Karen Cord Taylor considers competing proposals for Parcel 9, next to Haymarket, which include a museum about Boston, a bunch of apartments and a hotel.
Why not just leave it empty, or maybe plant some prairie grass there?
then sell it to Vornado.
Because it's in the middle of a city. If you want empty, much of the planet will suit you. This is a location in a dense, high-value space. The whole point of a city, throughout human history, is that it is crowded and busy.
It's funny how people want to keep the vast, deserted wasteland known as the "Greenway" empty, yet they are the first to decry City Hall Plaza as an empty wasteland. At least people walk through City Hall Plaza, if nothing else. People generally avoid walking along the Greenway, and use the sidewalks on either side of Atlantic Avenue instead, especially in the winter. It simply is not welcoming.
Most of the people I've seen who hate City Hall plaza also hate the empty space of the Greenscar.
On the other hand, the ones who love the urban renewal hellscape known as Government Center also tend to be the people who love the idea of "greenspacing."
I work near the Greenway and see plenty of people walking along the parcels from South Station to the North End. It's one of my favorite walks - even in winter. I agree with the general opinion that City Hall Plaza is an exercise in ugly expansiveness.
The sad thing is that for all of the proposals to enliven that space and make it something that is enjoyable there seems to be a consistent hurdle. Wonder what that might be?
Turn it into an anti-urban parking lot for more suburbanites to drive into the city cheaply and be obnoxious to North End residents.
I thought the Greenway was supposed to be, you know, green space. So much for that.
Can't say I'm surprised though.
From the very beginning of the Big Dig, this parcel of land was intended for development.
I even found a map of it.
I vote for Hotel then, I guess. We have new hotels in the Seaport area, but we certainly could use one in that area, for tourists who want to spend lots of money in Boston.
We already have way more office space and luxury housing than we can use - so a hotel would be nice given we have pretty good occupancy and the convention center is always clamoring for more easily accessible hotels - maybe with a mall like the Pru - but we probably have too much retail space too and I'm sure Simon and Boston Properties could squash that like a bug.
Perhaps we could just build a big human habitrail that leads to DTX?
In addition to the off-Greenway development parcels, there were also supposed to be a few buildings on the Greenway itself, like the proposed botanic garden near South Station. But those plans were quietly thrown away.
Fred Salvucci, father of the Big Dig and a former North End resident himself, expressed reservations that have concerned everyone at these meetings. Can the noisy Haymarket pushcarts with their throngs of people co-exist with apartment dwellers who might like to take a nap on a Friday afternoon?
I might give him the benefit of the doubt here and assume his concern is for the continued, unfettered existence of Haymarket in the face of people who move to the middle of the city and then expect utter silence at all times.
I don't live in the area anymore, but I would be pissed to hear that the Pushcart Association was being harassed by NIMBYs who moved into high-end condos five minutes ago. Haymarket is a Boston institution and a great resource - especially for those who struggle to make ends meet in a city with few options for cheap produce.
I'm willing to bet that Fred Salvucci's concern is as you describe: people are pretty keen to see the Haymarket preserved and protected from noise / smell complaints originating from well-heeled johnny-come-latelys.
There was a bit of a kerfluffle when the Bostonia hotel opened (was it 25 years ago or so?) and started complaining about the smell and the noise; the city basically said, "The market's been there for 200 years; go take a hike."
the city basically said, "The market's been there for [XYZ] years; go take a hike."
And there you go, the solution to the problem. Now if only they'd apply it more broadly.
Fred Salvucci grew up in Brighton and I believe he still lives here. I don't think he has any connection to the North End. He was manager of the East Boston Little City Hall, and later was Kevin White's transportation advisor.
Presumably he is NOT speaking approvingly of people wanting to nap on Friday afternoons.
Is there a burrito joint in that area?