A developer wants to build a 26-story condo building at the corners of Essex Street and the Surface Road, where Chinatown meets the financial district.
Nothing captures the conflicts in Chinatown today better than the saga of the old Dainty Dot Hosiery building at 120 Kingston St.
It’s the one that, depending on perspective, is either on the edge of Chinatown or the front of the Rose Kennedy Greenway. The one whose application for historic landmark status was rejected last year by the Boston Landmarks Commission. The one preservationists crave to keep.
I don’t think there’s anything worth saving in this building. While it may look “pretty” to some, I’m not sure it’s distinct enough to warrant giving it any sort of historic designation. I mean, you can’t just can’t go around ruling building after building off limits, without reason.
The height is another issue, altogether. It comes down to whether or not you think this building should be required to comply with zoning regulations in that neighborhood. Is it a “Chinatown” building or a financial district building.
In my opinion, it’s a financial district building, and therefore fits in well with other towers in that area. Having residential housing on the Greenway adds to the flavor of the neighborhood.
That the developer has promised “affordable” housing above and beyond what is required by law, is just icing on the cake.
Or, said another way, “Sam, grow a pair.”
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