Business & Tech

Winthrop Square tower design finally approved

An artist’s rendering shows what the Winthrop Square tower (center) would look like on the city’s skyline.
Handel Architects
An artist’s rendering shows what the Winthrop Square tower (center) would look like on the city’s skyline.

After weeks of back and forth with developers, a city design review panel gave its blessing to Millennium Partners’ planned tower on the site of the Winthrop Square Garage on Tuesday night.

The Boston Civic Design Commission approved the latest version of the 690-foot tower, a key step ahead of a vote on the project by the Boston Planning & Development Agency board, probably later this month.

The design of the soaring skyscraper — which at 690 feet would be the tallest building in the Financial District — returns closer to the original proposal filed by Millennium, which beat out five other local developers for rights to the site in 2016, with strong vertical lines down a blue glass face and an open “Great Hall” at street level.

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After rules protecting flight paths at Logan Airport required that the tower be cut down from its initial 775 feet, Millennium filed a proposal many panned as too massive and blocky. Weeks of discussions between the project’s architect — Blake Middleton of Handel Architects — and the city design panel resulted in a more refined, sculpted building that from some angles looks almost like two towers alongside one another.

If the BPDA board approves it later this month, Millennium — which is paying the city $153 million, and perhaps more, to buy the garage site — hopes to start construction later this year.

Tim Logan can be reached at tim.logan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @bytimlogan.