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Medici not the Only Downtown Fortress

By Eric Richardson
Published: Friday, April 01, 2005, at 05:31PM

This week's Downtown News has a piece on the sale of the MCI Center (otherwise known as Macy's Plaza). Included is this fantastic work of understatement:

The MCI Center, originally known as the Broadway Plaza for its anchor tenant, was built in 1973 and includes a glass atrium and courtyard. At the time, it included the first new department store built Downtown in 50 years, and the first new major hotel in 20 years. Unlike most "open plaza" concepts used in other urban areas, architect Charles Luckman created an enclosed, fortress-like structure that allowed tighter security and access but did little to promote street activity.

The massive wall of brick that greets the street for most of three out of the structure's four sides is nothing if not imposing. There's very little a new owner is going to be able to do to change that. This is very much the style of the time, though. The Bonaventure, constructed in a similar time frame, doesn't have any sort of a street presence either.


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