The Vision of Mayor Menino

City Hall Today

The Future of City Hall?

Which of these two buildings do you prefer? If Mayor Menino gets his way the new City Hall will be more like the second image and the first one will be gone. While I grew to admire the exterior of City Hall during my days there, particularly near sundown when a ray of light would illuminate the chiseled words Boston City Hall as I walked back in from Starbucks, there is no question that the interior of the building and the surrounding plaza are a dreadful example of period design. When my guide who took me through East Berlin visited me in Boston in 2005, he couldn’t get over the building’s similarity with the severe Communist structures despised by him and his peers!

When it comes to the mayor, everybody knows I am not an unbiased source. Until last June, I was his press secretary. Having said that, I learned first-hand that one of his most underestimated aspects was his political imagination. The mayor can see where the city is going before anybody else. We caught a glimpse of his development direction last year when he proposed Boston’s tallest office tower.

Now he has gone a step further. The mayor has continually expressed confidence in the South Boston waterfront. He proposed the convention center, which many, including me, wrongly saw as a white elephant. This morning at the Chamber of Commerce, he took an even more sweeping position. He proposed the city move out of City Hall and move into a new building on Boston’s waterfront near the new Institute for Contemporary Art. I’m sure this plan will garner its share of criticism. But I’ll bet on the mayor. Of all the officials I have observed in public life, the mayor has something few others share — tenacity.

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One Response to “The Vision of Mayor Menino”

  1. Philip Harris Says:

    Boston City Hall is an oppressive, cold and stark architectural monstrosity, a blight on the landscape of Boston. So sorry to sharply dissagree with your assessment of this concrete bunker mess and its “playful” shadows and all as the sun passes across its HEINOUS facade through the day. Well, heinous rhymes with ANUS, and this City Hall is a a pile of architectural excrement NOT WORTH saving – the exterior is a chop-a-block mass of Brutalist SHIT and the interior of the building is a dark, dank, oppressive, noisy, waste of space that CANNOT BE renovated – the tales I hear about some wanting to make this building “GREEN” are SO LAUGHABLE. This EYESORE 1962-designed, “DESIGN CONTEST AWARD WINNING” (WHAT AN F-ING JOKE!!!!) concrete monster and the desert it sits upon MUST BE DESTROYED to make way for a COMPLETELY NEW CITY HALL building – I will agree with those stating a preference for keeping City Hall SOMEWHERE within the confines of its existing Plaza…but preserve this architectural pile of concrete puke??? – I DON’T THINK SO!!!! And the same goes for the HURLEY PILE OF PUKE, THE CHEERY AND WARM LINDEMANN MENTAL HEALTH CENTER PILE OF PUKE – TEAR THE WHOLE MISTAKE DOWN. Brutalist Architecture is garbage, through and through. By the way, you ARE in the minority with regards to this issue just to let you know- most people HATE City Hall and the Plaza and want it gone….eventually City Hall and the Great City Hall Plaza Wasteland WILL BE SIGNIFICANTLY ALTERED…..the sad thing is that it probably won’t happen for many years to come…..Menino is probably all talk on this issue, but I would like to spearhead a group to tear down Government Center and start anew.

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