You can now read 10 articles in a month for free on Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

The Boston Globe


paul mcmorrow

The fall and rise of Lafayette Place mall

For all the disappointment, angst, and hope wrapped up in the crater where the old Filene’s department store once stood, the former Filene’s site is an imperfect metaphor for Downtown Crossing’s long-running struggles. The Filene’s pit only became the manifestation of neighborhood blight a few years ago. The old Lafayette Place mall, which looms over Washington Street, two blocks down from Filene’s, has been a monument to Downtown Crossing’s failures for decades.

Lafayette Place was supposed to lift up a derelict end of a struggling commercial district. Instead, the redevelopment fell victim to the torpor that has plagued Boston’s downtown since the 1960s. Now, with Lafayette Place’s current corporate occupants preparing to relocate to the booming Seaport district, there’s no stronger barometer for Downtown Crossing’s current renaissance than the latest repositioning project at the snakebitten Lafayette complex.

Loading comments...

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week