Friday, July 11, 2008

Keep your seat

Mayor Menino continues to advocate building a new city hall on the South Boston waterfront, with $2 million in this year's budget to study the new location. The best case against moving the seat of government from where it is now -- whether in the current building or in another -- is the location, today's Globe points out.

Though there are some architects who gush about City Hall as a brutalist-style landmark, very few people -- including city workers and elected officials -- care for the structure's look or ergonomics. However, there can be little argument that it is located in one of the most convenient places possible for most Boston residents, with easy access from all four subway lines.

Building a new structure, while providing sweet new digs for the mayor and leaving a monument that would certainly have his name on it, would cost us a big chunk of money and make it harder for people who need to visit City Hall for routine business. Moving it is a bad idea.

1 comment:

Brain said...

I personally detest the brutalist style evoked by the entirety that is Boston City Hall. It interfaces with the street on all sides more as a fortress than a transparent seat of the city bureaucracy. That said, I will admit that preserving the building is still a far-superior choice than relocating city government to South Boston. The primary reason is accessibility. Even if the Silver Line were converted to light rail, the transit access to the proposed new city hall site would pale in comparison to the current location. In an era of increased need for (and use of) public transit; relocating the center of government in such a manner is not forward thinking. Further, the existing building could be altered to enhance/fix many of its most striking problems. Removing the horrid brick walls that surround much of the back sides of the building, adding bright colors, textures, glass, a green roof, and many other ideas could go a long way to improve the current building. Also, committing to a real revamp of the plaza and train station wouldn't hurt either. All of this is certainly more economically and environmentally sensible than what's currently on the minds of Menino and company.