NYC and prices in Boston are still rising. Copley Place tower would have been a run away success, probably coming to market next year. I dont understand why you jumped to compare it to NY.
Highly debatable on the runaway success, but hope doesn't spring eternal on aB, it gushes.
 

awood91

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Highly debatable on the runaway success, but hope doesn't spring eternal on aB, it gushes.
Dude, the most expensive condos in Boston in Millennium Tower and now the new Four Seasons have both set all time price records. What about Copley Tower would prevent it from being successful, ASIDE from economic growth collapsing, which isn't on the horizon yet. The location and views from high floors are arguably better than Millennium and FS, so just how is it so highly debatable?
 

Czervik.Construction

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When comparing to NYC and ultra-luxury condo sales / prices, you need to look at the inventory. There is a glut, literally dozens of ultra-high end condo and rental buildings that were built in the last 5-7 years. Add that to the buildings built in the pre-recession boom (8 Spruce, Armani Casa, etc.), plus all the buildings built over the decades.

In the last 3 years, within 10 N-S blocks and 2 E-W avenues of me, there have been 3 700ft+ rental towers (60+ floors and often over 700-800 apartments each), plus 2 35-story rental buildings, with another 700 footer on the way. This is addition to a ton of 10 floor condo buildings along the high line by BIG, Hadid, etc. along a few 1,000 footer condo buildings.
So, even a place like NYC has it's limits.

Boston has barely any high-rise full service buildings, but has plenty of people with money that want to live in the city... and not everyone wants to live in a brownstone.
I think Boston can absorb several more shiny, tall residential rental / condo buildings. This is not Miami where stuff is being built like crazy and no one has any idea who is going to live there.
 

Jahvon09

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Now is this design chose for this parcel/site? If so, do we have any information on the height/use of the building? Great looking unique building! I am really liking this design!

What an uglybug building!!!!:eek:
 

odurandina

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Boston has barely any high-rise full service buildings, but has plenty of people with money that want to live in the city... and not everyone wants to live in a brownstone.
I think Boston can absorb several more shiny, tall residential rental / condo buildings. This is not Miami where stuff is being built like crazy and no one has any idea who is going to live there.
this

Dude, the most expensive condos in Boston in Millennium Tower and now the new Four Seasons have both set all time price records. What about Copley Tower would prevent it from being successful, ASIDE from economic growth collapsing, which isn't on the horizon yet. The location and views from high floors are arguably better than Millennium and FS, so just how is it so highly debatable?
and this. nice.

lurking and looking up at the tall peaks in Grand Teton Natl Park (i can't do heat). :roll:
 

JohnAKeith

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At the end of the day, it might not be anything like that to cause a "crash". Rumblings are that the new "mansion tax" is putting NYC into a "chill".

But it could be temporary, or maybe the real estate people are trying to scare everyone.

https://www.housingwire.com/articles/49482-home-sales-in-manhattan-surge-as-wealthy-buyers-rush-to-avoid-mansion-tax

When comparing to NYC and ultra-luxury condo sales / prices, you need to look at the inventory. There is a glut, literally dozens of ultra-high end condo and rental buildings that were built in the last 5-7 years. Add that to the buildings built in the pre-recession boom (8 Spruce, Armani Casa, etc.), plus all the buildings built over the decades.

In the last 3 years, within 10 N-S blocks and 2 E-W avenues of me, there have been 3 700ft+ rental towers (60+ floors and often over 700-800 apartments each), plus 2 35-story rental buildings, with another 700 footer on the way. This is addition to a ton of 10 floor condo buildings along the high line by BIG, Hadid, etc. along a few 1,000 footer condo buildings.
So, even a place like NYC has it's limits.

Boston has barely any high-rise full service buildings, but has plenty of people with money that want to live in the city... and not everyone wants to live in a brownstone.
I think Boston can absorb several more shiny, tall residential rental / condo buildings. This is not Miami where stuff is being built like crazy and no one has any idea who is going to live there.
 

meddlepal

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Demo prep appears to have begun including barricades being setup and junkers taking stuff out of the Dunkin.
 

jpdivola

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Great pics as always Beeline. Interesting the sign says "renovation of 40 Trinity Place." The whole building is about to be demoed right?
 
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BeeLine

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Great pics as always Beeline. Interesting the sign say "renovation of 40 Trinity Place." The whole building is about to be demoed right?
Correct, the building is about to be demo'd. This seems to be a standard verbiage, on these signs, which I believe the BPDA issues to the developer/general contractor along with those fancy graphic banners. All I can think is it's a (CYA) boiler plate thing.
 

atlantaden

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How many times have we read this (check the date of the article ;)), or very similar headlines, concerning proposed developments in Boston? The developments change but the arguments against them remain the same. Happily, or not, depending on one's point of view, this hotel is finally happening. I, for one, am happy. Congrats to those behind this project who hung in there to finally get this party started!
 

odurandina

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Site preppe? Is this really happening?
If so, it's the first time in 4 and a half years that a highrise tower has broken ground in Back Bay.
 

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