Photo Quiz: Meet City Hall

Share This

Spoiler alert! Yesterday we had a little quiz on Photo of the Week, where we asked you to guess what building was featured in the cropped photo.

And yes, if you guessed “City Hall”, you’re on the Price is Right! Errr…okay, not really, but still: yay!

How many of you walk by this notoriously horrific-looking slab everyday? Or pop out of the T at Government Center and are blinded by its “beauty?”

I checked in with Alexandra Dupnik, who took this week’s photo to give us her expert opinion on City Hall, known for its brutalist design.

“I may be shunned for saying so, but architecturally, I love City Hall. It is one of the most misunderstood buildings here in Boston. And one of my favorite, and also most hated, elements of City Hall is the brick plaza that it rests upon. Conceptually, the brick surface creates a threshold for the community to connect with the building. I believe that this transition at the building is successful, however the vast empty space around City Hall is too overwhelming.”

Not to namedrop, but I.M. Pei designed City Hall Plaza as part of the larger Government Center urban renewal project, he of the Louvre Pyramid (controversial) and our own Hancock Tower (also controversial).

Perhaps the empty space would be broken up by reinstalling the plaza’s fountain from the 1970s.

Still a City Hall hater? Alex says, “Try photographing the building in black and white.” And we have to admit, it is looking pretty cool that way.

Despite our traditional architecture, we have our share of misunderstood buildings in Boston. Boston.com recently asked Bostonians about their least favorite buildings in the city. Surprise, surprise: many of them are brutalist too. Just what were we thinking in the 1960s?

Although, I have to say, DCers, you guys win the terrifying building award with Third Church of Christ, Scientist. I ran by this on my last trip down to the District, and definitely did a double take at that solid block of concrete.

Thanks for playing! As always, submit your own photos to the We Love Beantown Flickr group. Keep an eye out for future quizzes and a new photo featured every Wednesday!