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Downtown Crossing

Is glass and steel the new brick? Jay Fitzgerald is getting annoyed at a Boston Redevelopment Authority that seems to think the answer to everything, including a declining Downtown Crossing, is glass and steel:

... I'm not a 'red brick' Bostonian. But I do think the best architecture magically complements its surroundings and then boldly takes off in new directions. All of this 'glass and steel' emphasis, in my opinion, is a simplistic vanity of those desperately trying to prove they're hip and not bourgeois, making them only less hip and more bourgeois. ...

John Daley, meanwhile, doesn't think awnings and planters alone will bring back Downtown Crossing:

... Other, more substantive problems have to be dealt with - most relating to the density of homeless shelters in the area - before the the crossing will become an attractive city anchor. ...



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If not glass and steel, and not brick, then what, concrete? Adobe? Hay?

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Stone-facings (marble, limestone, what-have-you) over standard re-inforced concrete would be a start. With windows that open. Ahem.

Given a choice, I'd look back to the Rowes Wharf and Customs House to start, for exterior decorating ideas. Another concrete bunker (the mall-that-was attached to the once Jordan Marsh) or another dark glass tower are just ugly.

Concrete like the Park Plaza Hotel (I think it's concrete) wouldn't completely suck.

Choosing a different colored brick than the red of Faneuil Hall would be nice, as well.

Any more architectural monstrosities like the Harvard thang next to the Western Ave bridge is to be avoided at all costs.

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"trying to prove they're hip and not bourgeois, making them only less hip and more bourgeois..."? Hmmm. That's a pretty sophisticated analysis. How about a Faneuil-hall style? If they try to prove they're real dopey and commercial and not too hip, maybe it will end up more hip and less bourgeouis. ... I guess.

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