Redesign Government Center

tangent

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There would be outcry, but to a certain extent, does it matter? There is always outcry about everything. I know people who flipped out about the lounge chairs because they saw it as stealing money from the BPS budget. That's how crazy some activists can be.
Seems like an old post.... Anyway, on the one hand sure. If it is presented as a "beautification" project without any other purpose then it would be a waste of money. But if it is a $100 million dollar renovation to modernize the building, make it more efficient, more usable, and could also provide some additional public spaces to replace the bureaucratic dungeons where you go to dispute your parking ticket, or argue with someone over something, then I think that could be somewhat popular.

Make the ground floors all public spaces and give people easy access to the center court yard. Enclose the top of the courtyard and make it a winter garden for Mass Horticultural society. Provide the Boston History museum with space, performance space, public meeting space beyond the city council chamber. Basically those things that didn't happen on the greenway because building over the ramps was too expensive, just do them on a smaller scale inside city hall

Like the renovation of the Johnson wing of BPL. The lead PR on that was the renovation of the Children's library and making it look better was just a fringe benefit.
 

stick n move

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Wrong thread this should be in the Congress Street Garage thread which was recently renamed I believe. I quoted these over for you I hope you don't mind.
I made the thread lol, but yea I posted the wrong pictures in my own thread.
 

stick n move

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Just saw the sunkist hq in LA for the first time. I think this looks like city hall but better. Its balanced and looks like it has aged well. Im not sure when it was built, but the lack of insane amounts of brick and a lot less randomness to the facade looks good. It looks like they outdid us on our own building. What do you guys think? If we had built this instead and with limestone instead of concrete maybe rounding some of the sharp angles I think city hall would have been celebrated.






 

datadyne007

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less weathered, more conventional, and just as 'dated'
Yes and most importantly, it lacks all of the functional, organizational & conceptual principles of City Hall's design.

If City Hall looked like that, it would have been torn down long ago. City Hall's organizational concept is what makes it a landmark.
 

tangent

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Just saw the sunkist hq in LA for the first time. I think this looks like city hall but better. Its balanced and looks like it has aged well. Im not sure when it was built, but the lack of insane amounts of brick and a lot less randomness to the facade looks good. It looks like they outdid us on our own building. What do you guys think? If we had built this instead and with limestone instead of concrete maybe rounding some of the sharp angles I think city hall would have been celebrated.






That is basically a less attractive version of the JFK Federal building on the other side of the plaza.

I actually don't mind the JFK building, but I do think City Hall should stand out a bit more than just another building.

Wipe out the lower levels, move all the beurocrats to the upper levels (or to other city buildings around town) and make all the lower levels into a civic space (museum, actual multipurpose hall, indoor horticultural space), light it all up and then City Hall is a great building in a great location.
 

JeffDowntown

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This is a move in the right direction:

City of Boston announcement:

"On Thursday [October 13], Mayor Martin J. Walsh will debut City Hall's exterior lighting installation, a permanent fixture to highlight and enhance the building's original design while livening up City Hall Plaza and increasing public safety. The unveiling will be made during this year's final Beer Garden on the Bricks event, themed 'Light Bright Beer Garden.'

The new lighting fixtures will wash the building in a warm white light, and also have the capability of projecting a wide-range of color options which will allow the City to light the building to acknowledge a variety of civic and celebratory events. This Thursday's light unveiling will serve as the first opportunity for members of the public to see the lights' capability and see a short light demonstration during the final Beer Garden on the Bricks event. Both of these efforts are part of Mayor Walsh's vision to make City Hall and the plaza a more welcoming and enlivened space."
 

statler

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This will piss off the 'tear-it-down' folks but I can't wait to see it.
 

West

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This will piss off the 'tear-it-down' folks but I can't wait to see it.
I agree. I've long felt this building's features could look really good with some inventive lighting.

Colors will be fine, but the part about "wash the building in a warm white light" makes me worry they'll just be sort of blasting it with light. That's not what I'd do at all. Oblique slanted lighting across that complex façade, especially the overhanging and highly articulated cornices, could create some fantastic play between light and shadow. Just lighting it all up brightly would not get at that.

We'll see. I'm very intrigued to see what they've done.
 

Hubman

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Re: Government Center

My wishlist for this area: Get rid of Shitty Hall, restore the narrow streets, small blocks, nice mix of buildings and uses. You know: a traditional city, what you'd expect from a place that was founded in the 17th century.

Sadly it'll probably never happen, but one can always hope.
I totally agree. Make it like a real city. Monstrosities sitting in a parking lot is a lousy architectural and planning idea.
 

odurandina

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Yes and most importantly, it lacks all of the functional, organizational & conceptual principles of City Hall's design.

If City Hall looked like that, it would have been torn down long ago. City Hall's organizational concept is what makes it a landmark.
i hope the grownups implode it with 5,000 lb bombs as soon as possible.
 

CSTH

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I agree. I've long felt this building's features could look really good with some inventive lighting.

Colors will be fine, but the part about "wash the building in a warm white light" makes me worry they'll just be sort of blasting it with light. That's not what I'd do at all. Oblique slanted lighting across that complex façade, especially the overhanging and highly articulated cornices, could create some fantastic play between light and shadow. Just lighting it all up brightly would not get at that.

We'll see. I'm very intrigued to see what they've done.
Agreed, the right lighting could be phenomenal. I'm afraid though that we'll get another technicolor dreamcoat - green when the celts play, red and blue for the so and pats, pink for breast cancer, national colors for terror attacks...just like the zakim, and roses wharf, and fan pier, etc etc etc....will have to wait and see hopefully it complements the texture and architecture etc...
 

West

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.... I'm afraid though that we'll get another technicolor dreamcoat - green when the celts play, red and blue for the so and pats, pink for breast cancer, national colors for terror attacks ...
Precisely my concern. There's a huge range of possible outcomes, from really bad to awesomely good. If I were to learn that Marty Walsh made the choices himself, I'd be pessimistic. But if he were too busy or had a burst of good sense, and delegated it to someone who hired someone talented, then ......
 

statler

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Right. There are companies dedicated to exactly this type of work. Hopefully they hired one of them.
 

statler

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This is literally the most superficial fix they could apply to the building but it is still welcome.

Hopefully it will help people rethink the building and perhaps build political will for a complete and proper rehab.
 

statler

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I think that is just a demonstration of what it can do. I doubt it will be full Joseph's Dreamcoat every night.
 

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