From the Globe’s op-ed pages:
During the same period (in the early ’60s), Boston was also demolishing the West End and Scollay Square, and replacing them with the isolated concrete towers and terrible brick plazas of Government Center. And there were similarities between the two projects: The Prudential Center’s first iteration looked like Government Center with some storefronts — an empty, windswept expanse that was meant to attract people, and wound up repelling them.
But the Pru’s owners recognized its shortcomings, and have been working for decades to correct them. One of the first improvements was converting the property’s disastrous open-air shopping center into an enclosed mall. And since the property’s rezoning in the late 1980s, there’s been a concerted effort to urbanize the complex.
Yeah, but here’s the problem when comparing the Prudential Center and Government Center: The former is privately owned, the latter publicly owned.
Not bashing government. It’s just a fact that government is motivated by entirely different factors than the private sector and so it’s a lot slower moving on many matters as a result, if and when it moves at all. Don’t hold your breath for a major revamping of Government Center anytime soon.
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Updated: December 2017