I highlighted the comment about change and neighborhoods -- kinda like Climate -- there's a reason that the averages to which everything is being compared are 30 year averages -- that's how long people live in a place -- aka a generationFK4
JoinedNov 13, 2012
Jun 18, 2019
Thanks Henry. I don't mean to be as acerbic as I sometimes come off as... but having lived in JP for years, there was a very strong sense that the "real" first wavers represented the "real JP" and wanted it preserved the way they liked it. It's a real problem in cities today, and like I said, I can't blame them: they moved in in the '70s and '80s, made it the crunchy, quirky place it is now (or was 15 years ago), and now that's made JP desirable for more soulless, yuppie development that will inevitably erode the neighborhood character. Since most of JP is multifamily homes that were once single family, it isn't that easy to just build more housing without genuinely running the risk of destroying the atmosphere there. And this holds true for all great neighborhoods. It's a complex problem and there aren't simple solutions. Every area must do its part, but the hard truth, I do believe, is we really cannot preserve the classic Boston neighborhood - which is lowrise, quaint, local - and maintain affordability. In the end, it's going to be either "museum neighborhoods" for millionaires, or a substantially more urban and crowded city feel than Boston is hitherto used to. I suppose we shall see.
Things change on about that 30 year timetable in neighborhoods as well -- houses get upgraded by new folks older houses fall into disrepair and may be an opportunity for a bulldozer renovation Some houses [typically on busy corners] end up as places for professionals and others to do business
Take a look at nearly every neighborhood in Boston, or Cambridge, or any one of the towns in/on the Rt-128 loop -- the transformation process repeats in varying forms on that 30 year timescale. I doubt that there is any building in the Back Bay, Beacon Hill, or the North End except Churches which were built originally as anything other than single family housing [OK a couple of other exceptions] -- BUT no one built a building in those neighborhoods to house a nice restaurant, or a retail shop or even a doctor's or law office -- they were building houses [sometime at the top of the market such as Beacon Hill toward the Boston Common or Commonwealth Avenue] and [sometimes midmarket such as near Paul Revere's House] -- Houses. Outside of the obvious original commercial districts and some later industrial areas -- all of Boston [and environs inside / on Rt-128] was built originally as single family houses or small multis such as the Legendary 3-Deckers.
It's only when wholesale redevelopment occurred such as after a major fire, [1872 downtown] or when new land appeared after filling that people began to think about building for other uses such as commercial warehouses, factories or shops. A couple of generations go by and the character which we associate a place today becomes established -- but all the while its still changing under our noses.