Citizen complaint of the day: Outrageous creeping blight in historic South End

Disgusting air conditioners in the South End

An apoplectic citizen complains about these new air conditioners mounted on the rear of the building at 17 Greenwich Park, right on one of the South End's historic alleys - right behind that portable toilet:

New Air conditioning units clearly visible from the public way within the south end are not only an eye sore but also maybe a violation I have Southend historic preservation. Other projects in the area have located there air conditioning units very low out of sight

The font kvetcher of Appleton Street.



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      Complain all you want...

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      Aside from the poor spelling and grammar of this user's complaint ... he/she may complain all they want, but nothing beats a temperature and humidity controlled house at 68 degrees when it's 100 degrees outside.


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      Maybe the people in the Historical Society can pay for it.

      If you...

      As soon as you put a sticker on your car so it looks like you're driving a horse and buggy.


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      Whoever made this Citizen's Complaint should be forced to live in the porta potty. Living in a building without HVAC is like wearing whitey tighties after one has discovered boxer shorts.

      No way. We should be

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      No way. We should be celebrating the inventor for giving us the amazing gift of an almost unlimited source of schadenfreude. Seriously, bravo to you, nameless app developer!

      I truly wish that one of the

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      I truly wish that one of the biggest concerns in my life was the view and location of an air conditioning unit. It must be nice to have those kind of "tough" problems to deal with.


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      Climate control rules everything around me
      Get that condenser coil
      latent latent heat y'all


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      Some people clearly have too much time on their hands and not enough going on in their own lives....

      Waaaaaay to much time!

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      Same people here who love to tell everyone how to live their lives.
      ie: you shouldn't own a car, you should walk or ride a bike because you take up all the parking spaces in the City (and they don't even live in the City).

      Bike riding

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      is way too dangerous in the City, drive a car.

      Those aren't a/c units. They

      Those aren't a/c units. They are condensers for a mini-split system. Provides heat and cooling using less than half the electricity of traditional electric baseboard and a window unit. This person is being green. Shrinking their carbon footprint and no doubt cutting their utility bill in half. Just had these installed in my condo and the condensers are much quieter than an a/c unit and are environmentally responsible. Seriously - do people not think about the fact that these buildings were built 100+ years ago and they have to be retrofit.

      OCD versus Asthma, Sleep Disorders, Heart Disease ...

      Most people install these for comfort. They also install them when they do shift work and when they need to get a good night's sleep in the summer.

      I didn't have them in my house because I don't like them ... but the combination of asthma and my husband's health issues led us to install one as both of our doctors recommended them.

      As the population ages, health concerns will trump the neighborhood OCD watch not wanting to see them.


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      Maybe look up what OCD actually is. It doesn't usually have much to do with stuff like this.

      Different forms and expressions of the pathology

      Throwing continuous fits over fonts on street signs and policing your neighborhood for air conditioners is obsessive, compulsive and disordered. An extension of the "checking on things" problem to the neighborhood environment, rather than a small apartment.

      OCD may not be the only problem involved, but this sort of checking on things can be a manifestation.


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      What about stenographic records?

      Actually, no it's not. Being

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      Actually, no it's not. Being a cantankerous busybody and telling other people what to do with their property has absolutely nothing to do with OCD. At the very best, it's a massive, massive stretch.

      Just because there are worse

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      Just because there are worse options doesn't make these green.

      It would be greener to use a box fan. Or nothing at all.

      Does this model heat?

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      I have mini-splits that are AC only. I don't know this particular model, so it may do heating, but it may not.

      Those things are great.

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      It's a newer energy efficient design.

      Maybe the goob would prefer the return of the hulking unit that must have sat on that bricked in mount area to the right.

      And that casement window. That is NOT in keeping with this historic alley saturated with historic wino pee and the profoundly historic meanderings of rats and pigeons.


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      Apparently the complainant was OK with whatever was on the shelf to the right of the rightmost LG Unit because that pre-dates these new units.

      And they were presumably OK with whatever filled the now closed opening above the leftmost LG Unit.

      What's the difference? All new shiny plastic bits as opposed to weathered plastic bits from the historically significant 1980's? (I'm assuming that when the support and openings were installed, but they could have been from the more modern 90's for all we know)

      I'm surprised they're not complaining about the cable/internet boxes on the building nor the horrifically infilled window below the leftmost LG Unit (tucked behind the 'restroom'.

      Historic Alley. IT'S AN ALLEY. It's meant to be the behind the scenes, jackalope.

      I have an idea.

      Before reaming the complainer, how about we look up the regs and see if the units in question re in violation or not? That shouldn't be all that difficult. When you buy a property with landmark designation or in a designated historic district, you get certain benefits and you take on certain obligations. If the regs are unreasonable, then we change the regs. But complaining about the person who asks for them to be enforced consistently is not really the answer.

      (note: I have no idea if these a/c units are in violation or not, so I don't personally have an opinion about whether either the person who installed them or the person who complained about them is out of line.)


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      Maybe the complainer should look up the regs themself before making said complaint. I suspect no regs have been violated thus my ability in reaming the complainer.

      Seriously, this is not a shoot first and ask questions later kind of situation. The world is not ending because they are there so there is time for the complainer to do their own research.

      I'll take it back if I'm wrong, but I don't think I am.

      The "offending" location

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      Here. It fronts Columbus Ave at Greenwich Park. Just because there are landmarks regulations doesn't mean that the property owner didn't get approval for the units from SELDC. A variance in a case like this would likely be granted. A side note: imagine the horror that this person will face upon learning that, in this case, Greenwich is pronounced phonetically (not like the places in England and Connecticut), but like Green-wich, as in the now defunct town that was located at what is now the bottom of the Quabbin Reservoir.


      Pronounced like the old old old old Heineken radio ads (80's maybe??)

      Ouch, I'm old

      Check out the front view

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      If you google the address and look at the front view of this section of the street there are 2 homes that have had the traditional (and I think beautiful!) brownstone stairs removed. No Citizens Complaints about that?? Assume this was done some time ago and would not be allowed under current neighborhood association scrutiny.

      Once again,

      It's not the neighborhood associations, which are private, non-governmental organizations, that have any say in the matter. Enforcing historical district and landmark regulations is up to the city.


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      It looks like the two smaller condensing units, now wall-hung, have replaced the one larger that was sitting on the ground.

      They're probably now on the wall to avoid snow build up which can adversely affect these units. And the two smaller units are likely more efficient than the one being replaced. And by installing two, they can handle more than one zone or perhaps apartment unit, further increasing efficiency.

      and... cars and trash cans

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      are somehow not a problem?

      If I lived in a "historic district" I'd want to completely ban cars and only allow horses and carriages.

      Not going far enough

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      I'd want to see women required to wear bustles and carry parasols and men ordered to wear top hats and cravats and carry jaunty canes. I mean, they knew it was a historic district when they moved in ...

      So fancy!

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      These new South Enders are so fancy! Apparently a little white box IN AN ALLEY under a porch isn't as aesthetically pleasing as they would like. Does that shade of white clash with the white trim on your Maclaren stroller that you leave chained to your historic brownstone's front steps (talk about an eyesore)?

      I have a question then for the complainant:

      Why did your Mumsy and Daddy buy you a condo that OVERLOOKS A FREAKIN' ALLEY?!
      There plenty of fancy buildings in the South End that do not overlook alleys.

      Perhaps your complaint should be against Mumsy and Daddy.

      Pish posh! No self respecting

      Pish posh! No self respecting South Ender would push a Maclaren! Stokke or Bugaboo, please, preferably with the optional Missoni accesories. There should be a law!

      Historic Rent

      Let's bring rents down to historic levels before worrying about the historic integrity of the alley.

      It's an alley

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      It's an alley.

      That's what alleys are there for.

      Jesus. I'm sure the complainer is happy to roast indoors when it's 90 degrees outside?

      I suspect this complaint is not going anywhere

      South End Landmarks does often crack down on non-historic additions that are visible from public streets, typically the front, sides and roof lines of the building, but not the rear and on alleyways, for the simple reason that modern stuff like HVAC and trash cans and such have to go somewhere. The idea is to make sure owners retain some level of Victorian character to the buildings, e.g., no hot-pink paint jobs, not create a 19th-century Boston version of Colonial Williamsburg.