The Commonwealth Comment

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Reaching for the Sky

This past week there was a proposal submitted to the city of Boston to build a new 75-story, 1,000 foot tall glass tower in downtown Boston, replacing the Winthrop Square city parking garage. Businessman Steven Belkin submitted the design by renowned Italian architect Renzo Piano.

"I called for world-class architects to come up with a building that reflects all the greatness and potential of Boston," said Boston Mayor Tom Menino. "Today's proposal . . . promises everything we asked for." Menino had hoped that his challenge would produce dozens of proposals. It only produced one, Belkin's.

The so called "Piano Tower" would be the city's tallest building. Boston's current tallest building title belongs to the John Hancock Tower. The Hancock is 60 stories, 790 feet tall. The new tower would be 15 stories, over 200 feet taller than the Hancock.

The new building would add approximately 1.3 million square feet in office space. There would be a series of shops and restaurants located on the lower levels. There are also plans for a one acre park to be on the ground level, and another on the roof.

There is no set time table for the city to review the project, or for it to be built if approved. "We are an old city that is not that tall, so we take a look at each project and make sure it is appropriate," said a spokeswoman for the Boston Redevelopment Authority, which will be reviewing the proposal.

My Opinion: This appears to be a pretty interesting project. At first I didn't like the design or idea. However, the more I read about the building and how it will be environmentally friendly has really changed my mind. The only thing that I am weary of is its size. I fear that this tower, being so large, will make Boston a target for terrorism.

I like the Hancock Tower better based on projections of what the "Piano Tower" will look like on the skyline. But, maybe it'll change my mind if/when its built.


  • review of An Inconvenient Truth available for your reading pleasure.

    not sure how i feel about this new building idea myself. if they want to make a bunch of affordable apartments, I'm all for it!

    By Blogger Lynette, At 6:03 PM  

  • For some reason I doubt any apartments in that building will be affordable. Sorry Lynette!

    By Blogger James O'Leary, At 9:47 PM  

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