Weaving together the threads of transportation infrastructure : an intermodal transportation station for the proposed MBTA urban ring, Sullivan Square Station, Boston
Author(s)Hekel, Frank John
MetadataShow full item record
Transportation infrastructure in all its manifestations represents a huge capital investment expended during the evolution of a city and is perhaps the most visible character defining weave of any urban fabric. This weave, the interrelationship of circulation space with the spatial boundaries of lots, buildings, and various urban events, requires that one conceive transportation infrastructure as more than mere independent structures with a singular circulatory function. Boston's Sullivan Square marks an urban condition which currently suffers from a singularity of function assigned to automotive circulation largely to the exclusion of the pedestrian. At this historic juncture between Somerville and Charlestown the elevated freeway, Interstate 93, cuts north-south. Directly beneath these three and five story structures are the train lines for the Orange Line Sullivan Square Station, and the through lines for the Commuter Rail and Boston & Maine Railroad. Together these systems promulgate the radial alignment of urban scaled circulation in Boston, a condition which continues to physically divide communities rather than knit them together. Cambridge Street, the original historical thorough£1re, runs east-west beneath the freeway and over the tracks and serves as one of few accessible links between the two sides of the freeway. The contention of this thesis is that existing monumental infrastructures, specifically transportation infrastructure, are presently under utilized and contain within them the potential for civic spaces. The process here explored is to architecturally enhance the existing infrastructures, freeway, rail lines and roads, with the addition of a new Urban Ring circumferential subway line. This tying together of systems into an intermodal transportation center expands the present limited purposefulness and programmatic independence of the existing systems and can be directed to enhance urban conditions at Sullivan Square. I propose a schematic urban development template which utilizes more densely the surrounding properties in a multi-use manner reinforcing the Cambridge Street link between Somerville and Charlestown. Sullivan Square has the potential to become a destination rather than simply a transfer point between automobile and train, moreover, there exists the potential to create a meaningful, multi-dimensional northern threshold for the city of Boston.
Thesis (M. Arch.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Architecture, 1997.Includes bibliographical references (p. 84-88).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture
Massachusetts Institute of Technology