Monday, December 21, 2009

Globe Article on Design of BCEC

The Boston Globe
Expanded convention center must do more than get bigger
By Robert Campbell, Globe Correspondent | December 20, 2009
Article Link

Does Boston need a bigger convention center?

Do convention centers really do anything to improve the life of a city? Any city? Boston in particular? And is bigger better?

Already, Boston is home to a behemoth of a convention center with 12 acres of indoor space. The building near the South Boston waterfront, designed by Rafael Vinoly, is only five years old.

Four weeks ago, the Convention Center Authority held a press conference. It launched what journalists call a trial balloon. What if, proposed the Authority, we doubled the center in size? That way, we would be able to compete with other cities for the biggest conventions. All those conventioneers would need hotel rooms, restaurants, much else. They’d spend money. They’d bring economic growth to a part of the city that’s long been pretty stagnant.


Boston’s convention center can’t do all those things. But the principle holds. Any addition should be thought of not as a deadly, single-purpose monolith, a vast pile of hotels and meeting rooms, but rather as a mixed-use neighborhood in which lots of different things happen, as they do in San Francisco and Philadelphia. It should incorporate shops and restaurants at its edges, where they can engage the neighbors, including pedestrians as well as conventioneers. It should mitigate the inhuman vastness of its barren site by inserting some public streets. Good cities are made of good streets. The city should mandate these benefits.

If the convention center accomplished some of that, it might even do good for the South Boston waterfront. So far, this huge new piece of Boston feels like a badly designed New Jersey office park. The streets are too wide (they’re highways in the city, really) and they are hopelessly disorienting. The signage is misleading and the buildings are too far apart to create interesting frontages. Who has ever taken a walk for pleasure in this part of Boston?

Boston’s biggest selling points are its human scale, its walkability. Those are the qualities that attract visitors. Maybe a better convention center could bring some of these merits to a South Boston waterfront that needs them desperately.

Robert Campbell, the Globe’s architecture critic, can be reached at
© Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Boston Snow Emergency Declared

Mayor Thomas M. Menino today declared that a snow emergency and parking ban will go into effect at 10:00 p.m. Saturday, December 19, 2009. Mayor Menino would like to remind residents of the following:

* The City of Boston encourages businesses to ask employees to work from home when possible, take public transportation, and be prepared for potentially dangerous driving conditions. Everyone is encouraged to use public transportation.
* City of Boston afternoon and evening activities are subject to cancellation.
* Move cars from main arterials during snow emergencies. A listing of main arterials can be found at
* Do not park cars within 20 feet of an intersection. Parking too close to an intersection can restrict emergency vehicle access.
* Do not throw snow back into the street. "Throwbacks" force the city to remove snow from the same street twice.
* Shovel out fire hydrants and storm drains close to your home.
* Property owners are reminded to shovel snow from sidewalks that abut homes and businesses.
* Do not double park.
* Keep wheelchair ramps clear.
* Lend an extra hand to elderly and neighbors and others in need.

During declared snow emergencies, discounted parking is available at several parking lots and garages to cars that display Boston resident parking stickers. A list of locations is available at The city's Know Snow program will be in effect this afternoon to alert residents of the snow emergency.

The City of Boston Storm Center will open at 10:00 p.m. Saturday, when the snow emergency goes into effect. Residents with storm-related questions or concerns should call the center at 617-635-3050, starting at 6:00 p.m. Saturday

Monday, December 14, 2009

Barlow's Open For Business

The neighborhood's latest bar, Barlow's, opened last Thursday to a good crowd. They did a good job with the build out, keeping a number of the original elements of the building including the floor and re-using support beams for the bar and to frame an entryway. The space has an open, but warm feel to it. And the walls are adorned with a selection of pieces by Fort Point artists, curated by Joanne Kaliontis.

241 A St.
Boston, MA 02210

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Reception Tonight: Paintings by David Moore

Bob's Your Uncle, in association with FPAC, presents a reception this evening for paintings by David Moore:

Artists' Reception
Wednesday, December 9th
5-9 PM

Bob's Your Uncle
25 Channel Center St.
Fort Point, Boston 02210

More information about the artist can be found on his site:

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Special Senate Election Tuesday

REMINDER: The primary for the special election to fill Ted Kennedy's Senate seat will take place on Tuesday, December 8th. Please make the effort to get out and vote!

Democratic candidates
Martha Coakley, Massachusetts Attorney General
Stephen Pagliuca, a managing director of private equity firm Bain Capital and managing partner of the Boston Celtics basketball team
Mike Capuano, Representative for the 8th district
Alan Khazei, co-founder and former CEO of City Year

Republican candidates
Scott P. Brown, State Senator from Wrentham
Jack E. Robinson III, candidate for U.S. Senate (2000), Secretary of the Commonwealth (2002), and U.S. House (2006)

Friday, December 04, 2009

Made in Fort Point Holiday Sale, Opening Today

FPAC's 11th Annual Holiday Sale is today through Sunday.

Stop by the Holiday Opening Today for complimentary holiday snacks:

Holiday Sale Opening
Friday, December 4th, 5-7 PM
12 Farsworth Street

The Fort Point Arts Community Holiday sale is a unique opportunity for artful holiday shopping, or to just treat yourself!

***20 talented local artists will be set up, displaying their wares over the three-day event.
***The newly expanded FPAC Store will be open featuring works of art, craft and design by over seventy-five fort point artists.
***Art at 12 presents SMALL WORKS: artworks by Fort Point Arts Community members from December 4th through the holidays.

Find jewelry, paintings, prints, pottery artists’ books, photography, handcrafted clothing and accessories, furniture, lighting, prints, holiday ornaments, cards, and much, much more! Something for every budget.

For more details, see