The foreground of this courtyard cuts out some of the background beyond. So, one can not see the whole front of historic Faneuil Hall and Adams Square. Hence one is drawn to the edges of this place and to see it completely, on to the new pedestrian bridge.
On the bridge ones experiences are enriched and intensified by taking the "leap" from place to place. As you approach the Adams Square (at this higher level of the bridge over congress Street) the whole scene is read at a glance of this important historic urban space. Adam Square is the ancient center of Boston (then called Dock Square) and is brought more to life by this line of uninterrupted pedestrian movement. The integrity of the shape and character of this historic urban space is preserved by maintaining the existing edge that defines Adams Square.
Moreover, the delightful experience of crossing Congress Street is not compromised by the continuous flow of cars buses and taxis. This relationship of people and cars serves the interests the drivers moving swiftly and the safety of the pedestrians. In addition, the pedestrians can now enjoy; (1) the new views opened up of the Congress Street vistas and (2) being connected to the dynamic, colorful, swiftly mowing energy of the heavy traffic below because they now dominate that traffic. Hence, they feel secure and in control of their life by now being free from: (1) waiting for traffic lights, the intimidation, anti-social and dangerous movement of cars on Congress Street.
The present frequency of personal injury lawsuits in this area (pointed out as a major problem by Kevin lynch) would be greatly reduced. Access to and from the plaza is increased particularly for the ADA requirements and those confined to wheelchairs. Most important is to realize the natural advantage of the natural slope with higher elevation on the plaza side. Hence the major problem of Boston: the separation of one district from another (particularly of City Hall Plaza) is solved by this delightful flyover bridge.
Copyright: 1999 George Kelso