Winthrop Center | 115 Winthrop Square | Financial District

Restaurants and bars that don’t expect me to spend my life savings.

Or even restaurants that do cost an arm and a leg but are worth paying for. Boston’s dining scene is an embarrassment. Last time I checked Charleston had more four and five star restaurants than Boston.
 
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Or even restaurants that do cost an arm and a leg but are worth paying for. Boston’s dining scene is an embarrassment. Last time I checked Charleston had more four and five star restaurants than Boston.

The two might be related. It’d be easier to have more, better, and more diverse dining options if everything weren’t so expensive.
 
Not to state the obvious here, but the restaurants, like the housing, charge what they do because there are so many people here willing to pay it, even if they complain about it. The housing prices are ridiculous, of course, but hopefully as more of these developments get built and come online, those that are buying houses in suburbs where they don't really want to be, will sell and buy new places in/closer to the city, thereby opening suburban houses to people who actually want to live there. I know this is exactly the case for several of my colleagues who bought places in Woburn, Lexington, and Burlington only because there wasn't a decent-sized condo in Boston/Cambridge/Somerville etc walking distance to the T anywhere to be found. As far as restaurants, like the bars, you guys need to explore beyond what is flashy/new/all-the-buzz, because there are literally thousands of top-notch small restaurants from literally every cuisine around the globe, that will NOT cost you an arm and a leg, everywhere from Watertown, to Medford, to Chelsea, to Newton- just ask around! This is a favorite pastime of mine, and some of the best places I've eaten IN THE WORLD (and I've lived in Europe and Asia too), are right here in our backyards. So please stop with this nonsense and just put in an ounce of effort instead of just complaining that so-and-so steakhouse or seafood restaurant in Beacon Hill is expensive!
 
One Congress, in contrast, came out of the gates with a really daring design -- and they delivered on it. They didn't flatten any of the curves, they didn't make it shorter than originally proposed, and by not really specifying what the night-time lighting scheme would be, when we started to see what they were doing and how bold it's going to be, it was a really welcome surprise.

I love One Congress, and put it just behind One Dalton for favorite tower of the boom. However, they DID shorten it from the initial proposals, some of which exceeded 700'. Imagine One Congress at 700' instead of a chunky 611'?
 
I love One Congress, and put it just behind One Dalton for favorite tower of the boom. However, they DID shorten it from the initial proposals, some of which exceeded 700'. Imagine One Congress at 700' instead of a chunky 611'?

forgot that! Yes, it’d be even cooler with a little more height.
 
In 10 years I think the general consensus will be to rate this building ahead of Millennium Tower. At the present moment, MT has 2 distinct advantages over WT:

1. It was here first, the tallest building in 40 years, and got the chance to stand alone for a few years.
2. It was revised UPWARDS beyond our wildest dreams, whereas WT was originally proposed as an impossible supertall, and still well over 700' in the competition phase, so disappoints compared to the original expectations.

However, at the end of the day I'm picking WT over MT for 2 simple reasons. First, while a slanty roof is typically more interesting than a flat roof, MT's open-roofed eye-sore from the South and West is absolutely egregious. Renders showed a covered roof, similar to their shorter Millennium Place towers by the common. WT doesn't have any awkward angles or stand-out blunders like that open roof. Second, the subtle lighting at the top of WT is an absolute breath of fresh air, considering MT often totally disappears into the night.

If MT had covered the roof but not lit it up, I'd probably have MT winning in a photo finish. If MT had both completed the roof and added some lighting, it would be the runaway winner. However, judging the buildings based on their current statuses and not on what "should have" happened leaves me barely choosing WT as the visually superior addition to our city.

Definitely possible on a 1 v 1 basis, but I think MT will always be king of downtown for 1 simple reason. It looks taller than WT from most angles. Unfortunately, even though WT is supposedly 10 ft taller, it looks shorter, so it will always be the little brother.
 
From a NY Times daily newsletter (emailed) on climate, specifically discussing Winthrop Center.

Building better buildings
Here’s something we know we have to fix, and we mostly know how to fix it.​
I’m talking about the buildings in which we live and work. They play a big role in heating the planet. In some cities, they’re the biggest single source of planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions.​
New laws in a handful of cities, including mine, New York, now compel building owners to reduce those emissions or face fines. The European Union recently enacted a law that requires all buildings to be zero-emissions by the middle of the century.​
I wanted to learn more about all this. So I reached out to John E. Fernandez, an architect and professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.​
Airtight equals efficiency​
Not long ago, I went to see an office building under construction in downtown Boston. On what was once a city-owned parking lot, Millennium Partners Boston, a developer, had erected a 21-story, 800,000-square-foot tower called the Winthrop Center. Fernandez was a consultant on the project.​
Its 10-foot, floor-to-ceiling windows were triple-pane, oriented to let in sunlight. The walls had a 4-inch layer of insulation. On each floor, a door opened to a balcony, though, as in a lot of offices, none of the windows opened. Any chance of fresh air? Yes, said Brad Mahoney, the company’s director of sustainable development. From the ventilation system.​
Winthrop Center was built on Passive House principles, a concept that sprang up in Germany in the 1980s, based on the idea that the cheapest energy is the energy you don’t use. So the emphasis is on creating an airtight envelope for the building. Don’t let unwanted air leak in or out. Insulate. Take advantage of the heat produced inside by circulating it. Our bodies and our computers generate a lot of heat, it turns out.​

Upfront construction costs are higher than for a conventional building. In the case of this building, Mahoney estimated, the cost was about 2 percent to 3 percent higher.​
(Luxury condominiums sit on top of the office tower, but they’re not, strictly speaking, built to Passive House standards.)​
The heating source is key​
The Winthrop Center is still heated by a gas boiler. Because of the energy efficiency hacks, Mahoney was quick to point out, it will use less gas than a conventional building of the same size. He said that when construction began, in 2017, electric heat pumps weren’t “commercially viable.”​
There was no incentive, either. Now, there is. Boston in 2021 passed an ordinance requiring large buildings to neutralize their greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Between now and then, building owners are required to report their emissions numbers. In March, Mayor Michelle Wu proposed that new constructions be fully electric; the City Council has yet to vote on the proposal.​
Nearly 70 percent of Boston’s emissions come from buildings.​
Building materials matter, too​
Passive House principles don’t take into account the stuff buildings are made of, like concrete and steel, which are huge polluters. How can that be reduced?​
Fernandez said steel would become less carbon-intensive if its production could be fueled by green hydrogen, which is derived from water.​

The newsletter linked to this site which covers Boston's building codes, and climate-related provisions.

https://cleantechnica.com/2023/03/2...te=1&user_id=da580a4cd1e82ea0128214184976a2ac
 
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Still really odd to me that Millenium, the folks paying a fortune to live in MT, and the city of Boston are all fine with that absurd, unfinished roof.
 
I'm very curious why they removed the detailed column. Presumably it'll return.

So rumor has it the marble cladding that was around the central steel column COLLAPSED after it was initially installed. Not sure if they're re-engineering the cladding or what, but it's a bit of an embarrassment for something that's otherwise cleanly executed.
 
This is the first that I am hearing about a collapse of any sort. Based on the info that I have, there was a decision made to replace it with cladding of a darker hue.
 
So rumor has it the marble cladding that was around the central steel column COLLAPSED after it was initially installed. Not sure if they're re-engineering the cladding or what, but it's a bit of an embarrassment for something that's otherwise cleanly executed.
This is the first that I am hearing about a collapse of any sort. Based on the info that I have, there was a decision made to replace it with cladding of a darker hue.

Without knowing, I'd lean against there having been a collapse. That much marble on a high-visibility project (one blocks from the Globe office, no less) would have at least shown up on my Twitter feed.
 
Without knowing, I'd lean against there having been a collapse. That much marble on a high-visibility project (one blocks from the Globe office, no less) would have at least shown up on my Twitter feed.

I’ll double check my source but it’s from someone I trust who has spent a lot of time within and around the building the last few months
 

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