Welcome to the building where I live, known as The Parkview, located in the town of Winchester, Massachusetts. This peaceful abode of mine is one of a 318-unit concrete, condominium complex, designed in the shape of a horseshoe. The view for people passing this structure on the street is the outside of the horseshoe, which translates into quotes resembling, “The building that looks like a hotel…?!” “Parkview…you know…the prison building…” Or from a friend of mine that used to live here years ago, “Sue lives in the coliseum!”
Parkview was conceived in 1959 by Edward Berndt, a local builder/developer, and then actually erected in 1966. His concept was well ahead of its time, and he was rewarded with an architectural award for Parkview’s self-sustaining design and overall respect for Mother Nature. Our geothermal system utilizes underground wells, along with three man-made ponds that remain above freezing temperature all year round. These translate into toasty heated air in our cold New England winters, and this season, we especially appreciate the air conditioning to provide cooling relief from the humid, global-warmed high temperatures of summer.
Thriving on the inside of this horseshoe, and unseen by the people passing on the outside of the horseshoe, these three ponds are considered home for many. Ducks, birds, swans, chipmunks, squirrels, fish, flies, mosquitoes, bees, and God knows what other mysterious four-legged, flying or swimming creatures live as our neighbors in this courtyard, complete with bridges and benches, walkways and flowers.
The birds serenade us with their animated chatter around 4:30am. It sounds as if they are checking in with each other on plans for the approaching day, or making sure that all the bird kids arrived home by curfew. This wake-up choir is accompanied by a duck quack here and there, along with the ever-present breeze floating amongst the many huge, majestic trees populating The Parkview’s unique version of paradise.
We are a self-contained community here at Parkview, with Plan B being a generator that automatically kicks in should Mother Nature decide to put our main power source out of commission. Historically, our building has remained ablaze with light when the rest of the Winchester community is in darkness, due to one calamity or another.
In these times of seeking the pride and honoring the responsibility of leaving smaller and smaller carbon footprints, our Parkview proudly does a delicate tap dance with Mother Earth, welcoming one and all to our lovely Winchester wonderland. Oops, sorry, not all…dogs are not allowed. They’d be much too tempted to make our beloved ducks their dinner.