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DOCOMOMO: Planning for the Future of the Boston Government Services Center

MAR 2020 DOCOMOMO

Paul Rudolph's Government Service Center

Photo: Robert Perron/Boston Globe

  • COST

    Free and open to the public.

  • TYPE

    Knowledge Community

  • AUDIENCE

    Professionals

Planning for the Future of the Boston Government Services Center – Paul Rudolph, Co-ordinating Architect presented by Henry Moss, AIA, Principal, Bruner/Cott Associates, Boston – and Docomomo Board member and Treasurer

The Boston Government Services Center (BGSC), also known as the Lindemann-Hurley complex, was arguably the most architecturally ambitious project of the Government Center development – an unprecedented urban renewal effort that transformed Boston physically and culturally between the late 1950s and the early 1970s. The BGSC is considered one of the most important works of Paul Rudolph and though he was – as recent scholarship has particularly shown – only one of a large cast of characters that shaped the development of the site over a period spanning the better part of a decade, his imprint as coordinating design architect is indelible and unmistakable. It is also a project that had a difficult gestation resulting in a truncated work whose signature 24 story tower and its connecting 5-story block to the Lindemann Building was never built. The construction of the adjacent Edward W. Brooke Courthouse in the late 1990s forever precluded the completion of the original vision for the site.

Today, the complex is in need of comprehensive renewal, and the Commonwealth is beginning to explore options for the renovation, preservation and development of the site. Bruner Cott has been working with the Massachusetts Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM) for several years to understand the history, use, condition and significance of the BGSC while at the same time taking preliminary steps to examine how the site can be sensitively rehabilitated and expanded both to correct some of its inherent flaws and to optimize the value of an underbuilt site as an asset and prime locus of office space for the Commonwealth. Henry will take us through the steps and findings of this process both as they inform preservation efforts and potential future development.

The presentation will be followed by discussion facilitated by Docomomo’s David Fixler, FAIA who has also been working with DCAMM since the fall of 2018 on this effort. This is part of a larger public outreach process that is addressing a broad constituency of stakeholders and will continue at least through the summer of this year. Please join us to hear and be heard about this very complex and important issue – all are welcome.

Please RSVP to [email protected] by 12 PM on Monday March 9 so that we can have an accurate headcount.

We hope to see you on Monday.

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