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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The vision thing

Tom Menino has heard the complaints that he has run out of good ideas in his fourth term term as mayor. So Hizzoner for Life decided he needs a major vision -- and a legacy: sell City Hall and move it to the Waterfront.

I think bringing the Enchanted Village back might be a better legacy.

What a whacked out idea.

You start with the obvious -- City Hall is a hideous monstrosity. What is lacks in beauty in matches in a lack of functionality. The plaza has always reminded me of Tienanmen Square, minus the tanks (but a good place for Celtics championship rallies for those of you over the age of 20). The packing crate that Faneuil Hall came in? Close.

But there's a reason the building's location is called Government Center. Federal building on one side. Local courthouse across the street and another down the block. Statehouse and office buildings just a short walk up the hill. Ample (if not excellent) public transportation.

Our restless mayor is running out of ideas in a hurry. How else to explain his call to move the seat of city government to an area now home to a waterfront music pavilion (what's wrong with that?) served by a Silver Line that in rush hour makes the Green Line look good.

The city could reap a small bonanza is selling the prime acreage to a developer for luxury condos (what else do you think will go there -- a new department store?) Residents from Allston-Brighton, Hyde Park and West Roxbury would have a nightmare trip to get there -- although there may be ample parking for awhile.

The Waterfront is definitely Boston's extra room and while it's taking awhile for the neighborhood to fill up that progress so far is good -- the Convention Center, the Moakley federal Courthouse, new ICA.

The plans for mixed use residential and commercial development that eventually will be built will enhance the quality of life -- making it a 24-hour area. Government buildings are 8-hour structures that empty at 5 o'clock and leave an area vacant.

Maybe Tommy's thinking of naming it the James Kelly Memorial City Hall at the South Boston Waterfront. It would be fine honor for a man who did his best to separate South Boston from the rest of the city. A lot better than naming a bridge for him.

Better yet. Drop the idea. And see someone about you edifice complex.

A final thought: Would the location have anything to do with the next door neighbor: the Harpoon Brewery?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

One admirable thing to say about Mitt Romney is that he never used state signs (like on the highway) to promote his name. He thought it was not right to post his name all over the state using taxpayer-funded items.

Not so with the Mayor. Every possible public sign -- including those banners hanging from the lampposts for the Marathon, Alvin Ailey dancers, and so on -- has his name on it. Someone told me that the font size for his name on those banners is decreed by city hall. Even the signs on Newbury Street saying that parking is free during the holiday season have his name.

So...we can never afford to have him leave office! Every square inch of public signs in the City would have to be replaced! Imagine the drain on the economy.

December 13, 2006 7:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you! This is ridiculous. City Hall Plaza is really a great modern building, it's in all the books and featured in architecture classes, and it would be a shame to lose it. I know there have been complaints about employees getting sick, but in the long run it will be more cost effective to fix the building than to replace it with some poorly built, ugly building on the waterfront. Buildings of past eras were better constructed and built to last, this is a crazy ego trip.

It's really unfortunate that for all our history, we do a terrible job of preserving our architectural heritage. The razing of the Tip Top Tomato building being just one recent example.

Anon, since when? I drive on the pike all the time and Romney's name is on every sign imaginable. If he thought it wasn't right to post his name all over the state using tax payer funded items, well what do you know, he did it anyway. Guess it's yet another one of his pandering lies. Not that it's a big deal, everyone does it, but what a self serving hypocrite and sleazy liar he is if he really claims that.


December 16, 2006 1:15 AM  

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