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Designing Boston: City Hall + Plaza

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“ . . . a notable achievement in . . . the uses of monumentality and humanity in the best pattern of great city building. Old and New Boston are joined through an act of urban design that relates directly to the quality of the city and its life.”
—Ada Louise Huxtable on Boston’s new City Hall, The New York Times, mid-1960s

Boston City Hall and Plaza were intended to create an open and accessible place for government, an exuberant statement of democracy and civic life. Needless to say, that’s not the prevailing opinion today.

What can we learn from Boston City Hall’s early ambitions? January’s Designing Boston panel will focus on the building and plaza, and its original design and intent. The building was designed in the 1960s as a new space for citizens to engage with their government. The plaza was intended to provide a monumental gathering space and welcome all who pass through. What happened? How far have we strayed from the original goals? Is there an opportunity today to reset the clock?

Michael Ross, attorney, Prince Lobel Tye

Michael McKinnell FAIA, co-founder, Kallmann McKinnell & Wood Architects, Inc.
Mark Pasnik AIA, principal, over,under
Anita Berrizbeitia ASLA, professor and chair of the department of landscape architecture, Harvard University Graduate School of Design

About the Designing Boston Series
This series provides a forum to discuss current trends and concerns in architecture and urban planning that may shape Boston’s future. Topics include designing for transportation, walkability, and climate change, and meeting housing demands of this growing city. Go to series page.

For those who qualify, 2.0 LUs are available

This program is supported by the BSA Foundation.