Skip to content

BSA News

Mar 23, 2023

A Century of Harleston Parker: Medals Reflect a Changing Boston

BOS Echelman Photo Melissa Henry DSC00860e crop 671px

"As If It Were Already Here from beneath" (cropped). Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

Photography by Melissa Henry, Studio Echelman.

In 100 years of recognizing the "the most beautiful piece of architecture, building, monument, or structure built in the metropolitan Boston area in the past 10 years," the Harleston Parker Medal has captured the face of a changing Boston. March 31 is the deadline for nominations for the 2023 award. Submit your nomination today!

With its first award in 1923, the Harleston Parker Medal, according to the BSA Bulletin at the time, set a surprisingly broad mission, embracing "a great breadth of field in regard to the nature and importance of the structure for which the medal is awarded." Finalists over the years have been correspondingly broad, drawn from popular nominations—now open through March 31—from BSA members and the public.

Nothing better proves the award's breadth of scope than its 2022 winner: Janet Echelman's ethereal light sculpture "As If It Were Already Here," the first temporary installation to be awarded the medal. And nothing better showcases the dynamic change in metro Boston than the contrast of this installation with the many now-iconic winners from years past, ranging from the Hatch Shell to two John Hancock buildings to the MFA's Art of the Americas Wing.

Lend your voice with a nomination for the 2023 award!