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Work begins on City Hall Plaza redo; old fountain from original plaza is uncovered

Work begins to re-do City Hall Plaza, starting at former fountain location

Work underway, and promptly uncovers part of old fountain. Photo by Marc Ebuña.

Mayor Walsh announced today that work began this weekend on a $70-million overhaul of City Hall Plaza that will include lots of trees, a playground, outdoor art and performance spaces and a long waterfall starting near where the original plaza once had a fountain that had to be turned off because it kept leaking on the Green Line underneath it.

Marc Ebuña reports the work started at the site of the old fountain, long ago covered over, near the JFK Federal Building and Cambridge Street - where, on Sept. 19, 1969, Mayor Kevin White formally dedicated the fountain outside the then new City Hall (photo by Teresa Zabala, from the BPL Brearley Collection):

Kevin White with fountain

The new waterfall will look like this:

New City Hall Plaza

More photos of the old fountain.

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Comments

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10

It would leak into the green line.

Edit: sorry, I read the when as why. I should take my Advice!

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14

1977

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15

Though it sat uncovered and unused for many years after that. I think it was sometime in the early-2000s that they actually platted it over.

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What's the over/under on how long before the new water feature starts leaking onto the Green line?

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41

Trees sound like a good idea here. The more trees, the less of City Hall you can see directly.

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58

This classic Sesame Street film shows kids swimming in the fountain: https://youtube.com/watch?v=nrPz8ryMeQk

Can anyone identify the other locations? (Besides the Public Garden and the Mass Ave and Longfellow Bridges -- too obvious.)

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20

They've embraced the elements and the Green Line will now be a log flume.

THIS. WONT. WORK.

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24

I loved sitting near the fountain on a hot day. The mist would blow and cool you down. Will be nice to have something beautiful in the Plaza for all to enjoy.

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25

After putting the stamps on the letters.

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lol

Thank you. I love this. I just hope it won't be a new camp with or the homeless.

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12

Isn’t Boston $65m in the red this year?

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16

Charge market rate for street parking and they could make that up in no time.

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22

Don't you understand how planning, budgets and allocations work?

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21

When I have less money coming in, I cut back on superfluous expenditures. But I’m very simple.

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19

Your parents give you money to buy a house. You don't spend that on rent and car payments.

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15

The best way to improve the appearance of the plaza would be to put giant stickies onto the sides of that repulsive building. Ducks, mice, birds, anything... soften the Brutalism with silliness.

Or just giant hanging evergreen plants coming down from the roof on vines.

Or just demolish the damned thing and start over. They could raise the money for that by a special tax on unoccupied investor properties... like ten times the normal property tax.

Almost anything to alter that anti-human monstrosity of a building, even a random alteration, would be an improvement.

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For anyone unaware of how this thing was designed to look, here's an early photo depicting the square--

IMAGE(https://newbostonpost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/CityHallPlaza_Boston_1973-wikipedia-780x439.jpg)

The implications of the power of the government vs. the people are obvious to anyone familiar with architectural design. A giant symbol of state power looming over tiny, insignificant humans. Compare squares in authoritarian countries like Tiananmen:

IMAGE(https://onestep4ward.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/tiananmen-square.jpg)

North Korea--

IMAGE(http://res.cloudinary.com/korea-konsult-ab/image/upload/c_limit,f_auto,q_auto,w_800,dpr_auto/pyongyang/SAM_0745.jpg)

Some of Albert Speer's work--

IMAGE(https://i.pinimg.com/originals/ec/ff/ad/ecffad2328f234571411474b76ef1a93.jpg)

Two-year project? Empire State Building was one year. "Don't kill the job".

20 months if you count from start of demolition to opening day. I certainly understand the point you are making, but faster would certainly increase costs.

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1977 is when I went into the military. Were they gone by 1981?