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  How GE’s new Boston home went from drab to dazzling destination

How GE’s new Boston home went from drab to dazzling destination

AP
Published : Jan 17, 2016, 11:24 pm IST
Updated : Jan 17, 2016, 11:24 pm IST

Before it became a boomtown, Boston’s Seaport District — soon the new home of General Electric’s global headquarters — was a dreary backwater.

Before it became a boomtown, Boston’s Seaport District — soon the new home of General Electric’s global headquarters — was a dreary backwater.

Derided for decades as a soulless and barren wasteland, the eastern district on the waterfront long was filled with docks, warehouses and sprawling lots offering cheap parking for commuters. Today, it’s undisputedly the city’s hottest and fastest-growing neighbuorhood.

 

GE’s move from Fairfield, Connecticut, is set to begin this summer and will be completed by 2018.

Here’s a closer look at the area GE will call home: ‘Innovation district ’

Former Boston mayor Thomas Menino rechristened the area the “Innovation District,” and the city has aggressively marketed it to technology companies and startups over the past decade. In 2014, Vertex Pharmaceuticals moved 1,200 employees to a new $800 million headquarters there. The area also is home to Boston’s World Trade Centre and the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. It’s also the location of the federal courthouse where mobster James “Whitey” Bulger and Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were tried and convicted.

 

Bleak Back water

The Seaport area was underwater in the late 1800s, and long after it was reclaimed from the sea, it lived up to its name as a muddy, pancake-flat, pothole-rutted warren of oil-stained piers frequented by dockworkers and few others. In the 1920s, and well into the ‘90s, it was known as the Harbor Wharves for its blue-collar laborers unloading catches of fish. It was pocked with seedy bars and a place best avoided at night unless you were looking for a brawl. Hip Boomtown

Old brick textile buildings have been transformed into trendy loft-style apartments that have drawn thousands of newcomers. Celebrity chefs and gourmet grocers also have set up shop, spicing the neighborhood with a hipster foodie feel. Harpoon Brewery and popular microbreweries such as Trillium are making suds there. Where Edison began GE’s move to Boston will bring it back to the city where the company’s illustrious founder, inventor Thomas Edison, got his start and invented a stock ticker he patented in 1868. The Seaport also is a short walk from the spot where American revolutionaries dumped British tea into the harbour.

 

Location: United States, Massachusetts, Boston