In Boston, A Pit Replaces A Store : Planet Money Filene's left, and a listener say so did the people.
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In Boston, A Pit Replaces A Store

The new ghost town. Justin Viglianti hide caption

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Justin Viglianti

Justin Viglianti, an architect in the Boston area, sends a picture from that city's Downtown Crossing. He writes:

What you see is the crater that was the famous Filene's Department Store. If you're not familiar, a few years ago there was a big push to get more residences into the heart of Downtown Boston. The area would turn into a ghost town after 6PM, evidence that Boston was becoming or maybe has always been a very car-centric commuter city. So with help from the Mayor's office this site was to be a huge tower of businesses, restaurants, a theater, and apartments that would make Downtown a destination again. But when the economy hit bottom and the housing sector took a nose dive into deep debt, the project stopped.

This hole has been festering for 6 months at least with no plans of remedy anytime soon. I go by here everyday and it just kills me that it's become the exact thing the city was trying to avoid, a deterrent for street life, for business, for anything beneficial to the city of Boston. I look at this from the perspective of an architect, not an economist, but I can see that there are definite parallels here between housing, money, and quality of life.