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The High Tide at Seaport, Boston, MA


Glass. Steel. Cement. Three materials that mark modern-day construction, and three materials that are overtly present in Boston's boomtown: the Seaport District.

There is a consistent rumble in the area: trucks are moving piles of dirt and rocks, cranes are levitating floors off the ground, workers weld together the skeletons of future towers. One cannot escape the excitement of building and the attraction of the new.

Kickstarted by the construction of the city's federal courthouse in the early 1990s, the district, once a "rotten" neighborhood of industry, began to redevelop. Hotels, office buildings, and residential blocks rose. This growth was accelerated by the construction of the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center in 2004 and the Institute for Contemporary Art in 2008 [1].

Nowadays, in a city made up of around 45% young adults, the gleaming towers of residences and office are a beacon to the more traditional centers, such as Downtown, Back Bay, and Cambridge [2]. The Seaport has its draw with its prime location: a short bridge away from South Station, Government Center, and the Financial District; a waterfront view from most buildings; along the MBTA's newest line, the Silver Line.

There are, however, concerns with the development of the neighborhood. Jon Seward, a resident along the Fort Point Channel, calls the redevelopment "an anonymous office district" that could be "anywhere in the world." Schools, grocery stores, and other amenities are missing, according to many residents [3].

That aside, it's an absolutely incredible sight to behold. Crane after crane, project after project continues to rise up from the industrial grounds of the past, and reach the beckoning heights of redevelopment. The question is: will it be done properly?

This article is the introductory piece of a series on Boston's fascinating Seaport District. Part 2 is soon to come.

[1]: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/2012/07/rise-seaport-district-boston/

[2]: https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/massachusetts/2014/11/30/boston-young-adults-are-influential-and-often-burdened/kp2Oek4nIcMrTtehgDnl1M/story.html [3]: https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2015/11/09/pace-housing-construction-seaport-raises-questions-about-neighborhood-vibrancy/Oaj1cDGpEStgAgRvKJTqKN/story.html

#art #exhibition