To everything, turn, turn, turn... The dream of plunking a 100,000-square-foot, glassy Boston Museum on one of the choicest spots along the Greenway has died. "We've given up the ghost," Frank Keefe, the museum's C.E.O., told the Business Journal's Thomas Grillo. It's a dream that began at least a decade ago.
Indeed, the history museum once looked like a very strong contender to land the Big Dig-spawned, state-owned site off Blackstone Street. The Globe's editorial board threw its municipal muscle behind the idea and Keefe has a political pedigree reaching back to the Dukakis administration. But the museum struggled to come up with funds for development on another Greenway-adjacent parcel, No. 12, and that lackluster exhibition may have made the state skittish re: No. 9 (not only that but the museum was planning to charge admission in an historic area that leans free).
Whatever the reason, the state in late November picked two other proposals to duke it out for Parcel 9: one including a 180-room hotel with a two-story winter garden as well as a food market with Haymarket pushcart vendors and other specialty food retailers; the other with 50 apartments in a seven-story building that would also house a food market and be crowned by a 13,000-square-foot rooftop garden supplying up to three restaurants downstairs. In light of this, the Boston Museum abandoned its idea (and, apparently, it has abandoned any hope for Parcel 12 as well).
Still, things remain volatile at Parcel 9, with accusations of backroom dealing and "innuendo" among the bidders and the Haymarket Pushcart Association. Stay tuned.
· Greenway's Boston Museum Project Is History [Biz Journal]
· Why the Boston Museum Might Be Wrong for Parcel 9 [Curbed Boston]
· Parcel 9 Finalists: 180-Room Hotel vs. Huge Urban Farm [Curbed Boston]
· Pushcarting Too Hard? Brouhaha Might Hold Up Parcel 9 [Curbed Boston]