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Old June 14th, 2014, 09:14 PM   #41
erbse
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^ The Custom House Tower is one of the loveliest classical skyscrapers of New England. I adore it.


As for Back Bay: I think the CSC would be a very welcome addition. I never liked the Prudential and I'd be perfectly fine if it gets overshadowed even. That area and the financial district are perfectly apt places for more skyscrapers. Boston is a skyscraper city, just like any bigger North American downtown is and should/could be. We're not talking about Cambridge here.

Btw, I'd be really happy to see some New Classical highrises getting built in Boston, the skyline just feels too modernist for one of the most historical places of the US.
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Old June 15th, 2014, 06:15 AM   #42
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I've always liked Boston's skyline. It's not New York or Chicago and it doesn't have to be. This will be a nice addition to the Back Bay and add to the feel of "two downtowns." That's an aspect of the skyline that very few cities have. I can only think of New York, Phoenix, Houston and maybe Atlanta and Los Angeles in the U.S.
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Old June 15th, 2014, 03:59 PM   #43
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Boston has a large dense city core area, especially compared to other North American cities. Downtown + North End + Charlestown + Back Bay + Bay Village + South End + South Boston + Fenway + Allston + north part of Brookline + Cambridge + Somerville + East Boston + Chelsea. Huge dense, walkable area.
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Old June 15th, 2014, 04:49 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sgt_Pepper View Post
Hmmm....Riiight.........


Custom House Tower by BostonPhotoSphere, on Flickr
Hahaha you dug up the ONE example.
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Old June 16th, 2014, 01:52 AM   #45
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Quote:
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Hahaha you dug up the ONE example.
"All" is a powerful word, my friend.

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Originally Posted by LCIII View Post
The skyline is definitely pathetic- there's no denying it. It's all flat, ugly, forgettable buildings.

However, THIS plus the millenium project will do wonders.

And while the Custom House Tower is the best counter example, imo, it's not the only one.

For Example:


State Street in Boston by dalecruse, on Flickr


Old Hancock Building by Eric Kilby, on Flickr


Tower by brooksbos, on Flickr


Millennium Place Towers I and II by mailgirl333, on Flickr
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Old June 16th, 2014, 03:00 AM   #46
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Every one of those is forgettable and a few of them are even ugly...
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Old June 16th, 2014, 05:29 AM   #47
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Quote:
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Every one of those is forgettable and a few of them are even ugly...
You are entitled to your opinion, I guess.
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Old June 16th, 2014, 01:36 PM   #48
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I agree with LCIII though. None of these is high quality or iconic.
Hancock Building has a spire that is way too large compared to the tower and it look like a poor copy of the ESB.
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Old June 16th, 2014, 08:51 PM   #49
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Quote:
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Every one of those is forgettable and a few of them are even ugly...
Don't know how you can call 111 Huntington forgettable. By no means do I think it's great architecture but the sheer fact that it's visible from almost all angles and is glassy and curvy in a city with very little of either helps it stand out. It's the queen to the Prudential's king.
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Old June 17th, 2014, 12:08 AM   #50
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It's not forgettable, that's true. But the top is a hot mess and it isn't particularly classy. It's memorable for all the wrong reasons imo.
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Old June 17th, 2014, 12:26 AM   #51
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Quote:
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Great project. Boston's pathetic skyline needs this in the worst way!
I concur...Boston's skyline is rather pathetic! However, Boston's skyline is attractive when it's viewed from the east---particularly from the Tobin bridge.
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Old June 20th, 2014, 05:32 AM   #52
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Quote:
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Hancock Building has a spire that is way too large compared to the tower and it look like a poor copy of the ESB.
Sorry about the late response; I've been busy!

Anyway, consider this:

How many cities around the world are building full-glass skyscrapers similar to the one that might be built in the Back Bay? I can name a few (San Francisco, London, Toronto, Shenyang).

So in the grand scheme of things, this building won't be all that unique.

On the other hand, how many cities in the world have a real early 20th century art deco tower?

There are probably a lot in the Midwest, a good amount in NYC, some in Philly and Baltimore, probably a few in San Francisco, Montreal, and Seattle, one or two outside of North America, but on a global scale those types of skyscrapers are rather rare.

So even if comparing the Empire State Building to the Old Hancock Building is like comparing Jamie Lannister to the Imp, imo, the Old Hancock Building is special (especially seeing as its Boston's only art deco tower).
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Old June 20th, 2014, 01:08 PM   #53
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I think that's what'd make this such a great project for Boston. It's been a competitor city (at least in our own, collective, Bostonian minds) to New York for, well, ever, and it'll finally have a skyline composition to match: early 20th century, mid-20th century modernism, and now 21st century post-modernism.

I don't honestly get this obsession with "iconic" towers. If every tower was "iconic", then none would be, right? Give me some solid skyline fillers with a couple of sparklers, and then it really looks like a city.
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Old June 21st, 2014, 02:34 PM   #54
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Boston can't and shouldn't compete with NYC in terms of the skyline, that's ridiculous.

Better stay ahead in terms of academic talent, highend research and couth manners, Bostonians.
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Old June 23rd, 2014, 07:54 AM   #55
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I said skyline composition....Clearly, a city the size of Boston is never going to have as many towers as a city the size of New York.
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Old June 23rd, 2014, 05:29 PM   #56
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Well, then again such "skyline compositions" aren't all that rare in American cities. But I understand you feel a lack of more contemporary tower designs in Boston and I agree, it feels a little dated. Will be a good addition I guess.

Though more classical / Art-decoish designs are always welcome in the city as well.
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Old June 24th, 2014, 08:52 PM   #57
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Quote:
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Great project. Boston's pathetic skyline needs this in the worst way!
Boston doesn't need a spectacular skyline.

That is not the measure of every city. Boston will never have the skylines of Manhattan or Chicago. It has a very unusual history and a very unique identity. There is very little space and the original 'street plans' were not plans at all - just paths that turned into roads.

There is no conceivable reason that every American city has to be stuffed with skyscrapers. Everyone knows that traffic in and out of Boston is a miserable experience. All of these ambitious, enormous projects will bring even more traffic into the city.

I love Manhattan. I was born in the NYC area. All of my family are from either NYC or Boston. But they are very different. Boston is losing its identity very quickly. Not all change is progress.
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Old June 24th, 2014, 08:56 PM   #58
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I think that's what'd make this such a great project for Boston. It's been a competitor city (at least in our own, collective, Bostonian minds) to New York for, well, ever, and it'll finally have a skyline composition to match: early 20th century, mid-20th century modernism, and now 21st century post-modernism.
Oh for Petes sake - in baseball yes - but as cities? This is not the Yanks vs the Sox. NYC is a world class city. Perhaps one of the two true world class cities with London. Boston cannot compete on that level. It shouldn't try. It is wonderful on its own.


Quote:
I don't honestly get this obsession with "iconic" towers. If every tower was "iconic", then none would be, right? Give me some solid skyline fillers with a couple of sparklers, and then it really looks like a city.
Sparklers? So for more than three centuries before the Pru and the Hancock Boston did not look like a real city?
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Old June 24th, 2014, 09:10 PM   #59
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Only the part of Back Bay that is north of Boylston street is known for its plazas and open areas.

The most memorable part of Back Bay between Boylston and the South End is the large indoor mall at Prudential/Copley Place. Otherwise this part of the Back Bay is (for the most part) ugly, inhospitable, and forgettable.

This tower won't do anything to harm the quiet brick streets that make Back Bay so quaint, beautiful, and iconic. On the other hand it might make the southern part of the back bay livelier and/or more aesthetically pleasing.

The only issue could be how this development effects the reflecting pool area, which really is the only nice place in the Back Bay south of Boylston. However, the side of the pool near which this tower will be built is already surrounded by the pru, by 555 Huntington, and the original Christian Science center tower. Also the shadows should fall east/west so the shadows from this tower shouldn't fall on the area around the pool. So hopefully this development won't alter that area negatively...

Yes, the southern part of Back Bay will likely benefit. But I don't trust that it will stop there. The problem is that the area north of Boylston will be slowly overwhelmed. Boston doesn't have the space to build on that scale without large sections of the city being changed. You know that the neighborhoods are so close to each other that is possible to cover many of them on foot in one afternoon.

Boston is the one large city in this country with a strong sense of living history, preserved in its environment and atmosphere. It is sad to think of that dignity and quiet charm being destroyed. I don't see how it can survive.

If that makes me a nimby, so be it. Once it is gone it will never come back.
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Old June 25th, 2014, 03:17 AM   #60
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As a former resident of the Boston area, this is my take. The issue with Boston is the issue with secondary cities with some history: fear of provincialism and overcompensation. They'll give up their past just to try and have a piece of the future, which means rejecting developing contextual or vernacular architecture in favor of whatever the current fad or vision of the future is. And to prove their legitimacy they go to the extreme. Just look at Government Center or John Hancock. What results is a hodgepodge of dated looking buildings that don't really relate to each other, like a dish that has too many clashing flavors.

It's possible there's an economic component as well. Maybe the real estate market in Boston can't support a skyscraper that attempts to rise to the level of the Custom House Tower in terms of detail or material, even if they use precast panels. So occasional small scale and low-rise projects have to maintain the sense of place. But there's not a single tower that rises above the rest that really captures the spirit and the look of the place, or the rich history.
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