As one of the oldest cities in the United States, Boston boasts some of the country’s greatest works of architecture; from Richardson’s Trinity Church, to McKim, Mead and White’s Boston Public Library, to the heroic brutalist architecture sprinkled across the city. Nonetheless, despite this long tradition of remarkable design, the past half-century or so has been largely unremarkable with regard to the built environment. In fact, the most notable example had been the Big Dig; an ambitious transportation engineering project, which became infamous nationwide for its escalating costs, scheduling overruns, and design flaws.
In the decade since the completion of the Big Dig, however, the city has undergone an extraordinary transformation. Today, there are cranes everywhere, seeming in every direction one looks, with entirely new pieces of city rising from the ground on a daily basis. We have seen the Seaport District, once known for its sprawling parking lots and transit infrastructure, begin to emerge as one of the country’s premier innovation districts. There have been a number of great works of architecture recently completed by world-renown architects, including the likes of Norman Foster and Renzo Piano. And at the center of all of this change has been Downtown Crossing, one of the fastest changing and most dynamic neighborhoods in the entire city, which is the new home for CannonDesign in Boston.
As we look toward tomorrow and beyond, the future looks even more promising. Both Boston and its cross-river neighbor, Cambridge, are about to embark on their respective city-wide master plans and set an exciting course of development for the next fifty years. In the midst of this historic moment, here at CannonDesign in Boston, we are poised to help shape this future and solve our clients’ and society’s greatest challenges.
Joshua Simoneau is an architect based in CannonDesign’s Boston office. He’s been involved in a diverse range of planning and design projects, with a particular focus on university campuses and architecture.