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Higher For Hire

Posted by Jim Botticelli  August 6, 2013 02:20 PM

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BuildingPru.jpg
   Man of Steel. A construction worker treads where no man hath trod before him in 1973

                  "The higher the buildings, the lower the morals".....Noel Coward

     These days our Cityscape can claim 251 high rise buildings but this is relatively new. The first building considered worthy of high rise status was the 13 story Ames Building on Court Street, which reigned from 1893 until 1915 when the Custom House was completed. Today with 18 skyscrapers, almost all over 500 tall, Boston ranks 11th in the U.S. and 40th in the world in height.

     Most of the heavy lifting began in the 60's and 70's with the Pru opening in 1965 and the Hancock Tower in 1976. Many downtown projects were launched during this period including the one pictured above (unidentified) in this homegrown photo taken while the Hancock Tower is seen under construction in the background. Safety standards in Dirty Old Boston were lacking compared to today and this guy seized the moment to perform his balancing act. Forty years later Bostonians have the chance to see this fellow in action, something not possible before the internet.

     Let's hope more daredevils lurk among us because currently on the drawing board is a proposal for the South Bay Tower planned for land reclaimed from the Big Dig off Hudson Street in Chinatown, just south of Downtown . If approved, built and opened this structure would be--at 800 feet--the tallest building in town. 

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Please submit homegrown photos from 1945-87 for our upcoming book. Visit dirtyoldbostonproject.com
Ciao for Now.....JB




This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
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About the author

Jim Botticelli, a 1976 Northeastern University graduate, is a retired Boston Public Schools teacher. In college, he drove a cab and learned the city's cow paths. An avid collector of More »

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