Tag Archives: Burnham building

Liberty in Balance (+ a tangent about the remarkable story of the old Filene’s, Daniel Burnham, & the Millennium Tower!)

Liberty in Balance
Liberty in Balance: Down with oppressive parking restrictions of any kind!

I saw this at Downtown Crossing amidst the construction going on in the old Burnham building (Filene’s). I guess sometimes, when you’ve got a whole bunch of people living together, compromises must be made…

Anyway, more background on the construction: The Burnham (Filene’s) Building was designed by Daniel Burnham for Filene’s Department Store.  Burnham is the same guy that designed New York’s famous Flatiron building (near which uncouth men used to station themselves in order to watch ladies skirts lifting in the wind that whipped around it, a la Marilyn Monroe).  I haven’t read anything about impolite breezes caused by Burnham’s Boston work, but that is to be expected since Boston is a more genteel city than New York.

Source: Sgeulachdan http://www.flickr.com/photos/shywriter55/161651827 6 June 2006
Source: Sgeulachdan http://www.flickr.com/photos/shywriter55/161651827
6 June 2006

The Filene’s opened in 1913 to enormous crowds, but the building was actually built throughout 1911 and was completed in 1912, the same year that Burnham died.  Some might say Boston finished him off, but I prefer to think that once he’d designed a building in Boston he was able to look back at his life’s work with satisfaction and depart in peace.

Next to the currently-renovating old Burnham building, construction on the new Millennium Tower is slated to break ground on September 17, 2013.  Millennium Tower is going to be the tallest residential building in the city at 625 feet.  The builders, Millennium Partners, claim that it will be the 4th tallest building in Boston!  However, I’ve seen other sources say that it will supplant the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston as the city’s 3rd tallest.