Shreve, Crump & Low Redevelopment | 334-364 Boylston Street | Back Bay

Java King

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I can't believe this is really happening in 2022 in Boston! We've lost our ability to respect historic/traditional architecture. This building and the building that Whoops replaced in Kenmore Square had character and added to the fabric of the city even if they weren't the same importance as the Public Library or Trinity Church. I think both should have been preserved at least if only the facades integrated into new buildings. The recent Broad Street Facade inclusion isn't perfect, but I'm super glad they respected the historic architecture, and I believe it makes for a much better overall project. Another favorite example of mine is Russia Wharf. They did a terrific job renovating the warehouse buildings into a super cool lobby with a nice modern tower on top. Anyway, my fear for this Shreve, Crump & Low development, is that we are going to end up with another cheap 2D plastic looking Whoops Building. Sigh...............

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pel_north

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Wait a minute…they are ruining this building, tore down and aren’t saving much of anything? What about that black and gold entryway at 356 Boylston? I wish everyone could collectively just slap these people in the face. Also shame on you BBNA.
 

curcuas

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It is remarkably clear from the demolition how weak of a shell this building was. Interesting to see live all the claims well documented above that a facadectomy was impossible.
 

stellarfun

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It is remarkably clear from the demolition how weak of a shell this building was. Interesting to see live all the claims well documented above that a facadectomy was impossible.
SC&L in the late 1920s, apparently after the Art Deco treatment.


They didn't carry architectural elements on the original / modified? Boylston facade over to the Arlington facade.
VE even back then.

More photos of the old interior here. Art Deco!
https://www.historicnewengland.org/explore/collections-access/capobject/?refd=PC009.228A

The original architect was William Gibbons Rantoul, who was born in Beverly Farms. Rantoul St. named after his family? His architectural forte was residences for the well-to-do. He had little experience designing large commercial buildings. The original building was not designed for Shreve Crump and Low, (Circa, 1900, SC&L's store was at Tremont & West streets. SC&L moved to Boylston St. in 1929, after the architect William Truman Aldrich remodeled the building with an Art Deco overlay.) IIRC, the original building was used as a commercial school for young ladies. I can't recall whether it was purpose-built for that.
 

curcuas

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SC&L in the late 1920s, apparently after the Art Deco treatment.


They didn't carry architectural elements on the original / modified? Boylston facade over to the Arlington facade.
VE even back then.

More photos of the old interior here. Art Deco!
https://www.historicnewengland.org/explore/collections-access/capobject/?refd=PC009.228A

The original architect was William Gibbons Rantoul, who was born in Beverly Farms. Rantoul St. named after his family? His architectural forte was residences for the well-to-do. He had little experience designing large commercial buildings. The original building was not designed for Shreve Crump and Low, (Circa, 1900, SC&L's store was at Tremont & West streets. SC&L moved to Boylston St. in 1929, after the architect William Truman Aldrich remodeled the building with an Art Deco overlay.) IIRC, the original building was used as a commercial school for young ladies. I can't recall whether it was purpose-built for that.
I believe this is after they widened Arlington and rebuilt the facade on that side. When they did that, they essentially compromised the structural integrity of the building and made it unable to be saved/built over.

Rantoul family also produced a very prominent politician and lawyer mid 19th c.
 

Vivanna

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It is remarkably clear from the demolition how weak of a shell this building was. Interesting to see live all the claims well documented above that a facadectomy was impossible.
I doubt that it was impossible, just didn't pencil for the developer.
 

bigpicture7

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Though I certainly get the basic physics of it, it still never ceases to amaze me how landmark-esque structures we walk past frequently and engrain in our mental maps of the city:
-Took decades (or even centuries) to live out their operational lives
-Took many years (or even a decade) to be planned, permitted, designed and built
-Yet, in a matter of weeks, can be completely eliminated - as if they were never there at all
 

LtKije

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From today, 9/20. In just the past 2 days it seems they’ve worked their way through about one third to one half of the piece of the building facing Boylston. I know most everyone hates this project but I’ve made my peace with it, especially after learning about how the building was altered when Arlington Street was extended. Frankly I wouldn’t mind seeing its immediate neighbors to the west on Boylston also get torn down, some of them are in really sad shape.

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