Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Day #5 Atlantic Wharf Hearing
Today we changed gears to an alternative way of exploring Boston Harbor. Although I had my knife and field guide ready to study marine species I found myself in an interesting audience of public hearing regarding the existing and the future vision of waterfront developments. In polite manners three different parties presented their ideas, concerns and vision of how they would like the waterfront to look like. Those parties were Yami Tsipis representing the Boston Marriott Hotel, Dick Mulligan from BRA and David Lucey on behalf of 255 State street.
In a systematic order Yami Tsipis brought us back to history of the waterfront since 1946 until the existing structure now and added what he called a vision for the future. He carefully chose his words and focus his presentation on how the public and local economic can benefit of the changes he is envision. He talked about how the existing look of the structured doesn't seem to be appealing to the public and he would like to change that. He wants to bring new components to the property by wrapping around life activities to draw more visitors and consequently boasting local business. However, couple important points were made by some committee members. How will those changes will impact the local vendors who are already using the space? And by extending their structure closer to the water how it will impact the walk way? At that point the hearing started making sense to me because it sounded like people really cared about the waterfront. It was clear to me that if any changes were to take place they want them to be done methodically by primarily validating the interested of the public.
The second presenter was Dick Mulligan property manager for Boston Redevelopment Authority(BRA) who apparently owns and manages most of the property around the waterfront. He seemed to be more concern about the logistics of any changes that will or can make his job harder. He talked about improving the walk ways to make it more pedestrian friendly and keep it clean by making sure the trash is removed constantly. He came across as a manager who likes to be hands on and open to the idea of bring more people to the waterfront. The final presenter was David and another associate from 255 state street who talked about their building renovation and the use of public friendly architectural approach. They also mentioned how they came along way to make the building that was once in shambles when they bought it in 1997 to this very colorful and attractive to the public. Some artistic touches were applied to the building and a good portion of the 1st floor is open to the public. Overall, the speakers had interesting points and innovative ideas, which in my option beautifies the waterfront and will indeed attract more people there.