By the end of 2007, Boston will have its first flagship Apple store according to the Globe. Located at 815 Boylston St., it will be the first Apple store in downtown Boston. The design looks beautiful, and reminds me how struck I was when I first saw the Apple store in SoHo, complete with glass staircase (pics) a couple years back.
Not being a member of the cult of Apple, the most exciting aspect of this Apple store opening is Boston embracing a contemporary design in a historic neighborhood. The design was only accepted after modifications required by the Back Bay Architectural Commission. Still, some opposed it like the architect quoted in the Globe saying, “I felt it was inappropriate for a historic district to have a glass building.” The historic character of Boston shouldn’t be handcuffs from ever incorporating different aesthetics. And the John Hancock Tower just a few blocks from the upcoming Apple store should be a shining example. When the iconic Hancock Tower turned 30 last September, there was a Globe article that covered the initial negative reaction to the building, quoting the then Boston renewal chief as calling it “an outrage”. How many still feel that way today? Very few, I would guess. As Mayor Menino correctly says, six months after the Apple “iBuilding” is up it will be part of the city, just like the Institute of Contemporary Art.