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Baker wants to sell Hynes for redevelopment, use proceeds to expand South Boston convention center

The State House News Service reports the governor wants to sell the Hynes off for redevelopment and use the money to expand the South Boston convention center.

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I had a hard time trying to determine where the convention and exhibition center was in South Boston until I recalled the Seaport location! It’s difficult keeping up with all the name changes. Yes, I know that “Seaport” is now referred to as the South Boston Waterfront (I learned to say “Seaport” when it became trendy, chic and expensive). I’m an old dog and finding it more and more difficult to learn new tricks!

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The media calls it South Boston when something negative happens here ie: woman gets run over by car, larcenies, flooding etc.
This section of Boston has always been South Boston.

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The Seaport is a neighborhood in Southie. Aka the Seaport section of South Boston.

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Just like Broadway Village is a section of South Boston. Washington Village, Seaport, Broadway Village, Fort Point are all monikers used by real estate agents and developers to rope consumers into buying into Southie. Only fools fall for it.

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I get that the powers that be want to grow the Convention Center to accommodate the biggest (and more prestigious) shows, the better to prove that we're a World Class City. But what about small shows that can't even fill a corner there? The only other venue will the WTC by the fish pier (now that Bayside is defunct). That's a pain to get to: at least the 7 bus goes right to the Convention Center. The Hynes gives us a small-medium venue in a central location.

Are there any easily available stats on the number of days used by the Hynes vs WTC?

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That must be what I was thinking of! Is there yet another exhibition center that I don’t know about? Someplace in South Boston? Where am I and where have I been?!

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Isn't the WTC still planning on closing its Commonwealth Hall for more retail/ office space?

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Fidelity is converting it to office space. With the Bayside already gone as well, we need to keep the Hynes. Not every show needs or belongs in the gigantic BCEC.

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Well, if you've really been out of touch for a while, let's reminisce about the Commonwealth Armory, which used to host the Flowet Show, Boat Show, etc way back in the day. Remember the radio ads...

There's a boat for me, a beauty too,
There's a boat for you amd they're all brand new,
There's big boats, little boats, sail boats too
At the Great New England Boat Show.

As for the Flower Show, one of my two moments of TV fame came via a family friend who was a production assistant at WGBH. I helped Thalassa Cruso out of a truck when she filmed a promo for the show.

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The location of the Hynes is better but it's really a problematic venue and not particularly pleasant, especially for people with disabilities. The article says it's also in need of expensive renovations (60+ years old and showing it) plus losing money each year.

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with the Hynes is the lack of parking.

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I went to a couple of gymnastics meets there, and the nearest parking was a long walk. The journey from the parking garage to the Hynes was a bewildering trek through some shopping areas, with little in the way of helpful signage.

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Long walk? The giant Prudential Garage is underneath the Hynes and their is a parking garage across the street on Dalton Street.

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*

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I can think of at least 6 parking garages directly attached to the Pru concourse, or within 2 or 3 blocks. What the what!?

1. Sheraton garage on Dalton
2. Pru/Ring Road NE garage (by Lord & Taylor)
3. Pru at Copley/Shaws + the Pru further east on Huntington Ave by Boston Sports Club
4. the weird lot at Exeter/Newbury
5. Auditorium Garage ... directly across from the Hynes
6. Christian Science parking under the plaza
7. Danker + Donahue (Newbury)
8. Parcel 12 plot
9. Bread & Circus, er, Whole Foods garage

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... is actually at the corner of Newbury and Dartmouth and it is closed as it sold for $40 million this year and it looks like they are doing test boring in anticipation of building on it.

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The T has a "Hynes Convention Center" stop.

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Of all the MBTA's shortcomings with regard to ADA, this busy station has to rank #1. A fix is long overdue.

(The fully accessible Prudential station is a better way to get to the Hynes Convention Center, entirely indoors, but it isn't much use for people coming from BU, Allston, Brighton, Brookline, and Newton.)

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to Arlington in order to have a free transfer to the outbound platform and then wait for a packed E train to Pru?

;-)

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It’s not 60+ years old. Linked article is wrong. The original Hynes Auditorium of 1963 was demolished and rebuilt in the 1988 as the Hynes Convention Center.

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Convention centers as a rule lose money, and need to be supported with hotel taxes. That's not a bad thing, considering the tourism they bring into the area.

The Boston Marathon expo has always been held at the Hynes, and that crowd includes a ton of people in wheelchairs.

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The Mass Convention folks could siphon $14m/yr off of car rentals even year to prop up their budget... oh wait.

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I thought it was renovated recently enough that it was required to comply with current standards.

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To stop calling that stop Auditorium. What next!

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cough... ICA cough...

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Auditorium. Essex. Columbia. I slip into the old names all the time

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This has potential. Hynes has been underused for years and is an awkward space. Echoing saddlebrook7, though, there are events I regularly attend at Hynes because it's easy to get to, unlike the seaport. And it feels more intimate for smaller events' like the Boston Antiquarian Book Fair. I haven't seen the entire space used at one event, even for ComicCon, in years.

Until we get better transit through the seaport, attending events at the Convention Center or World Trade Center is inconvenient for anyone who isn't staying in a hotel next door. And the Silver Line is a pain in the rear for anyone with disabilities, as I discovered going with a co-worker to the flower show this past spring.

Back when the powers that be were fighting over where casinos were going to go, I crossed my fingers that casino developer would pick up Hynes; it could still be used as a small conference venue but would have a steady income stream.

Thinking back on that, I hope Baker is looking for a hotel or performance venue to pick up the space. It could be built up, with a lot of height to it-- the only shadow will be cast over the Mass Pike. Someone could cash in on the smaller cons still taking place there, while offering hotel rooms and restaurants above.

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What is the issue here? Surely it is new enough that it is required to be fully compliant?

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The stations may be accessible, but those buses sure aren't. I can't imagine anyone with a wheelchair being able to use them, and crutches would be at best difficult.

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compliance doesnt always necessary mean that its accessible or usable for people with disabilities. it just is the bare minimum bar to meet building code.

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as well as World Trade Center station. But you still have to traverse to the Convention Center and cross Summer Street, which with the construction of the Omni Hotel and other projects is not easy or enjoyable.

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Here's the list of current T Stops which will soon be unrelated to their names [note that there have already been many changes in names such as Scollay Sq [of Charlie on the MTA fame] to Government Center

The ones currently on the list for disconnection between name and function:

  1. Auditorium -- only loosely connected to the original John Hynes Veterans Memorial Auditorium -- currently the Hynes Convention Center -- soon to be ????
  2. Suffolk Downs -- named after a famous race track -- well famous at one time -- purported to be a future 2nd Amazon HQ -- -- soon to be ????
  3. Wonderland named after a once famous movie venue -- er Dog Track -- soon to be ????
  4. World Trade Center -- named after a convention venue located inside the once famous Commonwealth Pier -- then the never to be BOSCOM -- then the World Trade Center -- the only trading done was connected with Fidelity Investments -- soon to be more Fidelity Investments
  5. Kendall -- named originally for the Kendall Boiler and Tank Company whose building still exists -- though re purposed for something other than heavy industry -- for a while known as Kendall / MIT / Cambridge Center -- MIT part still there and growing -- Cambridge Center is growing but no longer known as Cambridge Center even though it is more and more the key part of Cambridge -- especially since it was colonized by Google -- a significantly growing presence -- so we should perhaps call it Kendall [for the KSA -- aka "the Future Lives Here"] / MIT / Google???
  6. Lechemere*1 -- might as well throw this one in -- named after a near by geographical landmark which gave its name to another geographic landmark as new land was created on the Cambridge side from what had been the back bay of the Charles [a tidal river all the way to Watertown] -- but its only in Boston story is complicated further by the fact that the station itself is getting ready to move -- it all began as a British land grant to a Richard Lechemere [a loyalist / royalist who fled Cambridge] who owned land where the land ended and the river began -- Lechemere's Point*2 -- aka where the "2 if by Sea Brits" landed to begin their trek to Lexington and Global History -- which eventually turned into the name of an intersection of Cambridge and 1st St -- Lechemere Square --- then the location of one end of the Lechemere Viaduct [circa 1910] carrying what was then a main line Trolley operated by the Boston Electric Railway [BERY] and is now known as the route of the Green Line from near North Station where it emerges from underground [replacing the Causeway Street Elevated carrying the Trolleys from where they had previously emerged near North Station at Canal St.] and on to Cambridge at Science Park [aka the MOS] --- the the name then was used for the the eponymous and one could say the "First Discount Department Store" -- aka Lechemere Sales -- now the tracks on the Cambridge end of the old Viaduct and the station are moving into the old Boston and Maine Railroad yard to accommodate the Green Line eXtension to Somerville and Medford -- the site of the old station will be sold for redevelopment into ??????
  7. Airport -- Station moved -- but Airport while larger didn't move -- although its still a trek by bus or on foot to the actual Airport Terminals -- although with further Airport Expansion -- the T may be connected more directly with one of the terminals???
  8. Downtown Crossing*3 -- artificial name created to consolidate a number of individual entrances [principally on or near to Washington Street and Summer and Winter Streets] into a single station for both the Red and the Orange Lines with a pedestrian tunnel connection to Park Street and the Green Line

    Would truly achieve its name of DTX -- if a short pedestrian tunnel was built from DTX [Orange - Red with pedestrian tunnel to Green] to State [Orange to Blue] allowing a single entrance to provide access to all of the Rapid Transit lines

*1 Lechmere Station
from wiki

When the Tremont Street Subway fully opened in 1898, surface cars entering the subway from Cambridge Street and Bridge Street in East Cambridge had to cross Craigie's Bridge and proceed on surface streets to the Canal Street Incline. The trip from Lechmere Point over the bridge was slow and prone to delays. After five years of construction, the Lechmere Viaduct and Causeway Street Elevated opened on June 1, 1912, providing the streetcar routes from Harvard Square and much of Somerville a direct route into the subway.[4]

The surface lines that fed into the subway via Lechmere Square had poor schedule reliability, which became a larger issue as the Tremont Street Subway and connecting lines became a rapid transit service in its own right rather than merely a collection of existing streetcar lines. On July 10, 1922, the Boston Elevated Railway opened a prepayment station at Lechmere

*2 Lechemere Point and Square
from the wiki

Lechmere Square (pronounced /ˈliːtʃmɪr/ "leech-meer") is located at the intersection of Cambridge Street and First Street in East Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was originally named for the Colonial-era landowner Richard Lechmere, a Loyalist who returned to England at the beginning of the American Revolution. His lands were later seized by the new American government. The shoreline is shown as "Lechmere's Point" on Revolutionary War maps, and was the landing point for British troops en route to the Battles of Lexington and Concord.

The area was developed by land speculator Andrew Craigie in the early 19th century.

Craigie also built a bridge over the Charles River from Cambridge to Boston which today is in much diminished length but is also much wider identified with the Craigie Drawbridge over the remnant of the old Lechemere Canal connecting the Charles River above the old Charles River Dam with the Charles River stretch between the Old Charles River Dam and the New Charles River Dam -- aka the "Lost Half Mile"

*3 Downtown Crossing
from the wikipedia

Stations on the tunnel were built in pairs with different names and separate entrances, an appeasement to merchants on the street who desired maximal pedestrian traffic. Stations were located at Summer northbound with entrances at Summer Street and Franklin Street, and Winter southbound with entrances at Winter Street and Temple Place.

The Dorchester Extension of the Cambridge Tunnel (now the Red Line) was built one level below the Washington Street Tunnel. Washington station opened on April 4, 1915, with additional entrances on Summer Street at Hawley Street and Chauncey Street.

As part of a system-wide rebranding by the newly formed MBTA, on January 23, 1967 the Orange Line platforms were renamed Washington as well. On May 3, 1987, the name was changed again to Downtown Crossing after the surrounding retail district.

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"Hynes Convention Center/ICA" became just "Hynes Convention Center" when the Institute for Contemporary Art moved to the Seaport. (Before it was Hynes, before it was Auditorium, it was Mass. Ave. station)

"Mechanics" became "Prudential" after Mechanics Hall was torn down and the Prudential Center was built

"New England Medical Center" became "Tufts Medical Center" because the hospital changed its name

"Aquarium" had an older name, too, which I can't remember anymore.

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There seems to be some lack of consistency in the renaming process -- a totally Boston approach

Mechanics Hall was located at what is just outside of 111 Huntington Ave [on the corner with Belvidere opposite to what is left of West Newton St.] -- the station was left intact while the Hall was leveled and the Prudential Center rose including eventually 111 Huntington and the Huntington Arcade -- it became the Prudential T stop and remains so -- despite the now total lack of Prudential presence except for the illuminated sign on the tower
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a8/2589544635_Mechanics...
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/98/Mechanics_stat...

Further along Huntington Ave on the same T line there was another massive brick edifice known as the Boston Opera House -- located at the corner of Opera Place and Huntington -- today the site of a Northeastern Hall -- the stop is now known as Northeastern
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fa/BostonOperaHouse_190...
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1e/1909_Boston_Opera_Ho...

The building was leveled in 1958 so that Northeastern could expand
from the wiki Northeastern University Station

The modern Green Line "E" Branch opened on February 16, 1941 with the completion of the Huntington Avenue subway from Copley to the Northeastern Incline. (Before then, trams had run on the surface from the Boylston Street portal). On May 21, 1947, the Boston Elevated Railway board voted to change the name from Opera Place to Northeastern University. The stop was named on maps as early as the 1951 M.T.A. route map, while most other surface stops (save for Brigham Circle and Heath Street) did not appear separately until around 1990.

Answer -- Well -- not quite -- It was known as Opera Place [a surface stop but in a protected median] -- from sometime in 1941 until 1947 there was an Opera Place Station in the middle of Huntington Ave in front of the Boston Opera House

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regardless of whether the insurance company still has any offices there, or owns any part of it. Here is the official Prudential Center website, which is mostly about the shopping mall.

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1) If we sell the Hynes we will never get that back as public space, which may not be dispositive but given that the Back Bay and South End are lacking schools we all ought to think hard about it

2) The development of the Seaport area with no meaningful public transit is a continuing shame and disgrace

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...the Hynes also hosted theatrical performances and other events The Metropolitan Opera opened its yearly tour there, for example, and BC High used it for its graduations. I assume the current configuration precludes such uses....

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must have friends who want to make a few bucks off the Hynes. This is a terrible idea. Medium-size conventions can’t afford to use the large convention center in the Seaport. And there is no adequate T access to the convention center. Everybody points to the silver line but we can’t really be serious about considering it to be had a good public transit access to the Seaport/SouthBoston convention center

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