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It looks like we’re back to the drawing board on harbor tower

A November 2017 view of the Harbor Garage by the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway, with Harbor Towers on the right.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

We don’t need another giant tower blocking the waterfront

In her commentary “Tower may not get off the ground under the next administration”(Page A1, May 20), Shirley Leung writes that the contested site of the Harbor Garage “is critical to unlocking the potential of the downtown waterfront.” But as for what developer Don Chiofaro proposes there, I say enough with “shimmering” towers. As it is, poor old Boston Harbor is well on its way to being turned into little more than a resort swimming pool, tightly ringed by the amenities the resort set expects.

The potential of the Boston waterfront? It is being choked, not fostered, by overbuilding. It is shortsighted developer groupthink that gave San Francisco its leaning tower, that turned Boston’s 1825 Quincy Market into a boring nondestination, that rendered much of Boston’s waterfront downtown already undrivable, and that transformed Fan Pier and its environs into the present congested canyon.


Boston Harbor deserves better.

Frederic D. Grant Jr.


Project’s gatekeeping foes are blocking progress on housing

Boston faces a housing crisis that cannot be solved with one project, but it certainly cannot be solved by rejecting housing. Rejecting new housing projects such as the Pinnacle, Don Chiofaro’s proposed tower, leaves these prospective residents to look elsewhere, risking more pressure on an already strained housing market. Do the project’s opponents care? Of course not. They are simply gatekeeping, squatting on our waterfront in a gated, exclusionary complex that is unwelcoming to those who can’t afford to live there in a way that is more severe than the Seaport District.

This new project would start to dismantle the wall that the Harbor Garage and Harbor Towers have created between the city and our waterfront. It would create a resilient edge to a harbor that is only going to continue to rise in the coming decades. It would provide new open space and access for all of us at a critically underutilized site at the heart of our city. It would add density near public transportation, a land-use pattern we are going to need to repeat to fight climate change. And it would symbolically dismantle a monument to 20th-century car culture that gutted the urban cores of American cities, Boston included.


Chris M. Brown


The writer is an architect.