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Once the scaffolding came down, the debate started regarding the ornamental wrought iron railings on the facade of 124-126 Salem Street. Some neighbors created quite a stir on social media, mostly against the design saying it doesn’t belong in the North End. In defense, Crosstown Art penned an explanation of the “Chrysanthemum Building” concept. Shown previously in these renderings, architect Frano Violich presented the ironwork idea during the neighborhood review after which both community groups supported the development and the design was approved by city officials. The 5-story building will include nine residential units and commercial / restaurant / retail on the ground floor. The space was previously a parking lot.

Tell us what you think in this web poll and add your comments at the end of this post.

Note: Web polls are not scientific representing only those readers who choose to vote.

 

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Well your poll didn’t leave room for nuanced answers, and its NOT a yes or no issue.
    The “railings” or grille-work are whimsical fun and provide needed relief from the everyday boring and overly conservative design responses we see all across Boston. However, the result is not without flaws. The metal itself appears too thin and flimsy (IMO) and not rooted to anything beyond it. Had the metal been a thicker gauge, and had the fascias of the balconies been rendered black like the grille-work, the ironwork would have appeared less alien. Further, the bright aluminum or white-painted window sash (can’t tell from the photo) is clashing -that too should have been black, and the adjacent walls behind the balconies -not the surrounding brick per se- should been darker or in matching wood. Conversely, the grille-work could have harmonized better with everything AS IS had the grille-work been in bright, or white-painted aluminum. I give an A+ for effort. Its not like it can’t be tinkered with. More experimentation like this please! Boston architecture has grown too boring (and too manufactured!) for its own good. : )

    • Michael Tyrrell: I couldn’t have said it better myself! While the idea itself isn’t so bad, the execution of the grillwork is flimsy and cheap-looking. I’ll add that the repetitive circular pattern clashes with the horizontal bands of brickwork as well as the conflicting window frames, making this facade look like an art-school project. The building is entirely too small to be carrying so much designy elements, and the postage-stamp sized balconies seem almost completely useless.

  2. My first impression was the resemblance to the ‘concertina’ wire that surrounds a prison. As Michael writes, it can be altered somewhat. It overwhelms the beautiful windows. The building itself is attractive, and the men certainly worked diligently day after day.

  3. While I like the design concept and applaud the attempt to be original, I do not like the application of it in this context. It seems too chaotic and out of character with the rest of the building and the neighborhood. I very much also applaud the earth-friendly design and use of materials in the building materials and systems!

  4. As long as the developer likes it, I can’t see what the problem is. The City obviously approved and that is the
    bottom line. I think it brings a fresh new look to Salem St. I don’t care for the metal design, but I like the
    looks of the building. I think we should get away from the typical brick look most of us live with & let
    developers add a different flair to the neighborhood. I think most of the typical brick buildings that
    exist in the No. End are boring. Beauty is in the eye of the Beholder.

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