Thursday, May 20, 2010

Bad Thing in Dudley

This past weekend, Mayor Menino waxed enthusiastic about all the amazing things happening in Dudley Square: a new police station and and an historic fire station renovation. Woo. Hoo. The current police station makes prisoner quarters in Guantanamo look like the Chateau les Crayeres. And that cute little historic fire station next to one of the oldest European burial grounds in the country was just begging for rehab. But as hizzoner ran down the list of amazing things happening in Dudley, two simple words erupted repeatedly in a whisper from my lips into the ear of my companion:

Gravel pit.

This is not a view from somewhere in Detroit (sorry, Detroit, I know things are tough). This is the view from Washington Street of the enormous gravel pit which begs to be turned into, not just the long ago promised municipal offices, but a central location for City Hall. That's right, Mayor. Never mind the corner office on the beach. All roads lead to Roxbury. Dudley’s rich in history and culture and is the geographic center of the city. It's a veritable transportation hub. And it needs not just your rhetoric but a real, viable, sustainable plan for regeneration as the vibrant, bustling urban center it once was and could easily again become. The best way to do that is with a little of your TLC and a lot of your attention. So take some of those big corporate tax credits away from the undeserving monoliths, toss them together with a desire to leave a meaningful, encomium-worthy legacy and sprinkle in a hefty dose of visionary thinking – (use someone else’s if you can’t muster up your own).
Develop the lot already.
And in the meantime, I’m working on a DIY project in my backyard. Could I have some of that gravel?


  1. That "old" police station was supposed to revitalize Dudley Sq - now it's Guantanamo? When was it built - the late '70s? Not exactly old as old buildings go. For that fact, the new Police Headquarters was supposed to revitalize Columbus ave as well. How's that doin'?

    As to City Hall - no rapid transit. Not that I wouldn't find it amusing to pull Mumbles off his throne downtown, but Dudley just isn't a good site. And to make matters worse, if you pulled City Hall out of downtown, the Usual Suspect a-holes would want to make Government Center into still ANOTHER "greenway." Not what the city needs.

  2. Ha! This is spot on. I work for a nonprofit in Dudley Square and we constantly lament the gravel pit. If you want more fodder for the cannons you should take a look at all the empty property lots the BRA owns in Roxbury...

  3. I will, Prog of Tryst, I will.