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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Goodbye Filene's, Hello Vornado

Today, Alicia, the "beautiful, spectacular young woman" referenced in my profile, tipped me off about a planned development project in Downtown Crossing.

Earlier this year, Filene's parent company was sold to Macy's parent company. As a result, every Filene's store either switched to a Macy's or closed. The original Filene's, in Downtown Crossing (and across the street from Macy's), has been shut down for a few months.

Recently, the entire block that Filene's was on was bought by Vornado Realty Trust for $100 million. They are planning on building a $620 million, 495-foot multi-use tower, replete with retail, office, a hotel, and condo units. Elkus-Manfredi Architects, the largest architecture firm in the city (where my girl Athalie works), is in charge of designing the building, and from the picture that was included in the Boston Globe article (above), it's quite impressive. (Here's a link to the Boston Herald article)

One of the earliest protests to the new development concerned the Filene's building, built in 1912, built in 1905. Last May, the building was designated as a local landmark, which then required that it be "substantially preserved." Elkus-Manfredi has incorporated much of the Filene's building, along with another 1905 building, into the design of the tower.

If all goes as planned, construction will start as early as next year. Along with other plans that are in the works, the skyline certainly will be transformed.

1 comment:

nephos9 said...

This is a hideous design! How many more sub-1960s towers will our beautiful city be subjected to? This is as bad as the Trilogy abomination on Boylston - there is no point or unity to the design, it references nothing but bad taste and pseudo-New York kitsch, and says nothing about Boston. Why is no one protesting?