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The two faces of Boylston Street

Boston Back Bay condos

Boston Back Bay condos

Did you know that Boylston Street has two faces?

Tucked in a story about how the city is hiring a consultant to come up with a coherent sidewalk scheme for 10 blocks of Boylston Street (starting at Arlington Street), there’s this interesting tidbit:

The two sides of Boylston Street have different design identities — the south side is comparatively modern and aligned with the city’s “high spine,” an urban design concept that’s governed development of many office and residential towers. The north side, where projects have been more “piecemeal,” is monitored by the BBAC, which has preserved the historic architecture and provided generous sidewalk widths, according to the city’s request for proposal.

Because most Bostonians are direction-challenged (i.e. we don’t routinely use “north” and “south” for directions, opting instead for landmarks as guides, as in: ‘Take a left at the Dunkin’ Donuts and then a hard right, 3 o’clock high, once in the rotary …’), it took us a while to figure out that the north side of Boylston is (we think) the side closest to Newbury Street and opposite of the Hynes center (there goes the landmark descriptions, again).

And you know what? The sidewalks are different. One is slightly more historic, the other more “modern” (and boring, in our opinion). We never really gave it much thought before, let alone articulated the difference. But there it is.

Now watch the city screw up both sides of Boylston.

File under: Two face(s)

Opposition forces developer to pull Back Bay tower plan

Boston Back Bay condos

Boston Back Bay condos

Facing opposition from nearby residents, Trinity Stuart LLC has unexpectedly yanked its planned 33-story Back Bay tower from immediate consideration until some sort of compromise can be reached.

The 40 Trinity Place — which would include 115 condos and a 227-room hotel — will probably get built during the coming Walsh administration.

But it just couldn’t clear the last regulatory hurdles to get approvals this week.

In other development news, the old HoJo’s hotel/motorlodge on Boylston Street in the Fenway has been sold, clearing the way for yet another mixed-use development in the booming area.

The Amadeus House: Back Bay’s $14.99 million bargain of the week!

Boston Condos

Boston Condos

Technically, it’s called the Mason House, the 11-bedroom townhouse at 211 Commonwealth Avenue now up for sale for $14.99 million (not to be confused with $14.9 million).

Still, with the sale being handled by Jonathan Radford at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, maybe the townhouse should just be pitched as the Amadeus House, considering how its large music room is where “famous pianists once performed for well-heeled locals.”

You know Amadeus, the famous Academy Award-winning movie featuring some musician called “Wolfgang,” or “Wolfie,” whatever, and his envious nemesis Salieri.

Well, we’re Salieri. Jonathan is Wolfie.

And it’s safe to say we’re more than a little jealous he has this sale.

Btw: Below is the “entertainment room” in Amadeus. Notice the similarities?

What the heck: Read the late Roger Ebert’s review of Amadeus. Haven’t seen the flick in years. Might rent it this weekend. Remember: We (and you) are Salieri. Jonathan is Wolfie.

Looking at Beacon Hill and Back Bay’s soaring housing prices

Boston condos

Boston condos

The Herald takes a neighborhood-by-neighborhood look at home/condo prices, based on LINK Property Network stats. Here’s some of the sales and price numbers:

Back Bay

• 63 units — down from 115 this time last year.

• $1,100,000 average price of a two-bedroom condo — up from $997,918 last year.

• $600,971 average price of a one-bedroom condo — up from $589,302 last year.

Beacon Hill

• 23 units — down from 37 this time last year and 66 the year before.

• $760,820 average price of a two-bedroom condo — up from $735,230 last year.

• $446,461 average price of a one-bedroom condo — up from $427,606 last year.

UPDATE: Fisher College reconsiders Beacon Street dorm plans

Boston Back Bay condos

Boston Back Bay condos

No sooner than posting the item below, we picked up a print copy of the Boston Courant with the lead headline: “Fisher Reconsiders Beacon Dorm Plan.”

Apparently, the storm of neighborhood controversy has forced the school to reconsider putting new dorms at 115 and 139-141 Beacon Street, each holding 43 beds for students (115 is the highlighted one above, while 139-141 is to the far left on the same side of Beacon; click on map to see slightly larger version). Fisher didn’t make clear what exactly it will do to accommodate residents’ concerns, but Fisher spokesman Peter Gori said the school is willing to be flexible, the Courant reported.

We’d gladly link to the Boston Courant article, but it doesn’t post its stories online. Copies are available at most grocery stores and retail shops in the Back Bay and on Beacon Hill. Check out the issue. It’s worth the read.

Fyi: Here’s the original Fisher Master Plan presented last month by the college at a city hearing.