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Letters | The city’s sites

Another way to see destination of Downtown Crossing

Paul McMorrow’s view (“The best we could do at a prime site in Downtown Crossing is a pharmacy?” Op-ed, May 7) that a chain drugstore, even one with sushi, is not the best use of the former Boston Five building at the corner of School Street is certainly right, but I question his analysis of the underlying dynamics of the Washington Street shopping district.

What made it work in its heyday was not so much the unique concentration of shops as the unique concentration of shoppers because of huge downtown employment and because the city was accessible by train and trolley long before automobile travel through the suburbs became common.

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As the building is on the Freedom Trail, its most effective use as an attractor to Downtown Crossing might be as a visitor center or as a site for the Boston history museum once proposed for the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway.

André Mayer

Cambridge

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