The death of the Hynes would crown the neglect of a precious resource
Re “Back Bay’s White Elephant Must Go” (Editorial, April 22): Hynes Convention Center was allowed to deteriorate because, as son-in-law of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, it saw itself deny the resources necessary to successfully compete for congressional business. The MCCA has directed conventions towards the installation of the seaport, for which it is seeking justification and funding to expand.
Unlike the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, the Hynes has better public transit connections, more than 5,000 Class A hotel rooms within walking distance, and business and cultural facilities that complement and strongly appeal to meeting facilities Hynes. Professional medical and scientific associations interested in coming to Boston are drawn to the Hynes and the Back Bay, as opposed to the impersonal, show-stopping facilities of the Seaport Meetings Complex.
The death of the Hynes would negatively affect the commercial, cultural, and economic vitality of Back Bay and undermine Boston’s appeal to the professional community. The city would have everything to lose and little to gain by allowing the Hynes Convention Center to close.
The author is a former planner (1969-94) at the Boston Redevelopment Authority (now the Boston Planning & Development Agency), and was responsible for the market research that supported Hynes’ decision to invest in expansion.
The call to replace the building fails to appreciate its architectural value
Your numbers-driven op-ed calling for the replacement of the Hynes Convention Center (“The White Elephant of Back Bay Must Go”) suggests some sort of Yankee businessman obsession with “get and spend » and maximizing the financial return of our public realm, without any obvious appreciation of the need to consider the intangible value of Greater Boston’s architectural, urban, and historic assets in such deliberation.
Nowhere in your editorial does it mention that the Hynes is among the great public buildings in the city, designed by architects Kallmann McKinnell and Wood, who were considered the late 20th century heirs of Charles Bulfinch and HH Richardson in their architecture innovation throughout Greater Boston and in their national reach. Nor is there any acknowledgment of the admiration of the Hynes by architectural writers and congressmen, or of the fact that the Hynes received the Harleston Parker Medal from the Boston Society of Architects as “the most beautiful” building of Greater Boston, one of six such awards for KMW buildings, more than any other architect.
While we are used to our Commonwealth’s current government ignoring the cultural value of our common wealth in favor of privatization and quick revenues, we expect the Globe to be more balanced in its assessment of plans for the future. future of our built environment, including recognizing the location of our region’s rich architectural and urban design heritage.
The author is a Boston-area architect and fellow of the American Institute of Architects.
State and city better have a plan in place before they throw away a prize package
Your editorial calling for the sale of the Hynes Convention Center makes a number of compelling arguments for repurposing this site, but offers no insight into how it might be used next and what will happen next. hotels, restaurants and shops that currently serve the area, not to mention the impact of the sale on the people who live in the immediate area.
As Mayor Michelle Wu said, “This decision will have far-reaching ripple effects. I think we need a very careful plan in place. Wouldn’t common sense dictate that the city and state have a plan in place before simply throwing away the package to be won by the highest bidder?
Catherine Ruth Bloom