Thursday, March 17, 2011

Blog Post No. 2011-5: The Circus Is Back in Town...

...and Government Center finally gets the right kind of measured treatment

The Big Apple Circus folks were back in full force today, setting up and getting ready to put
on the show at City Hall Plaza.

Faithful readers may recall that this humble little weblog posted about City Hall Plaza last year here, pointing how well the Big Apple Circus fit the place and suggesting it might be a good model for rotating temporary uses in lieu of the big splash approach to fixing what ails our own version of Siena's central piazza. So, as the photo suggests, the circus is now back in town, and we have news today of what I view as a solid set of incremental steps and proposals to be rolled out in a manageable succession that, when done, should result in a much better seat for our municipal government. In "After many false starts, a new City Hall Plaza plan," the Boston Globe's Casey Ross lays out the progression of steps that the City has managed to stitch together. Take a look and judge for yourself if the City is on the right track here. For my money, the highlights are smoothing the transition from Cambridge Street to Congress Street, replacing the truly hideous bunker that is the Government Center T station headhouse and thinking intelligently about how to break up the superblock. Whether they stick with all of the tree planting they're showing is anyone's guess, but the slide show is well worth looking at, if only for the incredible range of images and thinking about a single place over the last half century. Fasincating.

Bottom line: I think we can all support the notion that if Kairos Shen does half as well with City Hall Plaza as Janet Marie Smith did with Fenway Park -- that is to, incremental changes year on year that result in a much improved ensemble almost without anyone noticing it -- we'll be truly thankful.

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