BRA to try to figure out what to do with South Huntington Avenue

With one major residential project already in the works, the BRA has started work on a South Huntington Avenue Corridor Study. The first part, figuring out what the study will cover, should be out within a few weeks, the BRA says:

The objective is to define the collective vision and physical character of this corridor for the foreseeable future that will clarify the city’s expectations for future development. The Study’s general boundaries will extend along South Huntington Avenue from its intersection with Perkins Street to the south and Route 9/Huntington Avenue to the north. The Study will explore issues that include height, density, housing mix and affordability, open space, historic preservation, parking, and transportation.

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Comments

We can only wonder how the

We can only wonder how the street got built up 100 years ago without a committee, commission or study. Ah, the bad old days, when people who owned land were able to build what they wanted where they wanted

it's no wonder

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we know how they were built: with informal servitude, aka cheap immigrant labor. Oh the golden age!

No but seriously you've heard of City Beautiful, right? The time it was popular in the US, and its relation to planning in the US? And certainly you must be aware that a seminal project in American urban planning and centralized land speculation and civil infrastructure from the 1870s runs parallel to South Huntington about 100 yards from the curb, right? Are you being ironic here?

City Beautiful didn't build

City Beautiful didn't build the Home for Little Wanderers. Or anything else on South Huntington avenue. And I have no idea what you're talking about regarding the 1970s. During the 1870s, Heath and Perkins streets were the only roads nearby, and it was probably all still apple orchards.

i don't see where he claimed

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i don't see where he claimed the HfLW was part of City Beautiful. But plenty along Huntington Ave was (Ag Hall, YMCA, MFA, many parts of longwood area) and the grander buildings of South Huntington were built in that context. City Beautiful wasn't a program that signed off on projects, but an attitude towards city building in this country and city that planning and zoning and all these organized, central methods of city planning that you seem to regret. When you're talking about 100 years ago, you're talking about that context. This simplified notion of rugged individuals just building whatever they damn well want. Even if it wasn't through zoning boards, it's pretty naive to think that people could build whatever they want along the new South Huntington streetcar line under mayors like Honey Fitz or Curley.

And the 1870s project he's referring to has to be the Emerald Necklace.

But then this Pollyanna read of the golden days of yore seems to be within your view of history--I recall you once holding up the fabrics industry of the 19th century as an example of how unfettered capitalism worked for the common good.

Immigrant labor wasn't that

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Immigrant labor wasn't that cheap. In today's dollars the average worker was making $11-17 an hour depending on their skills. Skilled laborers were making the equivalent of $30-50 an hour. The Globe had an article on it during the MFA addition coverage.

People used to spend far more money on construction and durable goods as there wasn't as much throwaway junk to blow one's money on. For example one would buy or pass down a set of silverware within a family rather than spending the modern equivalent of thousands of dollars on plastic cutlery over the span of a lifetime. People spent more money on fewer things and expected them to last longer.

History's Harvest

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The proposed development of the former Home For Little Wanders location into a housing development with no space for children is an ironic testament to the power of the 1%. Occupy JP calls for the space to be filled by owner-occupied triple-deckers, a home-grown remedy to poverty with a proven record. Spread the wealth or find the homeless, orphans, widows and others sleeping on your doorstep.