Letter: 55 Shattuck should remain as development lesson

November 15, 2013
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Recent years have seen tremendous, almost unbridled growth in medical facility development in and around Francis Street and Longwood, Brookline and Huntington avenues. If you look at it with some distance and perspective, you see a terrible mess of buildings, many in process, and many more to come. Think of homesteaders stampeding for free land and you have a mental picture of the medical area’s aggressive thirst for more buildings as soon as possible.

The latest move to demolish Boston Children’s Hospital’s 55 Shattuck St. should be halted. Like Mike Mulligan and his steam shovel, this little building deserves its home. A delightful adjoining garden, which is a respite for staff and patients, some in dire straits, deserves saving, too. This historic building should remain as both a reminder of the medical area’s important roots and of what is appropriate scale. Unchecked development was widely seen as a problem in Boston when I arrived here in 1974. This is history not to repeat. Let the Boston medical community learn from and respect the roots from which it sprang. Let 55 Shattuck stand.

Jack Vaughan

Mission Hill

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