Boston’s City Hall – a landmark?

It’s unique, but is it a landmark? – By Matt Viser, The Boston Globe

Yesterday, the Boston Landmarks Commission took up a petition, backed by a group of architects and preservationists, to grant the building special status. Voting to approve the petition after a hearing last night, the commission added it to a list of candidates for landmark status. The commission plans to study the proposal further before a final vote that could come months to more than a year from now.

“This is a building that is valued, not just by a narrow group of architectural crazies who love concrete, but by people who recognize the historical significance,” said Gary Wolf, a Boston architect who is leading the effort. “The arguments for historic and architectural significance overwhelm the subjective dislike for the building.”

Er, actually, it IS only loved by a “narrow group of architectural crazies”.

So, if you ignore them (and you should), the only other people who care are those who like it for its “historical significance”. I’m not really sure where they’re going with that one. I don’t see how the building “symbolizes” anything. It’s unique but not iconic.

When you look at it, do you think, “Oh, this says everything about Boston in the 1960’s, it’s a regular history book!” No. It’s so irrelevant that movies don’t even use it as our city hall! (See, “The Departed” and “Blown Away”.)

It’s ugly. It’s impractical. It’s pretty much useless. There is nothing worth saving. If someone wants to buy it and turn it into a hotel / office tower / paintball center, so be it. Otherwise, bring in the wrecking ball!

I love this quote from the Boston.com message boards. I couldn’t have written a better entry, myself!

This is great news. People from all over the world will be coming to see Boston’s newest historical landmark. The local tourist industry will flourish. Where will all of the new hotels go that will be needed to handle the influx of people???

Architects will be building new City Halls all over the world in it’s image. I can see it now on post cards and in promotional videos. I wonder if the Travel Channel will add it to the 1000 top places to see before you die. I love that building. It has that warm, inviting, bomb shelter charm that you just don’t see in today’s architecture.

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Updated:  1st Q 2018