Boston wants to limit tall buildings; we should, too


Published: Tuesday, January 21, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 20, 2003 at 10:48 p.m.

Your editorial on Jan. 15 indicates that area residents should welcome 20-plus-story buildings downtown to let the city "grow up" and have a "compact, sustainable urban vibrant city center."

I am a Gainesville native and I have lived in Gainesville for most of my life. This is now my third year living in the Boston area. Downtown Boston is lively, vibrant and is a mix of government buildings, businesses and residences.

Yes, they have several high-rise buildings that were built in the past couple of decades. But most people have decided they do not want more of these.

They do not want numerous tall buildings blocking the light and the view from other parts or the city. They do not want to walk down streets that are enclosed by the blank lower faces of behemoth buildings.

Buildings of more than 5 stories have to deal with considerable public protest. Designs for buildings have had to be changed to meet with more public approval.

Several buildings - in the time that I've been here - have agreed to smaller scales of the 5-10-story range rather than 20-plus.

Even the longtime city mainstay of Boston University has repeatedly faced opposition from area residents over their plan to build a new high-rise dorm.

If a major city such as Boston can conclude that there should be a limit to the height of their buildings, then I think Gainesville should also be able to.

There simply is no reason to turn to building of the scale proposed in the midtown project. It is possible to find a middle ground between city sprawl and high-rise buildings.

Smaller buildings that are less of a glaring contrast to downtown Gainesville would be a much better choice.

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