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Austin Street in 3-D (without those weird glasses)

2015 January 28
by Julia Malakie


On the recent parking thread, there was some confusion over the effective footprint of the building, and Marti expressed a wish for 3-D. Here are a couple of recent attempts to capture the 3-D impact of the proposed Austin Street project in context. The renderings were done in SketchUp. I didn’t do them myself, they were a present from mystery elves so I can’t personally attest to the accuracy, but it looks like a reasonable representation. If anyone else wants to try their own version, have at it.

From the angle above you can see Shaw’s on the other side of Austin Street, although not the portion over the Pike as far as I can tell. From this other angle, below, you can just see the far left edge of Shaw’s because it’s mostly hidden behind the new construction.


Here’s another attempt to visualize the building, in Andre Khachuturian’s report on the last meeting at the Senior Center for NewTV, although they didn’t have quite the right perspective of the building to work with, since the front of the building should be parallel to Austin Street, a little bit closer to the street than Rockland Trust (not angling away), judging by the illustration in the last Austin Street post.


And here’s the view from page 47 of the Austin Street Partners document that Adam linked to.

ASP birdseyeview

For anyone who’s saying, well, this height is okay because the Masonic building and the church are already that high, I would note that just because one tall thing is nice, doesn’t mean lots of tall things are nice. And there is a tendency for each incremental big build to be used to justify the next. We’re seeing that with the luxury townhouse-ification in my part of West Newton that I wrote about previously, and the teardowns in Oak Hill Park and elsewhere. What starts out as an anomaly becomes the new normal. Would you like a five-story building on the Rockland Trust lot and the Shaw’s lot as well? Because if one developer does it, the next developer will argue they should be able to as well.

How are the streets and sidewalks in your village?

2015 January 26
by Greg Reibman

Report in here.


Newton Nomadic Theater is back

2015 January 27
by Jerry Reilly

TurnOfTheScrewThe new Newton Nomadic Theater is back with it’s second theatrical production.  “The Turn of the Screw” by Jeffrey Hatcher is an eerie ghost story based on the Henry James story of the same name.  The play stars Marge Dunn, one of Boston’s best young actresses, in the role of “the governess”.

Those of you who saw Faith Healer”, the theater’s first production, will remember the character of “Teddy the manager” played by Billy Meleady.  Billy will be back read more…

RIP Sidewalk Sam

2015 January 27
by Greg Reibman

Bob Guillemin, better known as Sidewalk Sam, died in his sleep in his Newton Corner home Monday morning, The Globe reports

Curious trash policy (change?)

2015 January 26
by Jerry Reilly

I just noticed thiTrashCanss on the city’s web site:

Trash and recycling collections will be suspended on Tuesday, January 27th. For residents whose collection day is Tuesday, your next collection day will be Tuesday, February 3rd.”

I thought when trash wasn’t picked up due to snow they just handled it like a holiday – i.e. trash pick-up gets delayed for a day all week.  This policy is more like “let’s pretend it never happened”.  Good thing its winter time, for people like me with a Tuesday pick-up, otherwise that trash would start stinking.

This Newton Patch story from last year would seem to indicate that this is a new policy.

Report: State rejects Newton’s 40B exemption claim

2015 January 26
by Greg Reibman

WickedLocal has the news.

And here’s a statement from the developer and the ruling.

Is this enough parking at Austin Street? (updated w second image)

2015 January 26
by Greg Reibman

With so much of the discussion here and elsewhere regarding the project at Austin Street focused on parking, this rendering of the proposed project (in red and yellow, click on the image for a larger view) relative to the existing lot and surroundings may help illustrate the most recent plans for project.


The most recent proposal calls for a minimum of 100 public parking spaces (with modern meters which will accept credit cards) at street level and additional parking underground for the all of the building’s residents.

UPDATE: The image below shows the full foot print of the building (without showing all the public street level parking which lies under part of the building)

So what do you think? Does this plan take up too much of the Austin Street parking lot?







Newton snow emergency information

2015 January 26
by Village 14

This is from Newton City Hall

With severe winter weather predicted for the coming days, residents are asked to be aware of several items read more…

No School in Newton on Tuesday

2015 January 26
by Jerry Reilly

I just received the anti-climactic prerecorded message from the school department.  No school in Newton tomorrow.  They will announce tomorrow evening whether there will be school on Wednesday .

OPEN THREAD: Snowmageddon

2015 January 26
by Greg Reibman

Post your cancellations, snow shoveling tips, grocery store line-standing experiences, link to photos of your Florida vacation home, French toast recipes and anything else you’d like to share as we prepare for this week’s snow storm.

trader joes

Photo taken at West Newton Trader Joes on Monday by Terry Malloy.

Austin Street meeting: Feb. 8

2015 January 23
by Village 14

From Nancy Hyde in the mayor’s office…

To All Newton Residents,

Please join Mayor Warren for the 3rd community meeting about the Austin Street parking lot project on Sunday, February 8th from 1-3:00 PM at the Newton North High School Cafeteria.  You are welcome to stop by for some or all of the time and view some visual displays, talk with the developers and city staff, have your questions answered, and generally see how ideas have evolved based on feedback from previous community meetings.

Whether you feel fully informed about the Austin St. parking lot or are just beginning to learn about the possibilities for this project, this is an opportunity to gather information including proposed solutions and to share your thoughts.

We hope you will be able to come.  For questions, please contact Nancy Hyde


Short Film Challenge for Newton Students at NewTV

2015 January 23

Do you know a Newton student who aspires to act, write, direct or produce videos? During the week of February 15-22, 2015, NewTV will be hosting a short film challenge for Newton students. The program will begin with a kickoff event on February 15 at the NewTV studio where each team will blindly draw the genre of their film. They will also receive a required character, prop and line of dialogue that must be incorporated into their 4-7 minute movie. Throughout the course of the week, the students will work within the given parameters to create the best possible final product. Since they will not know the guidelines until the beginning of the week, all work on the film will be done within the week of the event!

The top three films will be featured during a special screening event at NewTV in the HD screening room and will also be shown during Newton’s Festival of the Arts in May. An additional prize will be awarded to the first place team.

Any aspiring director, actor, writer, or producer who wants a chance to see their story come to life on the big screen should take advantage of this opportunity. Registration is open from January 14-February 14. For more information contact