scorecardresearch Skip to main content

Enhance the old, don’t shroud it in high-rise gloom

THREE CHEERS for Nathan Green’s letter to the editor (“Who will stop the waterfront behemoths?” April 22) about the neglect of architectural standards and the integrity of the public landscape.

I would like to extend the critique beyond the waterfront. Chinatown has some wonderful gems of architecture that are quickly eroding to unwieldy development. Lumbering, uninteresting towers are overshadowing and disregarding such beautiful structures as the Jacob Wirth House on Kneeland Street,and the compact office building at 681 Washington Street. The latter was designed by H.H. Richardson, Boston’s master architect of the late 19th century.

In the South End, a lovely new building has gone up at Worcester Square and Washington Street, but the developer did not take the view of the square into consideration. The new building stares awkwardly across the square at the stately Aaron H. Allen mansion. It’s like a bad marriage of two-good looking people. And the neglected child is the park in Worcester Square, which loses a visual connection to the north side of Washington Street.


Boston is a wonderful city that deserves constant attention to human scale and architectural excellence. New buildings should enhance the best of the old city, not overpower it.

Rhonda Smith