Boston City Hall

Boston City Hall was jointly designed by Micheal McKinell and Gerhard Kallman both from the University of Columbia. Boston City Hall is among works of architecture that have received almost equal praise and condemnation. Most of the praise for the building comes from architectures who cannot understand the public’s condemnation of the building. Boston City Hall follows the brutalist architectural tradition that was prominent in the 1950’s and 1980s. According to Lebowitz (2016), brutalist architecture can be best described as the architecture we all love to hate. Indeed, Boston City Hall is considered among the ugliest buildings on the globe by members of the public, and many attempts have been made to have the demolished. Interestingly, the iconic building has controversially survived decades of attempts to bring it down. The views of architectural world contrast sharply with those from the general public as they describe the building as an architectural masterpiece.
The design for Boston City Hall was a reflection of the prevailing need for functional building following the destruction occasioned by the Second World War. Brutalism architecture was popular and was used in designing institutional and government buildings in mostly English speaking nations. The buildings following this architectural style were fortress-like and often massive in character as they combined rugged brickwork and concrete. According to Lebowitz (2016), brutalism was a reaction to the optimism, lightness and frivolity that characterized earlier architecture in the 1940s and 1930s. Architectures felt that the ruggedness and lack of concern for aesthetics expressed an atmosphere of moral seriousness.
In 1962, a competition was held to select the most suitable design for the Boston Hall. The two-stage competition ended with the selection of the design by Kallman and McKinnell for the Boston City Hall (Huxtable, 2009). The jury of 256 overlooked other convectional designs and settled on the rugged, cantilevered concrete design forwarded by the two architects. The design hoped to make a bold statement on the civic democratic leanings of Boston city. The architects were inspired by the past works of Le Corbusier and the designs in Italian renaissance town halls Controversy over the aesthetic appeal of the building started in 1962 when Mayor John F. Collins gasped as the design was being unveiled (Monteyne, 2011). Collins’ outrages about the design were followed by many other negative comments on the building in later years…

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