Back-Bay Apple Store, Part II

Boston Apple Store DesignSome details are final­ly start­ing to emerge sur­round­ing Apple’s plans for the con­struc­tion of a sig­na­ture Flag­ship retail store in the Back Bay, Boston. IfoAp­ple­Store reports that ren­der­ings of the pro­posed design have leaked (see left), and that the back­ward-look­ing Back Bay Archi­tec­tur­al Com­mis­sion has seri­ous mis­giv­ings about the 3-sto­ry mod­ern glass struc­ture.

This is a shame… our won­der­ful­ly acer­bic alter­na­tive news­pa­per, The Week­ly Dig, said it bet­ter than I can:

Putting aside the men­tal gym­nas­tics it takes to believe that one glass build­ing would destroy the neigh­bor­hoody feel­ing of a three-lane boule­vard that hosts a mall, a con­ven­tion cen­ter and the city’s sec­ond-tallest tow­er, Apple’s run-in with the BBAC rais­es a more imme­di­ate ques­tion: Is a cabal of frigid elit­ists sti­fling Boston’s growth while they defend some bull­shit Brah­min con­cep­tion of what an ex-land­fill should look like?

I sym­pa­thize with those urban plan­ners and crit­ics who reject the strip-mal­l/­park­ing-lot 20th-cen­tu­ry method of devel­op­ment — God knows, Boston is as pedes­tri­an-friend­ly as any city in North Amer­i­ca, and we’re bet­ter for it. But, there are many exam­ples of new projects designed to mim­ic the look of 19th-cen­tu­ry Boston, with­out suc­ceed­ing in pre­serv­ing any sense of neigh­bor­hood cohe­sion. One glar­ing exam­ple of this is the mam­moth Hotel Com­mon­wealth, in Ken­more Square, which I’ve com­ment­ed on in the past. That build­ing has as much “old-world charm”, as a 1970s-era French Tudor style sub­ur­ban tract home.

Mandarin Oriental BostonWhat I find strangest of all, is that this is a rel­a­tive­ly small par­cel of land we’re talk­ing about. Con­sid­er that on the very same block, across the street, Man­darin Ori­en­tal is build­ing a huge hotel, in front of the Pru­den­tial Tower/Mall, at street-lev­el.

If one of these devel­op­ments is going to change the char­ac­ter of the neigh­bor­hood, I’d wor­ry more about that project.

1 Response to “Back-Bay Apple Store, Part II


  • I think I heard some­where about the Back Bay Apple Store being open 24/7. If that’s the case, I can see it now. All the druken morons stum­bling in from the Lands­downe area with their iPods claim­ing the beast ate it, but when in real­i­ty they sim­ply dropped it. Hey, it could hap­pen.
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