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Proposed development on forgotten end of Newbury Street could mean new residential units, new squash courts for nobs

Trinity Financial says it will soon file plans to replace a Harvard Club annex and parking lot along the part of Newbury Street that overlooks the turnpike with two buildings, one 11 stories tall, the other 3, with a total of 133 residential units and three floors of Harvard Club space, including new squash courts and other athletic facilities.

The proposal, for 415 Newbury St., between Mass. Ave. and Charlesgate, would include parking for 125 vehicles, up from the current site's 112.

Trinity says building atop the current parking lot would "fill a void in the urban fabric along Newbury Street dating to the construction of the Turnpike in the 1960s" - as well as help meet Boston's housing needs and give members of the Harvard Club "state of the art" athletic facilities.

The club annex currently houses the modernization-needing squash courts for the more vigorous members of the club, where full membership is available to graduates of Harvard, Yale, MIT and the Fletcher School at Tufts, but not other Tufts graduates.

415 Newbury St. letter of intent.

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Comments

numbers that are actually reality based and no foolishness with extraordinary bike corrals.

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All the modern buildings do. They just don't tend to mention them until they file the actual plans.

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Building more parking downtown close to public transit is climate change denial.

There is no need to provide parking here at all.

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Major station?
Auditorium, err... ICA... Hynes... Mass Avenue... whatever they call it now? THAT is a major station?
...
Major or not, people just might occasionally need/want to go somewhere that isn't a convenient connection via Green Line.

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If only there was some kind of bus line there that could take you easily to downtown Cambridge (or the Red Line) or to Nubian Square (hitting the Orange Line on the way). Oh well, I guess we'll just have to keep dreaming.

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You know.. open the entrance to the station that actually serves where people want to go.

Seriously, I use that station to bang a left onto Boylston (from Mass Ave) every single time (except when its raining, which I use BackBay and walk to Boylston via the Pru)

If the Green Line doesn't get you where you need to go, there's an indoor walking route to the Orange Line or Commuter Rail via the convention center. Just another reason to note this as being a location that is particularly well-connected to transit.

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At least most people know that a street continues west from the Mass Ave I-90 westbound ramp, even if they don't know it's called Newbury Street.

But imagine living here and trying to tell anyone where you are.

(Did this use to be a nice street with houses on both sides, before the Pike was built?)

Indeed, according to Atlascope Boston (scroll over to this western stretch of Newbury St), the building you reference was erected by 1902 and was a hotel by 1938. At that time, it was separated from the railroad tracks by a row of buildings that were clearly demolished later to build the Pike.

... the turnpike side of that last leg of Newbury. The turnpike was built in a pre-existing rail corridor; where there are now car lanes there were once tracks

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I'm not disputing about the rail corridor thing. But I've had some conversations with older folks who lived down the corridor a ways, on the outer part of Brighton near the Newton line. Legend has it that while repurposing the corridor to accommodate the Pike extension, they widened it and got rid of some streets (and their houses). Maybe that also happened along that stretch of Newbury, maybe not.

There were definitely buildings torn down in a variety of places in order to build the Pike, especially in Newton but probably also here as well as in Allston and Brighton.

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...for not being precise. I was thinking of the BackBay, not anywhere else. Still, the south side of the leg of Newbury across Mass Ave never had any buildings. Below, a photo from the BPL’s flickr account which illustrates what I was driving at. The tracks came right up to the Hotel Lenox and ran along Boylston St. where the Prudential Center now is.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/boston_public_library/6009195374/sizes/l/i...

Still amazing to me that where the Hynes and Pru are was a train yard prior to 1960. Seems so "dirty" compared to the "nice" Backbay is now.

Pictures of that area, prior to 1980 are neat. Looks like they just raised much of the areas around the tracks and the pike and just built on top of it. Even Copley Place was built on top of a series of off ramps from the Pike.

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The south side of Newbury between Mass Ave and Charlesgate did have buildings the full length of the block. If you look at MapJunction for the old Bromleys - '17, '28, '38 - there's a whole strip of buildings there that must've been gone by the time of the Turnpike.
I know Adam had an article up sometime about the old streetcar loop around the record store building into the building a couple of doors east of Mass Ave - that got chopped away for widening the right-of-way, too.
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edit: Looking further along in time, the buildings on the south side of that block disappear between the 1962 and 1968 aerial photos on MapJunction, corresponding to the development of the turnpike extension.

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..and the great resource. I was relying on this map, which I now realize is completely inadequate: https://backbayhouses.org/progress-of-construction/

As you describe, the photo looks from the area of the Lenox, across the pre-PRU rail yards, towards the dome of the Christian Science Church. Newbury isn't in that view, but the line of buildings to the right of the dome, fronting the rail yard, would probably be along Dalton Street.

...for not being precise. I was thinking of the BackBay, not anywhere else. Still, the south side of the leg of Newbury across Mass Ave never had any buildings. Below, a photo from the BPL’s flickr account which illustrates what I was driving at. The tracks came right up to the Hotel Lenox and ran along Boylston St. where the Prudential Center now is.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/boston_public_library/6009195374/sizes/l/i...

Might be more sensible to remove the left-hand-side parking and replace it with trees and shrubs to reduce pollution, noise, and ugliness of the highway...

If you are traveling to this area, there is very often available metered street parking on this stretch of Newbury. (Not during Red Sox games, as people have figured this location out for that purpose.)

Sounds like the Secret Parking Illuminati will be scheduling a zoom meeting to discuss Gary's future.

I deny their existence with every fiber of my being.