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Old February 4th, 2009, 09:36 PM   #1
Cojapo
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BOSTON | Harbor Garage Towers | 183m | 600ft | ? fl | On Hold

A prominent developer's excursion into the teeth of NIMBY Hell has finally ended with the City of Boston reducing all hope to a single 600 foot tower [most likely] surmounting the Aquarium Garage. A new developer may step in to try running up this hill or the whole thing could sink below the dirty harbor waters...

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Previous concept:



After the public falling out between developer Don Chiofaro and Boston Mayor Menino, the planned 780ft Aquarium Place development was shelved. Under the new Mayor, Chiofaro is back with a 600ft tower as well as a 537ft tower to replace the harbor Garage.




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Originally Posted by Sgt_Pepper View Post
Boston developer Don Chiofaro proposes $1B two-tower project for Harbor Garage site







Quote:
Boston developer Don Chiofaro, long stymied by former Mayor Thomas M. Menino who thwarted his plans to build a pair of skyscrapers above his eight-story concrete parking garage near the New England Aquarium, is hitting the reset button on his project in hopes a new administration will finally give him the green light.

He locked horns with Menino over the mayor’s publicly stated concerns that the originally proposed 780-foot tall tower complex would cast shadows over the Rose Kennedy Greenway.

The current plan shaves 200,000 square feet from the original 1.5 million square foot proposal and reduces the height by nearly 200 feet.

One of his key selling points is going from “zero open space today,” due to the 70-foot tall garage, to creating a 27,000-square-foot public space...
Read more here and also here.

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Previously:



http://bosguy.com/category/flashback-friday/page/2/

Quote:
These are proposed towers at what is now a 9-story parking garage. These are the first renderings, and knowing Boston, they will change. But, it's cool none the less.

Deconstructing Boston's skyline
Chiofaro's proposal is already sparking debate over design
By Casey Ross, Globe Staff | February 3, 2009

Donald Chiofaro wants to shake up the Boston skyline again.

The brash developer of International Place is proposing to erect near the New England Aquarium a pair of glass skyscrapers connected by a terra-cotta colored rectangle that itself would be taller than the two buildings.

The unusual design, evocative of the bold skyscrapers cropping up in Asia, is sure to set off a debate about Boston's conservative tastes in architecture as well as the kind of development that should accompany the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway.

Chiofaro's proposed towers - one for condominiums and a hotel, the other for offices - would be among the tallest in the city, rivaling the Prudential Building and the John Hancock Tower in the Back Bay. The buildings would be constructed on property now occupied by the Harbor Garage along Atlantic Avenue. "The project, when viewed from the water back toward the city, really is the gateway. It's the centerpiece of the harbor view," Chiofaro said. "The idea of the arch is to accent the opening to the city. It's not just two towers, it's actually three architectural elements."

If built according to preliminary designs by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, Chiofaro's development would create a new aesthetic in a city that has been resistant to unconventional design. But is Chiofaro's vision over the top? The Globe, which obtained a copy of the design in advance, got several architects and urban planners to weigh in. "It's certainly more modern than anything else you see here, and in that sense it's an important statement for Boston," said Abby Flam, a planner at Steffian Bradley Architects. But like others, she was ambivalent about the proposal, adding, "I'm not sure it's quite right for this location, so it might be a little problematic for the city."

Architect Alex Krieger said Boston is beginning to welcome more expressive architecture after years of insistence that buildings incorporate traditional New England styling. "In the 1970s, '80s, and '90s, there was a local sentiment that Boston must maintain its uniqueness," said Krieger, principal at Chan Krieger Sieniewicz, a Cambridge architecture and urban design firm. "The party line was that you had to make it brick, but I think we're over that period."

Chiofaro's buildings, which could be from 50 to 70 stories, will prompt significant talk on how the city should develop parcels along the Greenway parks. Build too many towers that cast shadows and that makes the area less friendly to pedestrians. Boston's chief planner, Kairos Shen, said Chiofaro's proposal must wait until the city has a chance to set height and density guidelines for that area. Current guidelines limit development to about 15 stories. "This would really be unprecedented height along the Greenway in a critical location," Shen said. "What we have to study is what would be the public realm impact."

The city expects to complete a study of the Greenway parcels within six months. Chiofaro has notified the city of his intent to build on the Harbor Garage site, which he purchased for about $155 million in 2007. A formal review could take 18 to 24 months. Chiofaro said that while he respects the city's process, he believes the development will encourage more foot traffic by opening a new connection from the Greenway to the waterfront. "Right now there is a giant cement block that is the Harbor Garage blocking the way," he said. "The architecture team spent a lot of time thinking about ways to make the pathways inviting for pedestrians."

Ground-floor space between the buildings would allow for several stores, restaurants, and an upscale grocery. His commercial tower, the shorter of the two, would include about 860,000 square feet of office space. The more slender building would include about 120 condominiums above a hotel. The parking now available in the Harbor Garage would be moved underground.

Jim Batchelor, president of the Boston Society of Architects, said Chiofaro is right to push for a bold, new design, which he said combines elements of massive skyscrapers in cities like Shanghai with the more boxy geometry of Boston. "He may get some push back, but that's the nature of debate, which is a good thing to have," he said.

http://www.boston.com/business/artic...stons_skyline/



The existing garage facility in question:

image hosted on flickr

Aquarium Garage by BostonUrbEx, on Flickr
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Old February 4th, 2009, 09:37 PM   #2
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not that attractive..
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Old February 4th, 2009, 09:47 PM   #3
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Why everything has to be so red in Boston anyway.
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Old February 4th, 2009, 09:49 PM   #4
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Design wise - no thank you. But good for Boston still
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Old February 6th, 2009, 12:16 AM   #5
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fugly and bland
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Old February 6th, 2009, 02:57 AM   #6
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Disgusting. I know the garage where this building is proposed and the location really is fantastic, but this has got to be the biggest waste of a great land parcel I have seen in a long time. At the same time, how are the provisions for parking going to work? For the most part, this garage is not for commuters. This garage serves day-trippers coming to see the namesake New England Aquarium. You can't simply put those visitors on the T, and parking is already an issue enough, not to mention adding in another tower on top of it.
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Old February 6th, 2009, 07:41 AM   #7
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Yeah I don't thinks so, I'm not feeling this building at all. I give it 3 thumbs down and a toe.
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Old February 6th, 2009, 11:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad View Post
Why everything has to be so red in Boston anyway.
I know! WTF is it about red bricks?! It's like England on smack. Never liked it...
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Old February 7th, 2009, 01:07 AM   #9
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Hey, don't diss Boston's red brick colonial buildings.
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Old February 7th, 2009, 01:26 AM   #10
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It'd be nice to see something more imaginative... I'm sick of boxes around here.
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Old February 7th, 2009, 02:36 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chjbolton View Post
I know! WTF is it about red bricks?! It's like England on smack. Never liked it...
Would you rather all the homes be made of tin?

This looks like it is out of the 70's.
If they are going to use brick they should go for a more classical look and if they want to go modern for the love of god don't jump on the bandwagon of 'it is cutting edge!' and end up building some warped tower.
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Old February 7th, 2009, 04:59 AM   #12
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^

I can easily think of a much better design that would not only fit the area but look decent. I would know, I do live in Boston. lol
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Old February 9th, 2009, 06:31 PM   #13
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Boston has always been a conservative place in terms of architecture for one reason or another. People flipped out over the John Hancock and the Prudential because of their heights alone.

I know I am definitely in the minority here, but I really think these towers are elegant, sharp and fit the Boston aesthetic.

I also like all the red. I think it is part of what distinguishes Boston and is a good complement to all the brownstone buildings around Boston.
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Old February 11th, 2009, 02:21 PM   #14
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Boston has always been a conservative place in terms of architecture for one reason or another. People flipped out over the John Hancock and the Prudential because of their heights alone.
I know it all too well. That's why Boston needs to change. Too many people don't like, "Change" when it's supposed to be the historical center of change. Of course that is just my view though.
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Old February 11th, 2009, 10:52 PM   #15
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^I am with you on that. It's about time Boston grows up and joins the 21st century. Although I think this project is "ehh" at best, I do like the mixed use, high density, slender tallness to this project. What we see in NYC where they are building tall, very slender towers, like the Madison Park Tower, is what we need to see more of in Boston. The Copley Place tower, this, Government Center and maybe one day, the Winthrop garage, will be symbols that Boston is moving forward, and doing a lot less looking back. Being nostalgic and celebrating your history is great, but living in the past and not embracing the future is a sure way for this city to get left behind.
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Old February 12th, 2009, 08:09 AM   #16
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I do get the strong feeling Bostons skyline would be better if it weren't for Logan Airport.

And yeah this isn't a bad tower but I can think of much better ideas. Also for it's location at the Waterfront, why not have a tower that fits the skyline but also stands out in it's own respect? This thing of course would blend it, but it's bland. Why not have something that fits and isn't bland?

Obviously it is likely to get redesigned, but I personally would like to see a totally new design.
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Old February 12th, 2009, 09:49 AM   #17
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I know I'm a New Yorker and a yankees fan. And I'm not suppose to care what gets built in Boston but I do. The thing about American is we seem to have at less one super city in each part of the country. NYC on the East coast, LA on the west coast, Chicago in the midwest and Houston to the south. I think about time some of the smaller city a little. And I think Boston would be a good start.
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Old February 12th, 2009, 11:33 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingsc View Post
I know I'm a New Yorker and a yankees fan. And I'm not suppose to care what gets built in Boston but I do. The thing about American is we seem to have at less one super city in each part of the country. NYC on the East coast, LA on the west coast, Chicago in the midwest and Houston to the south. I think about time some of the smaller city a little. And I think Boston would be a good start.
I'm a Red Sox fan coincidentally lol. But though passionate I would never get violent. Also it has no bearing on my opinion of New York itself. I've been to New York and I enjoyed my time there.

Anyway it doesn't seem like Boston for the moment is the next big city on the east. It might be Miami or Philadelphia...

Anyway to stay on topic, who can estimate the height (in feet and meters) from the picture?
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Old February 13th, 2009, 12:40 AM   #19
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I am a die hard Sox, Celts and Pats fan and despise all NY teams. However, when it comes to skyscrapers, skylines and architecture, there is no city better than NYC.
I have a pretty good idea of the height, but I'll leave that for someone else to guess.

I personally think Philly is the next big east coast city. Miami is impressive, but to mundane and not enough history, as regards to highrises and architecture.
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Old February 13th, 2009, 01:06 AM   #20
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I do get the strong feeling Bostons skyline would be better if it weren't for Logan Airport.
I absolutely agree. Also, Logan's proximity to downtown makes it a real fuss getting there from the suburbs. I'm assuming that its location also puts height constraints on downtown scrapers.

Not that this would ever happen, especially with the Big Dig still hurting, but I believe that Boston should pull a Hong Kong. By that I mean, get rid of the centrally located airport and move it somewhere less dense thus opening up a lot of prime real estate and eliminating restrictions on height.

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Originally Posted by Dark Matter View Post
And yeah this isn't a bad tower but I can think of much better ideas. Also for it's location at the Waterfront, why not have a tower that fits the skyline but also stands out in it's own respect? This thing of course would blend it, but it's bland. Why not have something that fits and isn't bland?

Obviously it is likely to get redesigned, but I personally would like to see a totally new design.

Don't get me wrong, I am absolutely a fan of more innovative design. That being said however, I feel that anything radical stands no chance of ever getting built. So, because of its feasibility, mediocre looks and the fact that it's a skyscraper in Boston, I support the plan.
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