State Street HQ | One Congress | Bulfinch Crossing | West End

#bancars

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I'm nothing but a fanboy of everything on here, and I love insight into everything people know on this vast forum.

Is there another US city was that has had such abstract engineering like Boston, in the past 30 years? Start with the Big D, currently we have this, SST, St Regis (which from everything I've watched for 18 months, has been no easy feat), parcel 12, etc. I've lived in NYC, Chicago, LA and London and their development seems easy in comparison, in all regards.

I don't understand the engineering but marvel at what's been done here. Projects like I mentioned could be easy and I'm just a moron, but its cool to me and I deeply appreciate those that are able to provide in-depth information of how it all works. I learn something daily on here and I really appreciate everyone that contributes knowledge.
I feel the same way! I don't have any expertise in construction or engineering, so it's always really interesting to hear from people on this forum who do.
 

citydweller

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I mean... like compared to what? The existing hulking parking garage?

I don't like snarkiness anymore than the next person but really... how could this worsen the pedestrian experience compared to what's already there?
Looking at the site rendering again, I see that a significant portion of the parking garage will be razed and Merrimac Street will be exposed. In short, I suspect the streetscape should be significantly better, in the long run.
 

cburns

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No pics, because I was driving, but they were messing around with the tower crane today. One of those massive portable cranes was there, jib of the on-site crane was flat/ parallel with ground and the hoist line was removed.

Also noticed that one of the cage sections used to hoist the crane's mast higher was also in position just under the turntable... Very confused as these tower crane's are capable of raising themselves.
 

DrFreewind

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No pics, because I was driving, but they were messing around with the tower crane today. One of those massive portable cranes was there, jib of the on-site crane was flat/ parallel with ground and the hoist line was removed.

Also noticed that one of the cage sections used to hoist the crane's mast higher was also in position just under the turntable... Very confused as these tower crane's are capable of raising themselves.
They must have been installing the climbing mechanism. if you look at nibbles picture #524 you can see the climbing mechanism vs their last photo from the previous page

 

Cortes

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Slightly off topic, but are there any thoughts about the parking lot across the street? The one with the ridiculous coffee shop. It has all the looks of "2 Financial Center", where the leather district folks said no to a 20 building. It could, however, end up being something that turns that intersection into a real "square".
 

Lrfox

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Slightly off topic, but are there any thoughts about the parking lot across the street? The one with the ridiculous coffee shop. It has all the looks of "2 Financial Center", where the leather district folks said no to a 20 building. It could, however, end up being something that turns that intersection into a real "square".
I'd love to see the lot(s) developed (though I'd hate to see Cuppa leave), but i don't have faith in the potential for this intersection to become a real square. Not a pedestrian friendly one, anyway. It may benefit from a bit of a road diet, but it's too essential of a connection to I-93 & Logan and too vital of a link between the South Station/Seaport area and the West End/N. Station area to trim down to a real pedestrian-oriented square. Plus it still suffers from the Edward Brooke/Lindemann/Hurley monolith deadening that corner.
 

Bananarama

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I've wondered how that surface lot can still exist in such a prominent location... The giant blank party wall of the abutting condo building is just screaming to get covered.

Cuppa is such a charmingly-ugly little building. Maybe leave that part of the lot alone. It'd certainly make Friend st a much nicer gateway of sorts coming down Congress.
 

meddlepal

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Interesting that they are going to put this building up with just one crane? I wouldn't think the boom would have the length to reach the backside.
 

Cortes

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I'd love to see the lot(s) developed (though I'd hate to see Cuppa leave), but i don't have faith in the potential for this intersection to become a real square. Not a pedestrian friendly one, anyway. It may benefit from a bit of a road diet, but it's too essential of a connection to I-93 & Logan and too vital of a link between the South Station/Seaport area and the West End/N. Station area to trim down to a real pedestrian-oriented square. Plus it still suffers from the Edward Brooke/Lindemann/Hurley monolith deadening that corner.
In regards to a road diet, the illimination of the right turn lane from Merrimac (south bound) into the intersection would create a large public space connected to the courthouse. That, combined with the landscaping for the tower and the reconfuration of Haymarket T entrances, combined with the hundreds (1000's?) of new pedestrians that will use the intersection to access the building....I don't know...that seems like the makings of a "square" to me.
 

theSil

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In regards to a road diet, the illimination of the right turn lane from Merrimac (south bound) into the intersection would create a large public space connected to the courthouse. That, combined with the landscaping for the tower and the reconfuration of Haymarket T entrances, combined with the hundreds (1000's?) of new pedestrians that will use the intersection to access the building....I don't know...that seems like the makings of a "square" to me.
+ Pedestrianize and landscape the first block of Portland St and you’re really in business!
 

Lrfox

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In regards to a road diet, the illimination of the right turn lane from Merrimac (south bound) into the intersection would create a large public space connected to the courthouse. That, combined with the landscaping for the tower and the reconfuration of Haymarket T entrances, combined with the hundreds (1000's?) of new pedestrians that will use the intersection to access the building....I don't know...that seems like the makings of a "square" to me.
The problem is that I don't think you can "road diet" to the extent you'd need to in order to make the intersection truly pedestrian friendly space without impacting traffic flow through the intersection to an extent that it'll never be approved. The angle that the streets intersect make it extremely difficult to remove the right turn lane from Merrimac to New Chardon (Northbound or Southbound) without completely eliminating the ability to turn right from Merrimac onto New Chardon (from either direction). And even if you do, you're still going to have multiple lanes in either direction of traffic entering/exiting from all directions.

Road/traffic concerns aside, you have still a monolith occupying 1/4 of the "square" (The Edward Brooke) which isn't generating much foot traffic, and an office lobby on the other side which won't generate much outside of the M-F 9-5 - neither will draw in any foot traffic apart from workers and those attending court. So even if the new developments on the East side of Merrimac have ground level retail and uses (i.e. hotel/residential) that generate foot traffic outside of the work day, 1/2 of the "square" is inactive the bulk of the time. I also have very little faith that the plaza in front of the Brooke will be any better than the one to the side of/behind it which is a hangout for people waiting for court appearances, court employees on smoke breaks, and people staying in the adjacent shelters or receiving treatment at the mental health center next door. I'm not saying it can't improve, but I'd say the bar for this area would be something like the intersection of State/Congress (minus the historic landmark) or Stuart/Charles. Not the worst spots in the world by any means, but nothing anyone would seek out or call "pleasant."

+ Pedestrianize and landscape the first block of Portland St and you’re really in business!
This I could get behind (assuming you mean the tiny 1/2 block between Merrimac and Valenti Way). It'd be a nice spot. Really though, this project (and the modified Haymarket headhouse) will be more aligned with Canal St. than Merrimac. Bullfinch Crossing is concentrating retail and open space efforts (complete with a public square and direct T access) closer to the Public Market and directly in line with Canal St. Speaking of Canal, that should be pedestrianized as this project advances as it'd create an excellent pedestrian corridor between Haymarket/Public Market and N.Station/TD Garden.
 

shmessy

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From 10/17


IMG_4120 by David Z, on Flickr

IMG_4121 by David Z, on Flickr

IMG_4122 by David Z, on Flickr
Looking at these three shots, and picturing in my mind how GREAT urban life will be when cities convert to automated pods and completely ban street parking.

The future of cities will be more lively, dense and incredible.

There may not be a clearer illustration of how street parking kills urban vitality. Imagine these three pictures without the cars parked on the sides.............:cool:
 
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chrisbrat

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Looking at these three shots, and picturing in my mind how GREAT urban life will be when cities convert to automated pods and completely ban street parking.
i get - and even appreciate/agree with - lots of what you frequently post on this anti-car/no-car topic, but the likelihood that what you describe is ever going to be reality in your lifetime (i have no idea as to your age, but this would apply even if you were 6 years old), is equivalent to banking on your "forever home" being located in the floating city of new chicago.
 

shmessy

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i get - and even appreciate/agree with - lots of what you frequently post on this anti-car/no-car topic, but the likelihood that what you describe is ever going to be reality in your lifetime (i have no idea as to your age, but this would apply even if you were 6 years old), is equivalent to banking on your "forever home" being located in the floating city of new chicago.
It will be commonplace in world class cities by 2035.

First in central city districts, progressively spreading out concentrically. Manually driven autos will remain dominant outside of city centers.

In city centers, street parking is inefficient and uneconomical. Money talks, economic efficiency rules, the technology is here and will be perfected and in place in a few years.

You may disagree. That is your prerogative.
 
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