For five long years the Burnham Building in the heart of Downtown Crossing stood gutted to its bones next to the gaping hole that was the old Filene’s Basement Department Store. It was a scar on the face of Boston’s bustling hub. For those of you who haven’t had the opportunity to visit the new DTX (Downtown Crossing as it is now called), I am here to tell you that Boston is getting a facelift.
Built in 1912, The Burnham Building was named after its creator and visionary, the father of urbanism, Architect Daniel Burnham. In a join effort with Boston’s Mayor John Fitzgerald and William Filene, Daniel Burnham designed a building that forever changed the landscape of Downtown Crossing. The building housed the world’s largest specialty store, Filene’s, among other retailers, creating an entertainment experience the city of Boston had never seen before.
The Burnham Building was meant to make a statement, and after years of neglect it is doing so again. The $120 million renovation project includes eight-stories and 285,000-square-feet of mixed-use office and retail. This summer the first major player to open offices in the building was Arnold Worldwide, one of the most renowned marketing companies on the globe and part of Havas Creative Group. Relocating from Huntington Avenue in Boston’s Back Bay into the Burnham Building is exciting news for Arnold Worldwide and the DTX neighborhood. AOL followed suit, and both a Roche Brothers Supermarket and a Primark Department Stores are scheduled to open in the Burnham Building in 2015.
The open and lofty work space shows the building at its glory. The half-finished ceilings reveal the century-old original tiles. Exposed bricks against the oversize white-trimmed windows create a magnificent contrast.
Rising above the Burnham Building will be the new mega-skyscraper, Millennium Tower. Adjacent to the Burnham Building, and connected to it through the retail floors, Millennium Tower will be the tallest residential building in Boston upon completion. Downtown Crossing is on the path to becoming Boston’s newest luxury neighborhood.