Boston Seeing a Transformation

Construction site of the Millennium Tower at Downtown Crossing is ongoing. (Photo by Jordan Gauthier)

By Jordan Gauthier

The rugged red cobblestones. Shoppers carrying bags from Filene’s. Window shopping for the best department store deals. The intricate architecture. For many, that’s the essence of Downtown Crossing. But soon, what many know and love about this area will undergo a major transformation- a rising 53 story tower that will change the way people view the heart of the city.

This is one of the numerous efforts to revamp old Boston. The Millennium Tower Apartments at Downtown Crossing, the addition to Copley Plaza, as well as an addition to the Boston Garden, are just few of many. The newly elected Mayor Martin Walsh is now leading the process of transforming the face of the city, a shift from former Mayor Tom Menino, who for decades strove to balance the hub’s historical character with technological and cultural development.

New construction spurs job growth, and generates further revenue to the city in the form of property taxes.

Residents proposed an Innovation District that would shape the flow of ideas in belief that this type of concept would improve the city.

“The idea of an Innovation District is more the future for Boston, but hopefully will bring new profits to the city as well as creating more affordable housing,” said Boston Municipal Research Bureau President Sam Tyler.

The big question is how will this city keep a balance of history and new development.
“A lot of what was traditional business has changed,” Tyler explained.

He added that Boston has started to lose its puritanical roots, notably from longer work hours and later transportation.

Some may think that Paul Revere and John Quincy Adams would be spinning in their graves seeing Chipotle sitting next to the Old Meeting House, a place where important debates and decisions for the city would occur, but moving forward may be highly profitable.

Walsh has not been in office long enough to compare his ideas to Menino’s.

“Menino served for 20 years and went through the worst recession, steering the city through tough times,” Tyler added.

Tyler said that Walsh will continue the policies that Menino implemented as well as pursuing his own plans to revitalize Boston.

Downtown Crossing may be set for completion by 2016. This course of transitioning may be hard for some residents, but the acceptance to move forward is necessary, but some feel it could be beneficial in the long run.

“This change could improve the downtown economy, especially by bringing in new business and foot traffic,” said local shopper Doris Dufor. “Although it’s hard to adapt to change sometimes, in this case seeing our old Downtown Crossing become modernized, it’s still a positive venture along with a positive impact for professional and commercial development and our future generation.”

“Inevitably, with this large scale development, the city will invite a new generation of Bostonians to be the heartbeat of Downtown crossing,” said Marblehead resident Diane Glavin. “They will start to populate the residences, work in the offices and socialize in the restaurants.”

Construction worker surveys site of Millennium Tower. (Photo by Jordan Gauthier)

Construction worker surveys site of Millennium Tower. (Photo by Jordan Gauthier)

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