Revere Infill and Small Developments

DBM

Active Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2012
Messages
700
Reaction score
26
Revere is a great counter-argument to "transit = gentrification"
I think you're simplifying although you're probably on the right track (sorry not punny). West Revere has a middle-class cohort--and they're the ones farthest from the Blue Line, for whatever that's worth. East Revere, bracketed by other struggling communities (Lynn/Chelsea/Everett) of course does have the Blue Line. But that transit is hampered in a variety of ways. It abruptly terminates at Wonderland--well before the Lynn/Salem area that should be its natural endpoint. It's also amputated from other neighborhoods by Route 1A, and the Wonderland blight, and the Newburyport commuter line. Point being: just get the damn Blue Line extended to Salem, and see what happens. It sure as hell couldn't make East Revere any more unappealing.
 

Beton Brut

Senior Member
Joined
May 25, 2006
Messages
4,295
Reaction score
35
But how did Revere become a "bedroom community of the working poor"?
Like many stories of cultural diaspora in Greater Boston, racism, a growing mistrust in liberal public policy, and a devaluation of education as the primary force toward social aspiration all played a role. Malignant and ill-considered land-use, proximity to the negative impacts of Logan Airport, and and weather (i.e. the Blizzard of '78) are smaller bricks in a heavy load.

Into the 70s, when I was a kid, Revere was a working class town (and in many respects, it remains so). Labors and tradespeople, airline mechanics and passenger-facing employees, longshoremen and civil servants lived there. Italian, Irish, Polish, mostly Catholic, but a few Jewish folks who preferred the ocean views to gritty Chelsea. As the 70s progressed, many long-time residents moved north (to Saugus, Lynnfield, Peabody, and Danvers) just as their siblings, cousins, and co-workers in East Boston were doing.

As the 70s turned into the 80s, the population shifted toward Puerto Rican, Cape Verdean, and (in the wake of Vietnam) Southeast Asian. The change in cultural demographics fueled the departure of the old-schoolers and lead to the balkanization that DMB detailed.

The result has been a kind of political stagnation, where the elected officials are set in place by the "middle-class cohort" that has no interaction with the low income wage earners who inhabit other parts of Revere. In the last election cycle, Revere sent Brian Arrigo, a young, progressive-minded mayor, to City Hall. Things are evolving slowly.

When I talked about engagement in my earlier post, I consider what I've observed in my own neighborhood less than a mile away. The recent sociocultural and political change in East Boston is borne of economic forces. The college educated, forward thinking folks who have settled in Jeffries Point and Eagle Hill were priced out of Jamaica Plain, Cambridgeport, and Somerville. They're writers and artists, educators and environmentalists, nonprofit administrators and attorneys providing counsel to immigrants. In the broadest sense, these folks are aware of their impact in the community as (inadvertent) forces of gentrification, and have coalesced to combat the displacement of lower-income residents. Here's hoping that as Revere evolves, residents old and new can adopt this model.

My dad fondly remembers that as "Punks Corner".

What a different world he grew up during the 1930's and 40's in Revere.........
When my folks were dating in the mid-50s, they frequented the nightclubs there. To say that things have "gotten a little sad" there in the past 60 years is a bit of an understatement.

It sounds as if it were a smaller, but just as electric, version of Coney Island. How very vivid a place it must have been........
Quite so. Two great old wooden rollercoasters -- the Racer and the Cyclone.

I only vaguely remember visits back during the late 60's -early 70's and riding the kiddie rides in the (then) crumbling/dying amusement centers there.
Killed off entirely by the Blizzard of '78. I remember the demo of the Cyclone. Last to go was Nauticals, a big amusement center that had bumper-boats on the lower level and a huge bowling alley and game-room upstairs.

Point being: just get the damn Blue Line extended to Salem, and see what happens. It sure as hell couldn't make East Revere any more unappealing.
Agreed. The Blue Line was built when Revere Beach was a destination. For about 30 years, it's just felt like The End.
 

jklo

Active Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2015
Messages
429
Reaction score
19
I don't see how extending Blue to Salem would help Revere. People in Revere aren't going to go to Salem; they will go downtown. Now Red-Blue would help.

Getting Suffolk Downs redeveloped will help greatly, with or without Amazon. I think it was mentioned in talking about HQ2 that Revere's biggest non-gov employer is a bowling alley (ouch).
 

Shepard

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2009
Messages
3,491
Reaction score
24
Thanks to everyone for answering my sincere curiosity about Revere - quite an education I've got in the previous 10 or so posts.

I'm still knocking my head on the wall trying to figure out why the last few stops on the Blue Line aren't considered a premiere urban beach neighborhood in the northeast US. (And, to be very frank, I'm not even sure what that means or looks like... or if it's even something to aim for...)
 

Beton Brut

Senior Member
Joined
May 25, 2006
Messages
4,295
Reaction score
35
I'm still knocking my head on the wall trying to figure out why the last few stops on the Blue Line aren't considered a premiere urban beach neighborhood in the northeast US.
Four quick hits:
  • Obsolete and over-capacity road infrastructure;
  • Logan Airport overflight noise and air pollution;
  • Nearby malignant land use;
  • History of political and sociocultural inertia

The times they are a-changin'...
 

jklo

Active Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2015
Messages
429
Reaction score
19
Should point out that even in the poor sections of Revere you are still talking about 3-400k condos for the most part. Brand new condos just sold for $480k.

I don't know what Revere's median HHI is, but they sure aren't going to be able to afford a 300k condo.
 

Beton Brut

Senior Member
Joined
May 25, 2006
Messages
4,295
Reaction score
35
^ Of course. That reality was referenced in my Dylan cliché.

Something important is getting lost, so maybe I should articulate it more clearly: the character, priorities, and values of new residents in a *transitional neighborhood can influence outcomes of gentrification and displacement.

The gritty parts of the North Shore are a disparate collection of dispossessed communities. In a hot real estate market, there are pioneers and there are speculators. There are folks who buy homes, fix them up, and dig into the community, even if they're not on the parenthood-track. And there are folks who buy a condo and use it as a place to sleep and entertain.

Perhaps this is a gross oversimplification, but it's rooted in my own observations and interactions. Others may offer a radically different narrative.

* the term "transitional neighborhood" gives me 20 megaton douche-chills
 

bigpicture7

Senior Member
Joined
May 5, 2016
Messages
1,729
Reaction score
92
...In a hot real estate market, there are pioneers and there are speculators. There are folks who buy homes, fix them up, and dig into the community, even if they're not on the parenthood-track. And there are folks who buy a condo and use it as a place to sleep and entertain...
Yes, I agree, but don't downplay the parenthood-track/where-to-raise-the-family dimension. I think that factor will always play a major role in this dynamic.

Is it still gentrification if the newcomers really dig into the community, commit to service, etc?
 

Beton Brut

Senior Member
Joined
May 25, 2006
Messages
4,295
Reaction score
35
...don't downplay the parenthood-track/where-to-raise-the-family dimension.
I wasn't. There are lots of new families in my neighborhood. Many of the parents are college-educated newcomers who understand the richness of urban life and the benefit of attending a diverse big city school.

My greatest frustration with my old-school neighbors (i.e. people who grew up with my parents) is the constant drum-beat of "you're not from here so your opinions don't matter." It's weapons-grade ignorance.

Full disclosure: my main impetus to attend college was to catapult myself out of my neighborhood. Instead, I've become a bookish version of my father. There are worse things, I suppose...

Is it still gentrification if the newcomers really dig into the community, commit to service, etc?
In the context of the contentious relationship between old and new that I just touched on, that's a great question. In a way, it's a bit like post-colonial nation-building on the scale of a few city blocks. Over the past few years, I've met scores of people who didn't grow up in my zipcode but who are willing to fight to make a better community. That's really all that matters.
 

Beton Brut

Senior Member
Joined
May 25, 2006
Messages
4,295
Reaction score
35
I am confused about so many things.
Well one thing you don't need to be confused about -- there'll be a lot of firewood on Revere Beach if we ever have a severe hurricane.

Weren't there several "high-rises" approved for this stretch?
In short, plans change...?

Inferred from attending many BPDA meetings with HYM on the Suffolk Downs: Revere has a negligible amount of industry, and current political leadership is more interested in gaining office square footage than adding housing. This may have had some influence on the scale of development on the beach, less than a mile away.
 

TomOfBoston

Active Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2007
Messages
822
Reaction score
19
I think you're simplifying although you're probably on the right track (sorry not punny). West Revere has a middle-class cohort--and they're the ones farthest from the Blue Line, for whatever that's worth. East Revere, bracketed by other struggling communities (Lynn/Chelsea/Everett) of course does have the Blue Line. But that transit is hampered in a variety of ways. It abruptly terminates at Wonderland--well before the Lynn/Salem area that should be its natural endpoint. It's also amputated from other neighborhoods by Route 1A, and the Wonderland blight, and the Newburyport commuter line. Point being: just get the damn Blue Line extended to Salem, and see what happens. It sure as hell couldn't make East Revere any more unappealing.
They have been "planning" the Blue Line extension to Lynn since I was a kid in the 1960's.
 

TomOfBoston

Active Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2007
Messages
822
Reaction score
19
I have long believed that the "blight" in Revere is manufactured. A city like Boston needs (to use an old friend's words) "an engine room." For generations, much East Boston, Revere, Chelsea, Lynn, and Everett have been bedroom communities for the working poor. We're all living through a singularity of economic necessity and the die-off of older property owners that will alter the fortunes of these communities.
I'm glad I had a happy childhood in Chelsea in the 1950's and 1960's before sociologists told me how deprived I was.
 

statler

Senior Member
Joined
May 25, 2006
Messages
7,760
Reaction score
112
Ask a question. Maybe someone can help? Are you asking about what is going on here technically?
Mind if I take a guess?

The blue is insulation.

The white 'paint' is some sort of liquid flashing?

The grey/black 'paint' is a liquid weather barrier, like a liquid tyvek?

The paper behind the window was placed there to protect the window but a worker ripped it to open the window and let in air.

The panels are attached to a 'grid' of rails and is not yet complete.

I know I got a lot of terminology wrong, but am I otherwise close?
 

cca

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2008
Messages
1,408
Reaction score
10
Mind if I take a guess?

The blue is insulation.

The white 'paint' is some sort of liquid flashing?

The grey/black 'paint' is a liquid weather barrier, like a liquid tyvek?

The paper behind the window was placed there to protect the window but a worker ripped it to open the window and let in air.

The panels are attached to a 'grid' of rails and is not yet complete.

I know I got a lot of terminology wrong, but am I otherwise close?
- Yes

- White is a silicone sheet flashing (in lieu of metal) with sealant that looks a bit splattery

- I could be wrong ... but the black is just paint. You would not put a weather barrier on the cold side of rigid foam insulation. Architects often paint this layer because the girts and the insulation show through the open joints of the GFRC panels. The weathering surface (tyvec or avb) is likely against the sheathing behind the insulation.

- yes ...prob

- yes ... girts = rails
 

statler

Senior Member
Joined
May 25, 2006
Messages
7,760
Reaction score
112
Thanks!

Putting the tyvek under the insulation makes sense, I should have known that.

My first thought was the black was just paint, but the texture threw me off, it looked kind of thick, but that's must just be the insulation texture coming through.
 

Beton Brut

Senior Member
Joined
May 25, 2006
Messages
4,295
Reaction score
35
cca -- I'd be interested in your thoughts on build-quality here. To my eyes, it looks about as durable as a cracker-box, but you'd know better than I would.

I'm glad I had a happy childhood in Chelsea in the 1950's and 1960's before sociologists told me how deprived I was.
Tom, I thought a lot about this last night and this morning. There are so many forces one could consider in crafting a thoughtful response. Through the lens of technology, the lives of the working class have been improved superficially (connectivity, mind-broadening access to knowledge, travel, and entertainment) but substantially undermined (automation, logistics, transition to off-shore labor).

You and I are close-enough in age to be at opposite ends of the same generation. I imagine that we share many common experiences growing up. I agree with you, much of the richness of life fifty-plus years ago has been washed away by the shifting tides of cultural values and priorities. As I've said elsewhere, the defining characteristic of our society isn't what we make but what we choose to throw away.

(I've never been accused of being a sociologist.)
 

Top