Update 1/5/2000 - Mall proposal is withdrawn... click here to read.
Update 11/15/99 - Menino vetoes Historic Landmark designation
The Old Northern Avenue Bridge was a historic landmark for just over one week.
In a startling move last Friday afternoon (presumably so news would only hit the light circulation of Saturday's press), Mayor Menino vetoed last week's vote of the Boston Historic Landmark Commission -- reversing the Commission's decision to designate the Old Northern Avenue Bridge as a historic landmark and thereby paving the way for its replacement with a floating shopping mall.
The Commission vote in favor of landmarking had been unanimous, and had been founded on a hearing with support testimony of thirty two national and local advocacy organizations, representing historic preservation, archeology, engineering and community groups. Only one testimony opposed the landmarking -- that of an abutter with concerns regarding access of masted boats (The Barking Crab). The adjacent abutter (Federal Courthouse) supported landmarking at the the hearing.
Menino's decision moves the historic bridge closer to demolition. A privately owned floating retail mall has been selected by the Boston Redevelopment Authority as a viable replacement for the bridge. The primary function of the mall project is commercial (retail, restaurant) with little attention paid to unfettered pedestrian and marine activity.
In a unanimous decision announced today, the Boston Landmarks Commission voted to designate the Old Northern Avenue Bridge as a historic landmark.
The Boston Landmarks Commission hosted a public and well-attended hearing in September, reviewed the history of the bridge, and today rendered a decision supported by many including SAND -- yet politically difficult in light of the views expressed by the Mayor and our Congressman's respective offices opposing preservation and/or reuse of the existing structure.
To read SAND's letter to the Landmarks Commission, click here.
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