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1350 Boylston and the Battle for Building Boston

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Last week, fabulous guest editor Brenda Phan filled you in on the controversy that continues to dog the proposed 1350 Boylston Street:

Last year, the community opposed the original plan to build an office tower when some residents voiced their concerns about having the wrong type of development. A few weeks ago, Skanska came back with a new plan to build an 18-story building with 240 apartments with ground level retail. And residents are still not happy. Current zoning laws only allow a maximum height of 115 feet, or about 10 stories, at the existing site of 1350 Boylston Street. The revised project would be a 195-foot tower. William Richardson, president of the Fenway Civic Association still wants something built on that site but stated, "what they proposed is a little over the top."

Such community opposition has spawned its own counter-opposition. Herewith are the top 5 comments made by Curbed Boston readers in the last few days re: the controversy over 1350 Boylston (which is, of course, a microcosm of a debate long raging over how to build in Boston):

· This city NEEDS new, tall (not that 195ft is tall), interesting buildings. This is a CITY! Why are there even zoning laws for a max of 10 stories. That's ridiculous. These people that bitch need to realize that these projects come and when they get shot down, we are stuck with a freaking Burger King on valuable land for another 6 years.
· Boston residents are very selfish and are more worried about there potted plants getting sun than what is best for boston, look at 40 Trinity, there's a group there too that say it's to tall, lol as its 60 yds from the Hancock tower, the people of this city will kill it...
· Damn shame! This is why Boston will never be a great city because they allow residents and corrupt city officials to nit pick and block anyone who has vision for something more than mediocrity. ""what they proposed is a little over the top." 10 Stories is a Mid-Rise building. You only get 1 shot at this stuff, and why would you build 10 stories when the demand and neighborhood can easily support double that.
· The people of Boston were not always like this, the people of the 60's were all for building a bigger and better Boston, then,,, those people moved to the sun belt and boston was left with people who are more worried about there flowers getting sun than what's best for boston, it's sad
· This is freaking Fenway, not some far-away, suburban residential neighborhood like Hyde Park or something. This site is less than a mile from the prudential tower, it's ridiculous to say it should be 10 stories! A 10 story building would be a waste, and 18-stories seems to be on the lower end of what people build nowadays around there...

Of course, there's another side to this build-bigger coin (and it's not all populated by NIMBY-ists):
· Bigger isn't always better and just because something is taller doesn't mean it's not mediocre. Take a look at the cladding and windows on the new monstrosity opposite the TD Garden: hideous. High rises do not define what it means to be a city and are not requisite for an excellent quality of life in an urban setting.
· Plus, name me a city where a) people do not complain and b) the new tall buildings are all fabulous and beautiful. I mean, sh*t, if you want to see an ugly fight between residents and developers, just Google for "Atlantic Yards Brooklyn." At least in the US, pretty much every city of any appreciable size has zoning and/or land use regulations, construction regulations, corrupt and/or obstructionist politicians, and ugly-ass modern towers. So don't give me this "Boston can't be a great city" crap, because that is crap.

Your thoughts?
· 1350 Boylston Just Can't Catch a Break [Curbed Boston]
· Why the Hub Housing Market Could Get Worse, Much Worse [Curbed Boston]
· 40 Trinity Place Plants Lobby 18 Floors Up, Gets Sleeker [Curbed Boston]
· Here's the Target-Less Base of the TD Garden Towers [Curbed Boston]