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letters | does Boston’s skyline need a boost?

Nothing ‘world class’ about sprawling up

IN HIS Sept. 3 op-ed “Scared of heights,” Paul McMorrow makes the mistake of treating towering skyscrapers as the defining characteristic of a world-class city. While he makes a number of good points regarding the economic benefits of a broader tax base, focusing heavily on the number of stories a project involves and ridiculing the people of Boston for having other considerations regarding the development of their own neighborhoods puts the focus of his argument squarely on height as the measure of progress.

While I like to visit New York City, walking through midtown Manhattan and looking up at towering buildings leaves me with feelings of a confining crowding and artificiality. That’s why I feel that New York is a great place to visit, but is not someplace I would want to live.


I therefore applaud the people of Boston for not swallowing the notion that towering buildings are necessary in order to be a world-class city. By caring deeply about livability and other concerns beyond height and the corporate tax base, the people of Boston balance the varied considerations that go into managing a major urban center, and that is what makes Boston a truly world-class city.

Christopher Hallenbrook
Davis, Calif.