Thursday, 4:30 PM
Boston City Hall -- a Landmark?
By Matt Viser Globe Staff
Boston's City Hall, an object of scorn that Mayor Thomas M. Menino dislikes so much he wants to bulldoze it, may be the butt of jokes, but it is also now under consideration for official designation as an historic landmark.
The Boston Landmarks Commission Tuesday took up a petition backed by a group of architects and preservationists to grant the building special status. Voting to approve the petition after a hearing, the commission added it to a list of candidates for landmark status. The commission plans to study the proposal further before a final vote that could come months to more than a year from now.
“This is a building that is valued, not just by a narrow group of architectural crazies who love concrete, but by people who recognize the historical significance,” said Gary Wolf, a Boston architect who is leading the effort. “The arguments for historic and architectural significance overwhelm the subjective dislike for the building.”
Boston, a city with about 83 structures and edifices granted landmark status, has in the past extended its affection for landmarks to all kinds of oddities that have found their way into the city's cultural lexicon. But the notion of City Hall being elevated to that kind of status draws strong reactions.
“What?!” exclaimed Keith Morrison, a 21-year-old Northeastern student, when confronted with the possibility by a reporter . “You can’t make this on the same level as Fenway!”
Still, the building has many fans. And in their petition before the landmarks commission, advocates of the designation argued that City Hall's unique architecture has become a mirror to a city that once produced the racially charged riots over school busing but now has elected Hispanics, blacks and Asians to positions of power.