Winthrop Center | 115 Winthrop Square | Financial District

bakgwailo

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Ugh, yeah - Accordia's was by far my favorite. Not a fan of the Lendlease proposal, but I think the green glass/etc on Accordia would have really made a nice addition. Then again - probably would have been the first thing VE'd out when the FAA chopped the height off. I'd say say to the original Menino era proposals - yeah some interesting but all were completely unfeasible due to FAA limits. That is to say - officials must have known the FAA limits and ignored them for the RFP which generated some cool ideas, but, we can't really judge what we got against what could have been since they all, too, would have had to be drastically changed to be built in reality. I will say - even in the magical realm of the FAA and Logan not existing, Millennium's proposed was still mid-tier at best even not cut down (although certainly had by far the best overall financial package for the city).

I mainly see this coming from the South and it looks OK - will hold out my judgement for the full crown.
 

393b40

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Ugh, yeah - Accordia's was by far my favorite. Not a fan of the Lendlease proposal, but I think the green glass/etc on Accordia would have really made a nice addition. Then again - probably would have been the first thing VE'd out when the FAA chopped the height off. I'd say say to the original Menino era proposals - yeah some interesting but all were completely unfeasible due to FAA limits. That is to say - officials must have known the FAA limits and ignored them for the RFP which generated some cool ideas, but, we can't really judge what we got against what could have been since they all, too, would have had to be drastically changed to be built in reality. I will say - even in the magical realm of the FAA and Logan not existing, Millennium's proposed was still mid-tier at best even not cut down (although certainly had by far the best overall financial package for the city).
Aesthetically Trinity's plan was the worst, but I really liked their idea to inject downtown with some serious market-rate housing. All the other proposals were somewhat screwed by the height limit but Trinity's was designed with that in mind.

One of the things I dislike about this tower is that it takes away from Millenium Tower standing by itself. It's too similar. People have complained about this with the Hancock and Raffles but at least there is a significant height difference... these two not so much and it looks meh.
 

Java King

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Ugh, yeah - Accordia's was by far my favorite. Not a fan of the Lendlease proposal, but I think the green glass/etc on Accordia would have really made a nice addition. Then again - probably would have been the first thing VE'd out when the FAA chopped the height off. I'd say say to the original Menino era proposals - yeah some interesting but all were completely unfeasible due to FAA limits. That is to say - officials must have known the FAA limits and ignored them for the RFP which generated some cool ideas, but, we can't really judge what we got against what could have been since they all, too, would have had to be drastically changed to be built in reality. I will say - even in the magical realm of the FAA and Logan not existing, Millennium's proposed was still mid-tier at best even not cut down (although certainly had by far the best overall financial package for the city).

I mainly see this coming from the South and it looks OK - will hold out my judgement for the full crown.
Totally agree! My only real beef with what we ended up with, is the lack of a GREAT HALL. The Great Hall was supposed to be an amenity for not having an observation deck. The first renderings were very Calatrava inspired, and I was hopeful. However, we ended up with a glorified office lobby. I think High Street Place Food Hall is so much better if you are comparing atrium spaces. However, since Winthrop Connector isn't finished yet, there is still some small hope. :)

I think many of the new office towers in London have created some fabulous public spaces such as the Shard and the Walkie Talkie.
 

Rover

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You can't ask a developer to pony up 150m for linkage payments and then also add all kinds of bells and whistles to the design. So pick your poison. If every building comes along with a requirement to fund every non profit in the city, you're going to get blander designs.
 

DZH22

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It reminds me of a cross between Millennium Tower and the Hancock. I really like the pinstripe effect. Can't fully judge it until the crown is done but don't expect it will be botched in any way like MT's open roof. The "not standing out" aspect is mainly due to the FAA, although it does kind of blend into MT from certain angles. Once South Station Tower is up we'll have a sea of blue glass, very different from Boston's last skyline iteration. I hope the next set of major towers, whenever we are able to get them, have more colorful and solid materials in their designs. I feel like we're already saturated and South Station Tower is just getting out of the ground, plus there's even more blue glass on the way in the Back Bay.

In a vacuum though, this is a solid tower. We're just getting too much blue glass overall and need to demand a bit more imagination from developers going forward.

IMG_2268 by David Z, on Flickr
 

Nibbles O’Plenty

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$10 says Boston will continue to let Millennium Partners fill the skyline with boring blue glass nothingburgers, shiny self-storage towers, as developer and City are comfy bedfellows now. The very best this thing can look is from a distance when it appears to meld with Millennium Tower and is seen as one structure; then it becomes somewhat interesting, if not attractive. Otherwise, this ranks down there with 1 Internat'l and 1 Financial.
I like the last two buildings you mentioned. Don’t think there will be much cooperation with builders for further construction with Wu in office.
 

citydweller

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$10 says Boston will continue to let Millennium Partners fill the skyline with boring blue glass nothingburgers, shiny self-storage towers, as developer and City are comfy bedfellows now. The very best this thing can look is from a distance when it appears to meld with Millennium Tower and is seen as one structure; then it becomes somewhat interesting, if not attractive. Otherwise, this ranks down there with 1 Internat'l and 1 Financial.
>Otherwise, this ranks down there with 1 Internat'l

What? 1 International Place ranks close to the top for me. Lots of distinguishing features and looks great from the harbor.
 

chrisbrat

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>Otherwise, this ranks down there with 1 Internat'l

What? 1 International Place ranks close to the top for me. Lots of distinguishing features and looks great from the harbor.
and, unlike nearly all highrises/skyscrapers in boston, it's NOT A BOX. this town is lousy with rectilinear blah boxes. IP (both of them) do, indeed, look great from the harbor and they are a godsend in that they provide some counterpoint to all the homegenous cuboid bullshit. the silly rows of palladian windows understandably get their fair share of haters, but don's complex has only gotten better with age.
 

DBM

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$10 says Boston will continue to let Millennium Partners fill the skyline with boring blue glass nothingburgers, shiny self-storage towers, as developer and City are comfy bedfellows now.
You sure must have some insider knowledge here to speak so confidently! Maybe you're an employee of the developer, who's been lurking on this forum?

Also, here are some things that happened since the City approved Winthrop Center tower four.years.ago:

1) A new mayor, whose urban planning/development philosophy ("abolish the BPDA") appears to be quite radically different from that of the regime which approved this tower.
2) A new BPDA director handpicked by said mayor, who obviously is under a mandate to enact radical change at the BPDA, in terms of all that implies with bringing in scores of new personnel who "think like he does."

Given the above, who, precisely, would said developer be comfy with at the City anymore?

If it's the Mayor--they'd have had only a half-year to develop that relationship.

If it's the BPDA chief, they'd have had... one month .... to develop that relationship.

(Same goes for all developers in this city, of course...)

Finally, I'd love to know what is meant here by "shiny self-storage towers." Are you stating that the value of downtown real estate is going to fall so precipitously that it will suddenly become economically sensible (let alone palatable for community stakeholders) for developers to pitch building storage facilities?
 

DZH22

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Is there a list of stuff that has been proposed AND approved under Wu? I feel like everything currently is still Walsh-era.
The answer would likely be "none" regardless of who is in office, or their attitudes toward development. In Boston it typically takes years for projects to go from the initial proposal to getting approved. She hasn't even been in office for a year yet.

If that 4 building Simmons complex between Fenway and Longwood gets approved then I think it would qualify as the first major project to fit your criteria. It's also a litmus test for reasonable height, as the tallest at 333' would be the 4th tallest in the combined Fenway/Longwood/Kenmore neighborhoods.

On the other hand, after South Station Tower gets built we all might be dead before we see another 500' building in this city (we'll be stuck at 23... forever!).
 

bakgwailo

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On the other hand, after South Station Tower gets built we all might be dead before we see another 500' building in this city (we'll be stuck at 23... forever!).
I'd also note that would be way more the function of the market than the mayor. Things were starting to look bad for tall buildings for awhile now from the pandemic to economics. Anything going tall would need to be mostly residential (or a vanity project for a more traditional business).
 

guitarguynboston

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Unfortunetly you're atleast 100% right on slowness with Wu but until the rumors become factual i'm gonna wait to see how else she deals with things like height, density, and generally what's best for Boston as a city.
 

DZH22

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I'd also note that would be way more the function of the market than the mayor. Things were starting to look bad for tall buildings for awhile now from the pandemic to economics. Anything going tall would need to be mostly residential (or a vanity project for a more traditional business).
I guarantee that if developers were allowed to build by right to the FAA limits in certain neighborhoods like the financial district, Back Bay's high spine, and North Station area, then we would see plenty of max height proposals.

It takes a hell of a lot of time, work, and money to propose a project and see it through the development process. We don't get max height FAA proposals because developers (rightly) don't believe they would be allowed to be built. They don't want to waste all that time, work, and money when they could build something lamer much more quickly and without all the opposition.

1 Bromfield would have been a 700' residential if "too tall" wasn't a top two criticism along with the podium.
Aquarium Garage is still waiting to go 600', and waiting, and waiting, and waiting....
That stupid lab by South Station was originally proposed as a 385' office building and even that was deemed too tall.
Hurley is being capped at 400' in a difficult parcel that could support over 700'.
One of the air rights parcels in Back Bay originally proposed over 600' prematurely chickened out and shortened the proposal to the 500's (plus removed the 2nd building), ultimately rendering the project unfeasible.

All you have to do is look at the process behind this particular parcel, and how many different developers were interested in building something over 700'. Any other parcel in the city, if an RFP went out to the max height FAA allowance, would see proposals at that height. However, for now there is a belief that if they did propose tall it would face such an uphill battle that developers don't even bother anymore. It has absolutely nothing to do with the market. If anything, the market cries out for larger/taller/denser projects than are currently allowed, especially in the TOD parcels.
 

HenryAlan

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Once South Station Tower is up we'll have a sea of blue glass, very different from Boston's last skyline iteration. I hope the next set of major towers, whenever we are able to get them, have more colorful and solid materials in their designs. I feel like we're already saturated and South Station Tower is just getting out of the ground, plus there's even more blue glass on the way in the Back Bay.

In a vacuum though, this is a solid tower. We're just getting too much blue glass overall and need to demand a bit more imagination from developers going forward.
The blue is an effective counterpoint to the brown, while at the same time complimenting it. But I agree, time to add a third color to the skyline!
 

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