Boston City Hall (part 1)

Boston City Hall, 2007

There are many voices saying that the Boston City Hall is one of the ugliest building in Boston. I heard people talking about the Boston City Hall is ugly. Even Charles, he told me before that he thinks it’s a bad design. Some people say the Boston City Hall doesn’t look like how a city hall should be. It’s dirty, it’s dark. They don’t know what is the purpose of the building to occupy such a big piece of land.

The coffers and the architrave above the concrete columns

Charles and I have been talking about our viewpoints on various buildings, including the Boston City Hall. One Friday, for some reason, our business partner said he also sees the Boston City Hall an ugly building. Then, we had a conversation about this building. Then, I started to defend for the Boston City Hall, telling them that it’s in fact an interesting building. The building itself serves as a government building which is part of the Government Center complex. It’s a modern architecture built in the 60s when it was symbolizing modern and urban redesign. This Boston City Hall was built after the era of the Old City Hall in the Downtown area. I believe that it’s because of the new building is totally out of the traditional European building style which the Old City Hall resembled, that’s why most Bostonians don’t see the beauty of the new Boston City Hall. Besides, if there was a figure of an authority had expressed an idea of the new City Hall is an ugly building, then most people would agree that it’s ugly because it’s already a “mainstream” viewpoint. No body would like to be regarded as a deviationist. That’s why it’s very difficult to tell the general public that the Boston City Hall is actually an interesting building. The combination of the concrete and the brick creates a modern feel of the 60s.

The Boston City Hall is in fact named among the list of the Great Buildings Online.

Boston City Hall, with partial view of Faneuil Hall, 1981
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