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Things change - slowly - in the Back Bay

IMAGE(http://johnakeithrealestate.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/re_news1.jpg)   IMAGE(http://johnakeithrealestate.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/boxes_street1.jpg)

You find the most-interesting things in a barber shop.

Here are a couple photos of pages from the April 1925 issue of Real Estate News newspaper, "Dedicated to the Development and Welfare of Boston and New England and to those who Own, Occupy, Sell or Manage Real Estate".

On the cover is a story on plans to completely rehab an existing building on Newbury Street. The renovation did take place, as Bostonians know, as the property was the location of Kakas Furs fur for many years. In the left-hand corner of the page is a photo of the building as it existed circa 1925.

Inside the newspaper is a short article entitled "WHY BOXES REMAIN ON THE STREET" regarding trash receptacles in the Back Bay.

It is learned at City Hall that the reason the street boxes for the deposit of paper and other things no longer wanted by pedestrians remain on Boston sidewalks, notwithstanding the the announcement that they were to be removed in response to protests, is that a legal controversy has arisen concerning the permits. It seems that the city granted a permit to a private concern to maintain these boxes in numerous locations for a year, and the holders of the concession had [existing] contracts for the advertisements which appear on the boxes.

No telling if the removal of the boxes ever took place but at some point trash cans wrapped to lights were installed. Then, a couple years ago, Big Belly solar receptacles were placed all over the Back Bay, overriding neighborhood concerns and "protests".

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Comments

And I thought my dentist had some old magazines in his waiting room...

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I still couldn't find a bike rack on Newbury Street, which has been a controversial problem ever since Boston replaced the parking meters (which served as unofficial racks) with pay-and-display machines. I believe it was the Back Bay Architectural District that refused to allow bike posts, even though there's all kinds of stuff visible in the Back Bay that didn't exist in 1870 (the pay-and-display machines, parked cars, men not wearing hats, women not in skirts, etc).

However, each pay-and-display machine is accompanied by a signpost with "pay meter here", so at least there's one spot to lock a bike on each block.

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They need more racks like the one in front of The Otherside. Maybe one per block all along Newbury?

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The neighborhood architectural committee agreed with the city commission on a design months ago - I'm pretty sure a black version of the ring with post through it - and I believe a number have been installed - although there may be more toward the live end (Mass Ave) than on the dead end (Arlington).

There are definitely two at Dartmouth and Newbury

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When I had to get my computer fixed earlier this week, I didn't see any bike racks, street signs, or parking meters around the Apple Store. I ended up locking the bike to the fence of Sir Speedy next door, despite a sign asking people not to do that. There was no other place to lock it.

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According to the official map, the area is bursting with bike racks.

http://www.cityofboston.gov/bikes/parking.asp

You can, however, request more on that website.

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Ha, in addition to the city-sanctioned/installed racks, Boston Properties has ~100 across the street from the Apple store beside the Prudential Arcade. If it doesn't jump out and bite you though, Ron ...

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Then, a couple years ago, Big Belly solar receptacles were placed all over the Back Bay, overriding neighborhood concerns and "protests".

To my recollection, the architectural committee of the neighborhood association was very much in support of the big bellies - they had more capacity and they were enclosed meaning trash wouldn't blow all over. The city likes them because it cuts the number of trash removals by a factor of like 3 or 4. The concerns were over color (the originals were green) and size (the originals were gigantic and took up half the sidewalk especially on Newbury Street). They have been largely replaced by a smaller black version which are more appropriate size/color for the rest of the street furniture and everyone seems very happy with them.

That said - very cool post. I believe the building is now Polo/Ralph Lauren?

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Yeah. Everyone's happy.

Everyone except those of us who have to touch the un-fucking-sanitary, germ-filled, fly-ridden, disgusting pieces of crap in order to dispose of our pieces of crap.

Oh wait, never mind. The city never removed the rubbish baskets after installing the Big Belly machines so they coexist in peace. Please disregard.

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More on reactions to the Big Belly receptacles, back in 2007:

http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2007/01/...

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I was around when the original green big bellies were installed on Newbury and Boylston, and they were indeed supported by the neighborhood. The Architectural Commission requested a new design, which has resulted in the smaller black versions replacing the square green ones on most streets that I have seen. I think they fit in a lot better. The smaller ones will be reinstalled on Newbury, since the big ones were taken out recently. So maybe the Commission fussing accomplished something.

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