Project DescriptionBoston’s Government Center Garage symbolizes the damage done to U.S. cities by 1960s Urban Renewal programs, the effects of which are still felt today. The nine-story, 2,300-space garage occupies five acres and separates six neighborhoods (Market District, Bulfinch Triangle, the North End, Beacon Hill, Government Center, and the West End) and the Rose Kennedy Greenway. The garage is key to reviving the city’s Downtown North into a thriving mixed-use center, the first mixed-use development to include significant housing in the urban renewal district. Other uses include office, retail, hotel, and transportation.
An innovative and sustainable phasing mechanism has been developed to implement the master plan, including a sequence that keeps the garage in place during early phases by carefully threading development on and around the existing structure. The western portion of the garage will be maintained intact and in use, resulting in a significant savings in embodied energy and materials. Once the eastern half of the garage has been removed, Congress Street will once again be open to sunlight, and the eastern parcel will become an active public space that reunites neighborhoods and opens urban vistas. The project will add 812 new housing units and add 3 million square feet of development.
In an area dominated by automobiles and interstate highway access, the project will not only create a pedestrian-only corridor but will also be a model for transit-oriented development. It will integrate an 850-space bicycle facility and Hubway station and provide direct access to Zipcar, subway transit, and commuter rail.