The Emperor's New Clothes

Posted by Michael DiMella on Tue, Mar 22, 2011

[This is a guest post by iconoclastic developer and marketer, Merrill H. Diamond.  Merrill can be reached at mdiamond@diamondsinacori.com. Read his bio below.]


Having recently touted the first-class architecture of 45 Province, among other aspects of this extraordinary property, and the Marino Center at Northeastern, I’d like to turn my attention to the state of contemporary architecture, in general.

As an architect-turned-developer, I attended architectural school at a time when it was transitioning from the tail end of formal Beaux Arts training to the advent of Bauhaus, New Brutalism and other contemporary design ideologies that have continued to dominate the design of contemporary building design.  With that statement, I am dismissing the work of Frank Gehry which is, at best, a series of tours de force signature buildings, but not a real architectural movement.  Frankly, it’s more fashion than architecture, the latter of which must function in the real world, not in an isolated context as is the case with Gehry’s celebrated Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain.  A better example of Gehry’s failings is represented by the Strata Center at MIT, a building that is different for the sake of being different and hardly fits in within its context.  I’d hate to live across the street from it, and the photo below is its best view.

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Tags: Boston real estate, Boston condos, architecture, multi-family marketing, brighton condos, Charing Cross

A Tale of Three Sisters

Posted by Michael DiMella on Mon, Mar 14, 2011

[This is a guest post by iconoclastic developer and marketer, Merrill H. Diamond.  Merrill can be reached at mdiamond@diamondsinacori.com. Read his bio below.]


The Clarendon, The W, and 45 Province

It’s no secret that 45 Province*, like The Clarendon and The W, its two sister-projects (by way of demographics, pricing and, of course as evidenced here, association by anyone writing about any of the three), has struggled.  It’s also no secret that all three buildings came on the market at the exact wrong time, right around the time the financial world and the residential real estate market collapsed in 2008.  That said, the similarities end there for me.  Most people find The Clarendon to be the best located of the three and, in my opinion, it’s a reasonable piece of background architecture whose only flaw is the unresolved top of the building which looks like it’s missing…its top.  The W is both an uninspired piece of architecture and is situated in an area that best can be described as neither here nor there, but relatively close to areas that are both here and there.  I wish both buildings well as the economy begins to recover. 

The book on 45 Province is that its Downtown Crossing location provides its biggest challenge just as the architecture of the building provides one of its strongest and most unique selling propositions.  I tend to disagree with the book in this particular instance.

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Tags: Boston real estate, Boston condos, architecture, multi-family marketing

The World's Ugliest Building.....aka Boston City Hall

Posted by Michael DiMella on Fri, Nov 14, 2008

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Tags: architecture