A view of the Leonard Zakim bridge from the construction site. The warehouses at right will be replaced by a five-acre park within two years. The elevated roadway in the foreground is the John F. Gilmore Bridge.
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
Cambridge, Massachusetts —Construction of two condominium buildings and a five-acre park began on March 21, in East Cambridge, Massachusetts. The buildings and park are part of the 45-acre Northpoint development, which will take 15 years and more than $2bn to complete, according to the Boston Globe. The buildings, designated as “Building S” and “Building T” by the planners of the project, Spaulding & Slye Colliers, have been designed by local architectural firm Childs Bertman Tseckares and Architects Alliance from Toronto. Buildings S and T are the first of an eventual 20 buildings planned at the site.
The development will fill what used to be a railroad yard for the Guilford Rail System, a subsidiary of Guilford Transportation Industries. According to Hoovers.com, Guilford is controlled by Timothy Mellon, heir to the Mellon banking fortune. Guilford Rail Systems has its headquarters in North Billerica and owns 1600 miles of railroad throughout New England. The tracks in the Northpoint plot have been removed, though Boston subway’s Lechmere station remains within walking distance of the site, along with parts of Boston and Cambridge. The site is bordered by Route 93 on its eastern side, Monsignor O’Brien Highway to the west, and the Gilmore Bridge to the south.
The landscape architecture of the park is provided by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, a landscape architecture firm on Concord Avenue in Cambridge. The firm’s principal teaches in Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. MVVA is also completing the landscape for Harvard’s Northwest Science Building.