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Boston Will Try to Enliven Its Brutalist Punching-Bag a Bit

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Ever since officials unveiled its design in the early 1960s, Boston City Hall has been a punching-bag for folks who can't stand Brutalist architecture (or perhaps it's that they can't stand Brutalist architecture done badly). Whatever the reasons for the dislike, the hulking home of the mayor and the City Council usually makes those "ugliest buildings on Earth/in the U.S." lists and just generally lives down to its reputation as the most forbidding architecture in central Boston. New plans that Mayor Marty Walsh unveiled over the weekend might, however, soften that rep a bit.


In about two weeks, the city will start accepting bids to install some 325 LED lights on existing nooks and crannies around City Hall and its plaza as well as on new poles. The lights, which should be fully installed by July, will not only look more inviting than their less-energy-efficient predecessors, they will also make the area that much safer in the darkness and are expected to save Boston money in the long run (up front, they'll cost around $3,000,000). And! In much the way the Pru lights up downtown, the City Hall lights will shine different hues at different times: green and white for St. Patrick's Day; red, white, and blue for the Fourth; red and white for the next time the Sox win the World Series (sit tight); etc. Just above is a rendering of the hall decked out for the Patriots (above that is a rendering sans lights). The building itself, though, that's staying just the way people love/hate it.
· City Hall Plaza Expects to Be Seen in New Light [Herald]
· Mayor Decides It's Time to Brighten Up Dreary City Hall [Globe]
· How 'What the Hell Is That?' Changed Boston Development [Curbed Boston]

Boston City Hall

1 City Hall Square, , MA 02201 Visit Website