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Principle Group launched their Washington Street community input sessions earlier last week at a visioning session. Participants placed dots on posters of black and white drawings of different configurations of buildings – red, don’t like and green, like. They also wrote comments on maps of the area and on the drawings, then met with small groups to come up with 3 Points of Common Agreement and 3 Points of Divergent Ideas to share with the larger group.

Photos of the 30 posters, including 3 of each type so all participants could write on the same ones, used in the visioning session for Washington Street, along with their colored dots and comments, are posted here. The posters themselves are up at the pop-up Public Design Street Studio at 1239 Weashington Street, next to Sweet Tomato’s in West Newton Square.

These are called Character Districts. They range from rural to urban – CD1 to CD5 including combination districts. I’m not sure why certain ones are even included, such as purely residential districts (CD3.1 and CD 3.2) and residential districts with limited commercial (CD4.1 and CD 4.2) because there is no plan for them on Washington Street.

CD 5.1 is a large, low building surrounded by parking, such as the present Whole Foods at Four corners. It’s totally out of date and ugly.

CD 5.2 is a row of 1 to 3 story commercial and residential small buildings next to the street. Kind of a mix of the two with mostly residential separate from commercial.

CD 5.3 is a block of ugly, boxy 3 story mixed use buildings on the street, with parking and some residential in an alley configuration in back. It could have promise at some point along Washington Street if the buildings were configured and designed differently and green space and plazas were added. Although it does rely on parking on the street.

CD 5.4 is a block of 6 story mixed use buildings along Washington with set back 5th and 6th floors, some parking and 4 and 5 story residential buildings in back and along the secondary street. No openings, plaza or green space. It also relies on Street parking.

CD 5.5 is a block of 5 and 6 story mixed use buildings with some breaks in between, limited parking and several residential building in back. Again no plazas, green space and relies on street parking.

CD 5.6 is a solid block of a 5 story mixed use building that continues in back for a block on both sides along secondary street creating a U with parking in the middle. It is not only ugly but adds nothing at all to a streetscape.

CD 5.7 has a 14 story mixed use building with 3 and 4 attached buildings to the left on the block. After a break 5 and 6 story buildings complete the block and are on the secondary street.

One fallacy of these drawing is without including it in the descriptions, labels or color there is no way to tell if any green space is included. It seems green space and plazas were left out of the designs.

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