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Boston Globe's Giant Marble Map of New England: Who Will Save It?

With newspaper relocating, two-story sculpture has to go

For the past 38 years, a two-story, three-dimensional marble map of New England has loomed over the reception area of the Boston Globe's Dorchester headquarters. The newspaper is relocating and now the fate of that magnificent map is uncertain.

According to National Geographic blogger Betsy Mason, the Globe is seeking a new home for the four-ton colossus, preferably somewhere where the public will be able to take it all in. What, exactly, is there to look at? From Mason: "The contour lines are fairly general, but features like the Connecticut River Valley and the White Mountains stand out beautifully. Maine’s complicated coastline is highly detailed, and the huge swath of Atlantic Ocean on the map is carved into a wave pattern."

Artist Austin Purves designed the map. It was originally commissioned in 1953 for the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston's old Pearl Street headquarters, where it reigned at the top of a flight of stairs in the lobby until the building's 1977 razing. It then moved to the Globe's HQ. That journey apparently resulted in the loss of "a chunk of Canada [and] some of the Atlantic Ocean," according to Mason.

Will another move shrink it further? Unlikely, but we've never cared for Rhode Island.