Notes provided by Lisa Damtoft, attendee.
Members of the Boston Society of Architects (BSA) and SAND met July 29, 1998, with BRA urban designers and consultants regarding the status of the development and design of the Convention Center.
While some ideas from SAND and the BSA are being considered by the BRA, in some cases with enthusiasm, the legal/filing process (EIR/Article 80) does by no means guarantee that these ideas (and even some of the BRA's ideas) will be codified into the ultimate design. The BSA and SAND want to make sure that the public's concerns are not an afterthought to the designers. The "fast-track" legislation for the Convention Center may undermine adequate public process.
The BRA wears two hats regarding the Convention Center, that of promoter and that of planner, roles which are awkward at best, a conflict of interest at worst.
Right now, the Convention Center is in the midst of the MEPA process. If all goes according to schedule, the Environmental Impact Report would be filed in late August, and its publication date in the Environmental Monitor would be September 22, followed by a 30-day comment period. By Christmas, the BCCA would hire an owners representative and an architect/engineer. There is currently a Request for Proposals out to study of the market impacts of having an attached versus detached Convention Center Hotel. Click here to read related story.
SAND will continue to advocate and encourages the public to advocate for a convention center that will be compatible and integrated into the South Boston/seaport neighborhood.