Several changes are taking place throughout the Boston area, ranging from the demolition of a Winnie-the-Pooh house, to the extension of the Green Line and the delay of housing developments. Here is a look at some of the news taking place in the area.
Winnie-the-Pooh House to be Demolished
Cambridge’s best known Winnie-the-Pooh house, which was constructed following a snowstorm on April Fool’s Day in 1997, will soon be coming down to make way for a city-mandated lead pipe replacement and repaving project along Hurlbut Street. The house was created after late Harvard anthropologist and neighbor Irv Devore hollowed it out and then sculptor Mitch Ryerson crafted into a house. The hollowed out belly of the tree served as the living room while a guest book hung just inside of the tree for visitors to sign. The eight to nine-foot structure also boasted a shingled roof and a weathervane with a faded sign below that read “Mr. Sanders” in reference to the previous tenant in A.A. Milne’s stories. A smaller Pooh House is also located outside of Harvard’s Science Center.
Green Line Extension Approved by FTA
The Federal Transit Administration has approved a project that calls for extending the Green Line. Estimated by the MBTA to cost $2.3 billion, the scaled back project would extend the Green Line an additional 4.7 miles through Somerville into Medford. The project also calls for adding seven new stations, including a relocated Lechmere stop.
Originally, the project called for opening this year and finishing in 2020. The original plans also called for the development of a 7,000-foot community path along the extension. Due to the increasing costs of the project combined with management issues, however, the original plans have undergone some changes. New plans call for the community path to be just 3,000 feet long and many of the stations will now be open air rather than enclosed with accouterments such as fare gates and elevators. Furthermore, the extension will now not start to open until 2021. While these changes may come as a disappointment to some, it is likely that the extension would have been put on hold indefinitely if the feds had not signed off on the new cost estimate.
Development of Mass + Main Delayed by Lawsuit
A recent lawsuit has brought progress to a halt on one of the Mass + Main project, which is one of the biggest new developments planned for Cambridge. The lawsuit was filed by the Massasoit Elks Lodge at 55 Bishop Allen Drive, which is suing the city over the potential impact the project will have on its neighbors, including the lodge.
According to current plans, the Mass + Main development would bring 285 apartments to the area over two buildings. The city’s Planning Board signed off on the plan, which calls for one of the buildings to reach up to 195 feet, in January. The Elk’s promptly followed suit by filing a lawsuit in February. The project itself has been in the works since 2015, at which time the city approved a city change. Developer Twining has since made numerous adjustments to the plans in an attempt to please critics and other concerned parties.