The SoWa Power Station

The SoWa Power Station

Another creative re-use right here in Boston.


Decay and Rebirth: the Glenwood Power Station

Decay and Rebirth: the Glenwood Power Station

“Anyone familiar with the history of Grand Central Terminal (and hopefully all of you that regularly read this blog) likely recall a 1902 train crash that led to significant changes in how New Yorkers viewed trains. Nobody really liked steam trains operating through the city, and attempts to hide them in cuts and tunnels proved to be unsafe. That particularly serious crash in the Park Avenue Tunnel led to steam trains being banned in Manhattan. The idea of electric trains had been pondered for a while, but this proved the necessary impetus for innovation. The New York Central’s Chief Engineer William Wilgus, and inventor Frank Sprague came up with the bottom contact third rail to power trains into the city, allowing a bold new Grand Central that could never have been accomplished with the previous technology. The often overlooked question, however, is where did that electricity come from? Let’s rewind back a few years to the beginning of the Grand Central project…”

Click on the link above for much more!


Bradley Garrett on privately owned public spaces (Pops)

Open Geography

Provocative piece by Bradley Garrett on privately owned public spaces, otherwise known as “Pops.” His intro reads in part:

Part of the problem, then, with privately owned public spaces (“Pops”) – open-air squares, gardens and parks that look public but are not – is that the rights of the citizens using them are severely hemmed in. Although this issue might be academic while we’re eating our lunch on a private park bench, the consequences of multiplying and expanding Pops affects everything from our personal psyche to our ability to protest.

His point is well exemplified in the (unusually thoughtful) comments by readers, one of whom asks:

Residential squares (open to the residents of the houses surrounding the square, but not to the general public) were a feature of London architecture up to the beginning of the 20th Century and still remain closed to the public in most cases. Why is…

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Adaptive Re-use

From the Chicago Architecture Foundation five signs a city is adaptive.

In the past, buildings were often reused for economic reasons, but today more citizens and developers are interested in historic preservation. The preservation of historically significant buildings in an adaptive city adds social value. It allows people to come together and share a common bond over the love of a place, and it spurs rediscovery of the city and its culture.

Boston can not continue to allow it’s history to be bulldozed.

BPDA Documents

Here is a link for The Edison Power Plant Planning Process Report  this out lines the preliminary plans and goals set out by the developer & the BPDA. Note a number of the images included are meant to imply preservation showing old industrial building re-purposed, but the reality is only the relatively short north & south walls of the Turbine Rooms have any architectural detail. The long side walls are blank and devoid of openings except for a row of clerestory windows.
Here is a more complete ENF  containing wind & shadow studies among other items.