Category: Allston

Dangerous, overcrowded, invisible, informal, unenforced: Part 3, unenforced and invisible

8 May, 2013 (09:00) | Allston, Apartments, Boston, Building Codes, Egress, Enforcement, Fire, Informality, Landlords, Overcrowding, Regulation, Rental, Student housing, Zoning |

By:David A. Smith   [Continued from yesterday’s Part 2 and the preceding Part 1.]   Now we know that 87 Linden Street, where Binland Lee died in the April 28 fire, was way over-occupied, because that was in the unstated but manifest interest of both landlord and residents.    As I’ve observed elsewhere, in any […]

Dangerous, overcrowded, invisible, informal, unenforced: Part 2, blocked and uninspected for ten years

7 May, 2013 (09:00) | Allston, Apartments, Boston, Building Codes, Egress, Enforcement, Fire, Informality, Landlords, Overcrowding, Regulation, Rental, Student housing, Zoning |

By:David A. Smith   [Continued from yesterday’s Part 1.]   Yesterday’s post on the tragic death of Binland Lee, in her attic room in an overcrowded student rental, dealt with the fire’s facts – and if that were all to the story, it would simply be a tragic incident.  But everything is connected to everything […]

Dangerous, overcrowded, invisible, informal, unenforced: Part 1, dying in the attic

6 May, 2013 (14:42) | Allston, Apartments, Boston, Building Codes, Egress, Enforcement, Fire, Informality, Landlords, Negligence, Overcrowding, Regulation, Rental, Student housing, Zoning |

By:David A. Smith   Tragedy exposes an ecosystem’s weaknesses.  A rowdy college party, a lit cigarette, an overcrowded student house, a remote and small-scale landlord, informal subdivisions and excess occupancy, and a building inspection system that gives the illusion of enforcement.  Combine them and a young woman is dead.   Binland Lee, BU senior … […]

Housing’s afterlife

21 July, 2011 (10:08) | Allston, Boston, Cambridge, Displacement, Harvard, Politics, Preservation, Redevelopment, Renovation, US News |

By: David A. Smith   Doctors bury their mistakes.  Developers drive by theirs daily.    An urban pile of concrete no one can love: Charlesview in Allston   Remarkably, some properties get resurrected — if, that is, they have the blessing of a politically fantastic location, worth a fortune to a nearby rich global university […]