Sometimes, when the end is near, you can just tell. And when I first heard the words “Fenway Center” I heard a death knell to Fenway Park, two virulent cells that when paired together marked the start of a massive metastasizing cancer. Over the next decade or two it will slowly eat away at the ballpark until Fenway Park reaches its final stage, a tombstone masquerading as a hotel or some similar other monstrosity.
First the details: Fenway Center is a $500 million dollar (which probably means $1 billion with cost over-runs) multi-use development (AKA “buildings for the wealthy”) of parking garages (wherefore art thou, Frank McCourt?), retail space (more Au Bon Pains!) and over 500 apartments (10% of which will be “affordable,” which means you’ll never see the inside of the other 90%, presumably the “unaffordable”), in five buildings, some of which will be built atop the Mass Pike. According to developer John Rosenthal, “This project is going to transform ugly, underutilized lots and windswept bridges into a vibrant new neighborhood. “ In other words, it’s gonna make a lot of people rich and inconvenience almost everyone else.
Me? I’ve always kind of liked ugly, underutilized lots and windswept bridges, particularly those around Fenway Park. It meant that more of Fenway was visible. As ballparks go, Fenway is squat, but from certain vantage points it was still possible to see almost the entire park. And I’ve always loved the way it fit the decaying old quasi-commercial area of laundries and garages and cheesy nightclubs. But no more. They’ve already made the park itself a playground for the wealthy; now they’re running down the rest of the neighborhood. Fenway Park is just a prop for profit.
[Photo Via: Stadium Love]