Thursday, August 6, 2009

City Escapes-Boston

I'm thrilled to start this series in Boston, Massachusetts. I would like thank Christine from Design Esquire for being our first guest blogger and for beautifully showcasing Boston's melting pot of Architecture. I hope for you to fall in love with this spectacular city and its architecture as much as I have.

I am so excited that Yansy asked me to be her first guest blogger for her City Escapes series. This is my first guest post, but luckily I had a lot of material because Yansy asked me to write about my favorite architectural buildings in Boston, where I have happily lived for the last 5 years. I grew up in Florida where most of the construction is pretty new, so the historical buildings in Boston really speak to me. Although, there is a lot of new, innovative architecture, especially on the waterfront. So, without further ado, here are some of my favorite buildings in Boston (in no real order).

This is the Institute of Contemporary Art. It is a relatively new building, and I love how the architects, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, designed it. They took advantage of the location, and included the wonderful Boston Harbor views into the design.

Right down the street from the Institute of Contemporary Art is the John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse, which was finished in 1998 and designed by Henry Cobb. As you can see, the front looks like any other plain brick courthouse. However, the back is something special.

There is an 88 foot tall glass wall that overlooks Boston Harbor. I’m not sure if it is true or not, but I have been told that this building could not be built the same today because of the additional regulations that now govern federal buildings in the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing case (since an all glass wall would obviously be vulnerable to an attack). Regardless, it is a beautiful building, and it is just stunning in person.

This photo was taken from the City Hall steps, and shows Faneuil Hall and the Custom House Tower. I was sworn in as a lawyer in Fanueil Hall, so it holds a special place in my heart. The original Fanueil Hall burned down, but the “new” one was built in 1762. I don’t think you can see it in the picture, but if you look real close the weather vane is a grasshopper.

Now, from a beautiful old building, to Boston City Hall. I think it is a huge eye sore. But, it was apparently praised when it was first built in the 1960s by some, although I think most people now generally dislike it. Now, to get that ugly building out of your head. . .

. . . here is the Old State House, built in 1713. The Declaration of Independence was read from the balcony on July 18, 1776, and in 1770, the Boston Massacre took place in front of it. If you look on either side of the clock, you’ll see a unicorn and lion, which is found on the arms of Great Britain. I love how this one little old building is now surrounded by all the skyscrapers (the Old State House is in the middle of the Financial District). The building is still used today, and there is actually a subway stop in the basement.

Here is the new State House, which is the current seat of government for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and it is in the Beacon Hill neighborhood. I think this building is beautiful, and represents the state well.

Not far from the new State House, are gorgeous homes in Beacon Hill. Here are just two examples of the lovely architecture in the area. Practically every street is photo worthy, and needless to say, this is one expensive neighborhood.

Here is the Boston Public Library, which is in Copley Square. I love this building because the architecture is so different than many other buildings in the city. Charles Follen McKim built the library in 1895 in a Renaissance style. This is a stunning building inside and out.

Across the square from the Boston Public Library are Trinity Church and the John Hancock Tower. I love the contrast between the old and new architecture. Trinity Church was built in the 1870s by Henry Hobson Richardson, and the Hancock was built in the 1970s and designed by Pei, Cobb and Freed (and it’s the tallest building in New England). I’m not sure if this is true, but in my bar review class I was told that before the Hancock was built, Trinity Church was very concerned that it would lose a lot of sunlight due to a skyscraper being built right next door. But, with all the reflective windows, it actually gets more sunlight now. You can see the effect of the ultra-reflective windows below.

Thank you for letting me share my love of Boston with you all. Yansy, thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to participate in your new series. I had a wonderful time wandering around the city (just like a tourist) and taking photos of all my favorite buildings.

Christine, Thanks again for your wonderful post. You've made me fall in love with Boston all over again. I plan to visit in the fall, my favorite time of the year to visit New England.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and make some time to explore your city.

P.S. If you are interested in participating in the City Escapes series, please send me an email.




Caitlin said...

This is such a great idea for a series! I would love to participate any time.

I can't wait to see more.

Isabella & Max Rooms said...

Thank you for the wonderful tour. I have never been to Boston, but can now visualize it a bit better! janell

Jennifer Ramos said...

Cool post....I haven't been to boston and I lived on the east coast for years!

Jen Ramos
'Cards & Prints You'll Love...'

bluehydrangea said...

great idea and a great post!!! loved seeing more of Boston!

Danya A. said...

Oh wow. This is beautiful! I've always wanted to visit Boston. Someday, hopefully.
I love this idea, Yansy. I'll try to cough up some time (more like stop being lazy) and contribute something! Either Berlin, Istanbul, or London.
I shall see :]
Or something from here in Saudi Arabia!


Design Esquire said...

Thanks again for the opportunity to do a guest post. I really had the best time wandering around the city taking photos of all my favorite buildings. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Jeremy and Kathleen said...

I love Boston! The old graveyards are fantastic as well. I'm visiting in the Fall when I go on a New England cruise. Can't wait!

LindsB said...

Boston you’re my home!! I LOVE my city, I feel so lucky to be able to walk among some of the oldest and historically significant buildings everyday.

What a great selection of buildings!

Kristen said...

I love Boston!! I wish I could go there more often!

annechovie said...

How wonderful to see so many buildings from one of my favorite cities! Thanks for the tour.

Draffin Bears said...

Lovely to have a tour of some wonderful buildings in Boston. thank you.

Have a great week

Cheri Peoples said...


Cheri Peoples said...

Sorry-I've been out of commission -- terribly sick for over a week-- but do you want to know how I cut my grocery bill in half? go to Cut your grocery bills now plus I have a give a way and a new Mr Linky party starting tomorrow but Mr Linky will be up by 8 p.m. tonight

Its So Very Cheri

Blueprint Bliss said...

Great post. So fun seeing some of her favorites in her city!

TRICIA @boutellefamilyzoo said...

Hi Yansy.
Just wanted to stop in and say hi.
I love this series, btw. What a cool idea. The photos of Boston are gorgeous! The beauty of a historic city in the midst of a bustling metro area.
I'm excited to see more.


bananas. said...

what a fabulous series! genius idea yancy! i love boston. never been but i hope to visit soon.

Pearl Maple said...

Fabulous post, this New England girl was feeling a tad homesick and really enjoyed all the views of Boston.