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Bullish on Boston

Rendering of Don Chiofaro's proposed skyscraper on the Boston waterfront.
Rendering of Don Chiofaro's proposed skyscraper on the Boston waterfront.WAX/KFP/KPF

Is Chiofaro’s tower in the city’s best long-term interests?

Like Don Chiofaro, I am bullish about the future of Boston. Which is precisely why I disagree with Joan Vennochi’s conclusion that Chiofaro’s proposed Boston waterfront tower should be built because “any sign of faith in urban life should be welcome” (”Boston needs believers like Don Chiofaro,” Opinion, April 6). Or as Rosemarie Sansone put it: “he is investing millions of dollars in our city at a time when we need it the most.” Both of these statements prioritize the perceived immediate needs of Boston’s pandemic economy over its long-term interests. There is no need for true believers in the future of Boston to act out of COVID-induced desperation. And while I agree that it “doesn’t seem fair” that the developer should suffer the consequences of faulty governmental decision-making, even worse would be the actual harm done to the future generations of the Commonwealth whose interests in a healthy and accessible waterfront are paramount.


Bruce Ehrlich

Jamaica Plain

Development should serve more than developers

Re Joan Vennochi’s “Boston needs believers like Don Chiofaro” (Opinion, April 6): If one really believes in the future of the city — in this case, Boston — you don’t have to believe in and rely on massive overbuilding such as Chiofaro’s waterfront tower. Overbuilding destroys the urban fabric, views, and open space that should benefit all residents and visitors, not just developers and their clients.

Paula Cortes

Fellow, American Society of Landscape Architects


The master builder’s ambition smacks of hubris

Joan Vennochi is generous in her assessment and opinion of Don Chiofaro’s 20-year slog to be the builder of the tallest Boston building near the waterfront. One almost feels sorry for him. But in fact, why has he not scaled down the behemoth he wants to build? Why 600 feet, dwarfing everything in sight, casting shadows, causing traffic jams, imitating New York City? He wants to be a legend, a master builder despite the needs and wants of hundreds of other folks . . . the residents of Boston, who will live with this monstrous building for generations. I call that hubris, and I am happy that the arguments of the Conservation Law Foundation and others have, for now, prevailed in challenging this nightmare.


Liz Casey


We need to reimagine post-pandemic visions of the city

Joan Vennochi should not lament the lack of believers in the city of Boston. Indeed, there are many of us in Boston who have abiding faith in the future of the city — and we have been advocating for that future through partnerships with the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. This future needs to reimagine private development post-pandemic with a commitment to equity, resilience, and access, especially along our waterfront. Both public and private projects that are currently being considered — the Northern Avenue Bridge, Moakley Park, Long Wharf, Fort Point Channel, and others — along the harborfront can and must serve all Greater Boston residents and visitors. We have been given a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create a world-class waterfront for Boston. We should take it and express the kind of faith in the future that Boston deserves.

Aaron Toffler

Director of policy, Boston Harbor Now