Instagramming Brutalism

This morning while riding the Green Line to work I overheard a conversation between two men commenting on the state of architecture in Boston. The men started discussing the current cold weather snap in the northeast and how when they were younger, schools never used to close. I wasn’t completely focused on the conversation and I’m uncertain how they ended up talking about Brutalism and Boston City Hall, but the brief exchange between the two was nothing short of inspiring.

One man told the other that Boston City Hall should be considered among the top 3 most beautiful and interesting buildings in the world. He spoke about the sculptural qualities of the building and how groundbreaking it was for Boston to commission a concrete building of its size and uniqueness in a city where brick seems to be the law of the land.

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything for this blog, but my experience this morning inspired me to post some of my Instagrams of brutalist buildings in and around the city (some else where too). I hope to get back to blogging and exploring the arts and built environment more frequently, but in the meantime, this post should break my blogging silence.

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Le Corbusier, Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Harvard University. Cambridge, MA. 1962.

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Paul Rudolph, Blue Cross Blue Shield Building. Boston, MA. 1960.

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Marcel Breuer, O’Bryant High School, Boston, MA.

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Daniel Mann Johnson + Mendenhall, The Line Hotel, Los Angeles, CA.Β 1964.

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John M. Johansen, The Orlando Public Library building, 1966.

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John M. Johansen, The Orlando Public Library building, 1966.

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John M. Johansen, The Orlando Public Library building, 1966.

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Bertrand Goldberg, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA 1976-1980.

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Bertrand Goldberg, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA 1976-1980.

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The Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine comprises the Harvard Medical School library and Boston Medical Library, 1965.

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Shore Plaza East Apartments, 600 Border St., East Boston, MA.

4 responses to “Instagramming Brutalism

  1. I enjoyed these photos very much, in the way I enjoy looking at Sheeler’s photos. In the past I had not much use for City Hall, but then I really looked at it from the side where the outdoor staircase form is, and I had to admit I liked it. Now I look at this building with much more interest. I think it’s the plaza that has let us all down. Thanks for buildings I didn’t know, and one I didn’t know I didn’t know: had no idea that was Le Corbusier. How long have I lived here?

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