Preservation Round-Up: How Boston City Hall Was Born Edition

Posted on: February 13th, 2012 by David Garber


The raw brutalism of Boston City Hall. (Photo: See-ming Lee 李思明 SML on Flickr)

How Boston City Hall was born - Boston.com

"Whatever else you might think about it, Boston City Hall is an improbable building. Call it a giant concrete harmonica or a bold architectural achievement, but to walk by this strange, asymmetrical structure in Government Center is to wonder how on earth it landed there."

Rethinking Preservation Contest - Dwell

"We believe that designing for the modern world begins with honoring the precedents of the past. So we joined forces with Sub-Zero to conceive a contest dedicated to rethinking preservation and you delivered! We received dozens of entries and now it’s time to vote!"

Trump to turn Old Post Office into luxury hotel - The Washington Post

"The federal government announced Tuesday that the New York real estate magnate’s hotel company has been selected to turn Washington’s Old Post Office Pavilion into a luxury getaway. Built in the 1890s, the Old Post Office is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is one of the tallest buildings in the city, with a distinctive clock tower. Although it remains home to a smattering of federal offices and tourist-oriented retail stores and restaurants, the building has seen better days."

Most Americans Want a Walkable Neighborhood, Not a Big House - GOOD

"The symbol of American success often involves having the biggest house possible, but our outsized fantasies seem to be shifting. According to a new survey, more than three quarters of us consider having sidewalks and places to take a walk one of our top priorities when deciding where to live. Six in 10 people also said they would sacrifice a bigger house to live in a neighborhood that featured a mix of houses, stores, and businesses within an easy walk."

Classical Coverup on North Highland - Architecture Tourist

Check out this storefront renovation in Atlanta. Unfortunate, but at least the old stuff is being saved... "Every owner and designer would make their own choices against time and budget. We might yet love the finished project or at least respect it. But my first instinct would have been to let the old parts show."

Preserving New England Houses - Dwell

"In the past few decades, overdevelopment throughout New England has erased some of the region's most inspired Modernist homes. Towns like New Canaan, Connecticut, and Lincoln, Massachusetts, are architectural hotbeds thanks to the Harvard Five, a group of Harvard graduate architecture students and professors that settled there in the 1940's. But more recently, homes by Modern titans like Marcel Breuer and Walter Gropius are being razed for subdivisions and McMansions."

Superman Building at a single bound - Providence Journal

"In calling the Industrial Trust the Superman Building, do we recall the 24-story (by my count) building that Superman leaps over at a single bound at the beginning of each episode of the old black-and-white series? Or do we recall the Daily Planet Building, where Clark Kent reported to Perry White? As its alleged model, Los Angeles City Hall bears little resemblance to the Industrial Trust. Let's just say we call it the Superman Building because it looks like what we like to think a Superman Building should."

David Garber is the blog editor at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. He looks forward to a full-on Trump-led tour of the Old Post Office upon completion.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

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