Project is needed to make water’s edge more accessible
Re “Letters blast Harbor tower: Agency publishes comments critical of Chiofaro proposal” (Business, Nov. 4): This process has been going on for years, and it’s hard to believe that the New England Aquarium is asking for a new planning process after having participated in public meetings and met privately with the city and the developer.
This project is desperately needed to allow for the demolition of the Harbor Garage and to make the harbor more accessible to the public while working with the Aquarium to invite residents and visitors alike to the water’s edge. The open space today is barren and uninviting.
I know the importance of addressing the resiliency issue in this neighborhood. This project would kick-start these efforts for the entire area, providing flood protection measures on Harbor Towers property as well as property owned by the Aquarium and the city.
I look forward to participating in the discussion as the process moves forward, and I urge the city to ensure the development of this important Boston waterfront site.
We’d be doing away with a hulking monument to the auto era
I strongly support this project, for a number of related reasons. First, it would replace an eyesore. The Harbor Garage is ugly, while the proposed tower is not. This area would be greatly improved with a nice building that is usable to humans, in place of a hulking monument to the auto era.
Second, this project is next to transit. The area’s traffic congestion problem and the climate crisis both necessitate a shift away from single-occupancy vehicles. This project, already in a dense urban area, is made even more appealing by its proximity to the Aquarium stop on the Blue Line as well as the prospect of a future Red-Blue Line rail connector. Those who wish to come and go from the proposed project would be able to do so without relying on such an outmoded technology as single-occupancy vehicles.
Finally, we need more housing and office space. The Boston area is rightly renowned for its excellence in higher education, biotechnology, and other fields. Our brilliance, though, won’t be enough if we prevent new talent from finding an affordable place to live, or if companies can’t afford to establish offices here. Supply right now is too constrained; this project could help, however marginally, to ensure our future prosperity.
A long-sought change for the better
I am writing in support of the redevelopment of the Harbor Garage. For my entire life, this garage has stood between the harbor and the city, blocking access and standing as a beacon of car culture. When the Central Artery came down, this only became more evident.
The garage provides no public benefit and offers no solutions to the ever-increasing challenges of climate change and resiliency. In its place we would get a project that not only provides required parking but also a raised, resilient public space that would contribute to the New England Aquarium’s vision of a Blueway for the area. The ground level will be engaging and inviting, and the tower will become an iconic addition to our beautiful skyline.
The writer is an architect.
City should focus on how tower will affect streets around it
This development is important for the future of Boston. Housing demand outstrips supply, and this would turn a parcel that is underutilized into a much more productive site, with residential units, offices, retail, and an underground parking garage. It would bring more life to the area, and more tax revenue for the city. I urge the Boston Planning and Development Agency to approve this development.
That being said, the BPDA should pay particular attention to how this building will affect the streets around it, making sure that pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers are prioritized (in that order). It will be important to ensure that public access to the area is preserved and that the developer pays for necessary infrastructure improvements. Whatever public space can be set aside at the base of the tower is important.
Overall, this project should go forward, and opposition from groups that are resistant to change should be questioned as not-in-my-backyard concerns.