This corner of the South End has seen its share of development over the years. In the early to mid-1900s, it was known as the New York Streets district, owing to its throughways being named after cities along the now-defunct Boston and Albany Railroad route. During the 1950s, a large urban renewal project resulted in the demolition of most of the blocks, although a few larger structures, like 1000 Washington and Trinity Church, remain standing today. More recently, the area has been home to the Boston Herald and Teradyne, as well as the former Washington Street Elevated segment of the MBTA’s Orange Line.
The construction of the Ink Block, Whole Foods, and other residences, restaurants, and shopping options has triggered a wave of new development that will ultimately transform the area into what is known as an 18-hour neighborhood—one that promotes a mixed use of activity, 18 hours per day, seven days per week. SMMA conceptualized the new 321 Harrison Avenue building to activate the street level as much as possible, keeping scale and the pedestrian experience at the forefront of its design considerations.