Boston City Hall Building

Boston City Hall Building, Massachusetts Architecture, Brutalist Design USA

Boston City Hall Building

20th Century Civic Architecture in Massachusetts, USA – design by Kallmann, McKinnell, & Knowles

Aug 1, 2017

Boston City Hall Building

Boston City Hall
Design: Kallmann, McKinnell, & Knowles, Architects

Location: Boston City Hall, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America

City of Boston

Date built: 1968

Boston City Hall One of Twelve Recipients of Getty Foundation’s Keeping It Modern Grants

In 1962 a panel of judges defied expectations and awarded the design of Boston City Hall to the newly established firm of Gerhard Kallmann, Michael McKinnell, and Edward Knowles to execute a bold new vision of brutalist architecture.

Grandly austere with its concrete facade, Boston City Hall features several playful gestures, including its gravitydefying mayor’s office that hovers over the main entrance plaza and a profusion of outsized classical dentils.

Boston City Hall
photo © Naquib Hossain/Dotproduct Photography

The latter’s ironic reference to the city’s plethora of Greek-inspired municipal buildings underscores the architects’ intention to introduce a new idiom to Boston’s civic landscape. Although reception of the building has been mixed, the last several years have seen a shift in public sentiment, with many residents now embracing the site as a key feature of the city fabric.

Even with this renewed support, serious issues affect the structure’s long-term preservation—from water ingress to inadequate joint support for structural concrete elements. City Hall is keenly aware that strategic planning is needed to pave the way forward. Specialists across many professions, in close collaboration with City Hall and the Boston Landmarks Commission, will use Getty support to evaluate the building and plaza, perform laboratory analysis of the concrete, and assess the building’s systems in order to create a conservation management plan for the site.

Grant support: $120,000

Boston City Hall Building images / information from The Getty Foundation

Getty Foundation Keeping it Modern 2017 Grants

Address: 1 City Hall Square, Boston, MA 02201, USA

Phone: +1 617-635-4500

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Website: Boston City Hall