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Location, location, location. Standing at the front door to the new BCEC, one will be closer to the harbor, the HarborWalk, and the World Trade Center water shuttle than to the back of the convention center. It is expected that the BCEC will spark other development in the Seaport District.
Convention Center

The new Boston Convention and Exhibition Center (BCEC) will be the largest building in New England. It is longer than the Empire State building is high, wider than the Prudential Center is tall. When it's finished, it becomes a kneeling giant as its 60 acre slanted roof reaches down to the same level as the triple-deckers in its back yard. In 2004, when the first conventioneers stand at the building's front door on Summer Street, they will be closer to the Atlantic Ocean than they'll be to the center's rear entrance. More importantly it brings life to the Seaport District. After the convention center opens, so too will coffee shops, restaurants, hotels, offices, new homes, grocery stores, drug stores, movie theaters and museums. It's the kick-start the waterfront needs.

The 800-pound gorillas of the convention world - the big shows - reject Boston as a site for their event because our current convention facilities are too small. That's a shame because Boston is often their preference. What's the big deal? "Conventioneers stay longer and spend more," explains Jim Rooney, the Director of the new Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. Rooney stalks conventioneers and he understands their habits. "A conventioneer spends almost ten times what a day tripper spends, as they typically dispense $342.00 per day over a three and half day stint in Boston. A regular tourist bunks-up at a cheap hotel outside of the city or stays with their family and friends, and spends on average only $38.50 a day over a two day visit." A large trade show can earn a city over a million dollars a day. The nation's 200 largest conventions gross over $5,000,000,000 a year. Today Boston sees zero of that money.

Planes, trains and automobiles - buses, boats, and your boots will take you to the front door of the BCEC. Ten brand-new lanes of the Mass Pike are under the front door, taking drivers out of the seaport to western Massachusetts or to destinations north and south via I-93. South Station is a ten minute walk; the Silver Line will be running the day the center opens. Water shuttles launch from the World Trade Center a thousand feet from the front door of the hall, and a new Logan Airport is just a mile across the harbor.

Massachusetts Convention Center Authority - Facts
Who: Massachusetts Convention Center Authority
What: Construction of the largest building in New England
Where: The Seaport District
When: Ground broken in December 2000, completion 2004
  Why: Boston needs to capture larger conventions
How much: $700,000,000
Web: www.mccahome.com
Convention Center
A 42-acre building requires a 42-acre roof. Clad in metal and shimmering in the sun, this will be another city landmark, like the Citgo sign or the Custom House tower, visible from the ground and from by air. No taller than a triple-decker at the South Boston side, the roof rises up towards the sea.

In this photograph, the BCEC’s roof is under construction. In the winter, the roof may have 42 acres of snow to support; in strong winds, it acts like a 42-acre kite. The diagonal columns are reinforced by a tensile trusswork overhead that together hold the roof up and keep it tied down while providing a column-free exhibition floor. Below each column, 196 cassions and 4,500 pre cast piles pass through a sandwich of landfill and clay, until they reach bedrock 65 feet down. 26,000 tons of steel and 11.3 miles of foundation concrete will rest on these foundations.

Harborwalk Silver Line Logan Airport Mass Pike Air Rights Convention Center Big Dig Intro Harborwalk Silverline Logan Airport Mass Pike Air Rights Intro Convention Center Big Dig