The Perfect Mile: Architecture Walking Tour of Boston University East to Central

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In this installment of our Architecture Walking Tours, we head to another college’s campus, Boston University.

I invite you to walk along the line of the map I provided, and you will get to see some interesting hidden streets and buildings along the way and encounter many more sites than I pinned on the map. As we found in our Architecture Walking Tour of MIT, Boston University, also has a remarkable collection of artwork; green pins are outdoor sculptures.

You can print out the map, or use it on your smart phone. Using Safari to get access to Google Maps on your Android or iPhone will be the best way to follow the map on your phone.

Please let me know if I missed any of your favorite sites!

Let’s start this trip at Kenmore station.

BCD GREEN LINE | KENMORE T-STATION

Citgo

KENMORE BUS STATION

The Boston Redevelopment Authority began analyzing the chaos of Kenmore Square around 1990.  The designers of the new Kenmore Square envisioned this area as a destination. Large paved intersections bookend the square serving to make the space safer for pedestrians by slowing down vehicular traffic. Down with the old brick bus bunker and in with a steel and glass canopy, designed to contrast with the traditional facades along Commonwealth Avenue.

photo by (adupnik)

HOTEL BUCKMINSTER

Built in 1897, this was one of the first hotels opened in the Boston area. This hotel is the scene where bookie Joseph “Sport” Sullivan fixed the 1919 World Series.  The hotel is also where the first network radio broadcasted in 1929.

Metallic Explosion

EXPLOSION

Designed by Sergio Castillo in 1987 celebration of atomic physics. Each stainless steel rod represents a pathway taken by the energy released in a proton collision.

photo by (JohnWKane)

ALFRED L. MORSE AUDITORIUM

Originally Temple Israel, this structure was constructed in 1906 as a replica of Jerusalem’s Solomon’s Temple on Mount Zion. WeLoveBeantown tip: Check out the West façade of the building during the summer, ivy covers this entire face creating a beautiful “wave-like” effect on the building.

147 SILBER WAY | ELIE WIESEL CENTER FOR JUDAIC STUDIES

I’m not sure about the history of this building, but it is one of my favorite homes to look at in the area.  The beautiful green iron work is gorgeous.

SANY5417

BAY STATE ROAD

This is a gorgeous street lined with brown stones.

photo by (Mr Ulster)

THE CASTLE

This structure was originally as a private home for the wealthy businessman William Lindsey. It took over 10 years to build the medieval structure.

Did you know, as a BU student you can get Knighted here? Located within the basement of the Castle is The BU Pub.  Here students, faculty, and alumni must drink 50 beers on the Pub’s quest list. Once complete, the victor participates in a knighting ceremony.

BU Beach

BU BEACH

Don’t expect to build a sand-castle on this beach.  See how the beach got its name by laying down on the grass and closing your eyes.  You are not in Hawaii, but it sure sounds like it… minus the ambulance sirens.

photo by (adupnik)

POINT-COUNTERPOINT SCULPTURE

This sculpture, known by many students as the “whale sculpture” designed by Boston University alumnus Russell Jacques.

FRAT ROCK

It could be that I don’t understand the idea of this rock because I’m not a Frat guy attending BU… but I really don’t get it.  When I was in school, this rock resided on the corner of Comm Ave and the BU Bridge. The rock has been moved because of construction on Comm Ave. I thought it was because this rock is a weird, icky, drippy eyesore.  BU Frat brothers have hustled over to the rock to spray paint their fraternities colors over the other competing brotherhoods for years.

Word of the wise, don’t touch the rock.  Your finger/hand/foot will sink into decades of paint layers.

Boston University: Marsh Plaza and Chapel

MARSH CHAPEL

You may notice that the large rose window is not on the entrance to the chapel.  This is because BU designed the campus to face the Charles River with a large quad in front of it. Once Storrow Drive was built, the campus plan was revised.

photo by (wallyg)

FREE AT LAST BY SERGIO CASTILLO

This sculpture commemorates the life of BU Alumni Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The scultpture is comprised of individual birds, together forming the shape of a single bird.

2012 United Methodist General Conference

SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY

Head over to this building during sunset. The stained glass is memorizing as the colored light pours into the buildings.

photo by (United Methodist News Service)

BU LAW LIBRARY

Brutalist architecture… not at its finest…

“WATERFALL GARDEN”

During the spring and summer this hidden pocket park is a great place to have a picnic with friends or read that book you have been dying to get to.

BU SAILING PAVILION

Look towards the Charles from the Waterfall Garden and you will see the BU Sailing Pavilion. This Pavilion is open not only to the BU community, but also to the general public. A seasonal sailing pass can be purchased for $150, allowing you to rent the sailboats.

IMG0007iPD2  BU Bridge  ©2012

BOSTON UNIVERSITY BRIDGE

During the elaborate planning for the infamous Inner Belt (I-695), the BU Bridge was intended to be the crossing point of the proposed highway connection from Boston to Cambridge.

photo by (Paul Light)

808 GALLERY

Each spring, the gallery is the site of the graduate (MFA) painting thesis exhibition, and other exhibitions are scheduled in the gallery by the School of Visual Arts throughout the academic year. The current exhibition of “Alternative Visions/ Sustainable Futures” runs until April 20th.

57 BUS | COMMONWEALTH AT AMORY STREET