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Government Center, Boston

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#379 of 397 in Things to do in Boston
Government Center is an area in downtown Boston, centered on City Hall Plaza. Formerly the site of Scollay Square, it is now the location of Boston City Hall, courthouses, state and federal office buildings, and a major MBTA station.
Boston City HallThe dominant feature of Government Center is the enormous, imposing, and brutalist Boston City Hall, designed by Kallmann McKinnell Woods and built in the 1960s as part of Boston's first large Urban Renewal scheme. While considered by some to have architectural merit, the building is not universally admired, and is sharply unpopular among locals. Furthermore, it is resented for having replaced the Victorian architecture of Boston's Scollay Square, a lively commercial district that lapsed into squalor in the Twentieth Century.
John Fitzgerald Kennedy Federal BuildingJohn Fitzgerald Kennedy Federal Building is a United States government office building. It is located across City Hall Plaza from Boston City Hall. An example of 1960s modern architecture, it consists of two 26 floor towers that sit on-axis to each other and a low rise building of four floors that connects to the two towers via an enclosed glass corridor. The two towers stand at a height of 118m.
City Hall PlazaCity Hall Plaza is not a well-loved space, either. As Bill Wasik wrote in 2006, "It is as if the space were calibrated to render futile any gathering, large or small, attempted anywhere on its arid expanse. All the nearby buildings seem to be facing away, making the plaza's 11acre of concrete and brick feel like the world's largest back alley. … so devoid of benches, greenery, and other signposts of human hospitality that even on the loveliest fall weekend, when the Common and Esplanade and other public spaces teem with Bostonians at leisure, the plaza stands utterly empty save for the occasional skateboarder…" The plaza is often colloquially referred to as "the brick desert."
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  • A main area in Boston where city hall is and a connection to many areas of Boston. It also has a great new subway station ,modern with a great light show at night. The blue green and red lights signif...  more »

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