Little new to report this month. The new
Senior Center Community Life Center at 401 Bridge Street has been done for two months and is awaiting its opening on Sept. 10. The original opening scheduled a week before on Sept 4, was rearranged once it was realized that the Massachusetts primary elections AND first day of school on the same day would overtax city services.
By now the building has stood vacant for two months, leading to the maintenance problems reported in last month’s update. Days after that post was published, the overgrown weeds in the parking lot were clipped and the graffiti on the back wall power-washed away, so perhaps someone out there is paying attention. Construction went much faster than anticipated (doesn’t happen often), finishing months early, and the already set move-in plans could not be adjusted accordingly.
Across Bridge Street the River Rock Residences, squeezed into a rock ledge between Boston and Goodhue Streets, are coming along smashingly. The intricate third floor roofline for the six town houses along Boston Street is taking considerable time to complete, so the prediction in last month’s update that they would be topped off by now fell short. Whether intended or not, the high gablefronts once all is done can only reflect the high gablefronts on houses all around Gallows Hill.
As to the apartments across the way, they have been topped off for several months now, and the multi-textured (brick and clapboard and paneled flatboard and shingled) and multi-dimensioned (bay window projections and roof dormers and parapets) and multi-hued facade is gradually taking shape. Highly reminiscent of the multi-textured and multi-dimensioned and multi-hued facades of Queen Anne style homes, the favorite of this blogger among all the architectural styles represented in Salem houses.
Just as were Queen Anne homes a century ago, contemporary architecture is often derided for being, well, too busy. But again as with Queen Anne the daring, the exuberance, the sheer energy of contemporary architecture can only be admired. Especially when contrasted with the sober, lifeless and sterile modern architecture that preceded today’s contemporary aesthetic.