Height of Winthrop Square Tower Lowered, Shadow Impact Still Felt on Parks


Shadow Study Illustration

A shorter building is a positive development, but the reduction to 702 feet in response to the FAA ruling still doesn’t prevent the building’s shadow from extending across the parks during the times that required exemption from the shadow laws. The illustration shows one of the shadow studies we commissioned during this process and the effect of changes in the height of the building from 775 feet down to 575 feet. Reducing the building to 702 feet will have no substantive impact on shadows cast on the Common and Garden.


Without a design, we still do not know what the final building will look like or what its impact will be, particularly given that the developer might make the tower wider to compensate for the loss of height. We will be deeply involved in the Article 80 process, to ensure there is no erosion of protections for the parks.

One of the positive outcomes of the exemption legislation was the City’s commitment to downtown planning, and we look forward to working with the BPDA to begin that process in the near future. Moving forward, it is critical that Boston’s development be guided by protecting what makes our city livable and desirable, most importantly our irreplaceable greenspaces.