Historians who someday will retrace the long and tortuous route bringing Fan Pier to life will probably come across this 1987 article, in the New York Times discussing plans for the Seaport District (or South Boston waterfront, depending on your point of view), and … not surprisingly, neighborhood opposition.
And, where do we stand now, 19 years and 10 months later?
We finally have an art museum about ready to open (December 10? Yeah, right.) We have a new developer on board to build at Fan Pier. And, in fact, we already have housing in the neighborhood, thanks to Joe Fallon. Plus, five or six hotels, and a brand new, if somewhat underused, Convention Center.
From the NY Times, 1987:
As far back as many South Boston residents can remember, the large, semicircular pier that juts out from the northern tip of their neighborhood toward the city’s downtown financial district has been used as a parking lot by people who work in nearby factories and warehouses.
But a plan to transform the 18.5-acre piece of land, Fan Pier, into a development of four office buildings, an 800-room hotel, three apartment buildings, an art museum and a marina has aroused heated opposition from a coalition of diverse interest groups and raised questions about the limits and direction of development here.
Fan Pier, separated from Boston’s hub by the narrow Fort Point Channel and from residential South Boston by a mile of industrial plants, has been a popular target of developers because of its proximity to downtown and its waterfront location. Five different development plans have been proposed in the last 20 years, but the debate over the current plan has intensified as the project has moved ahead. This week, the state, which has the power to block the development on environmental grounds, conditionally approved the plan.
More: Pier Development Plan Arouses Boston Protest – Special to The New York Times