The following commentary was submitted by Crosstown Art in the North End, regarding the design of the new construction at 124-126 Salem Street.
The chrysanthemum pattern of the railings are decorative, ornate as wrought iron often is at the whim of the artist who weaves it; look at any building in the neighborhood whose fire escapes are unusual and whose copper stampings are remarkable, ornamental and sometimes bizarre.
The flower has cultural significance to the owner of the building. It was painstakingly explained by Frano Violich who designed it at several community meetings and met with approval of residents, for more reasons than its appearance at first glance.
The ground floor provides for commercial tenants to change over time, a pattern that used to be part of vibrant and characteristic life in this neighborhood before every square inch of indoor space was turned into a dwelling.
This building has a carbon negative structure, the wood used to build it was harvested by the Forest Stewardship Council, effectively it keeps almost 100 million tons of CO2 from going back into the environment.
Since we are soon doing away with the Clean Air Act, and removing regulations from vehicle pollution we will need more buildings like it if we want to continue to breathe.
Wake up and smell the chrysanthema.