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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Walt Lockley

While recently searching for an aerial view of City Hall Plaza (at this point, I'm not sure why I was), I came across an architectural review of Boston City Hall by Walt Lockley.

Lockley isn't an architect, but he is fascinated with how people relate to buildings. In fact, Lockley thinks not being an architect is a strong point for him: "By process of elimination I found neither architects nor psychologists have good explanations for how this works, although of course they say they do."

Lockley, like many (probably most) non-architects, does not think City Hall is the 6th Greatest Building in America, as the AIA has named it:

Sixth best? That would put it ahead of 25 of the following 30 structures, just at random: the Seagram Building, Monticello, Fallingwater, Johnson Wax Headquarters, Dulles Airport, the Robie House, Unity Temple, Grand Central Terminal, the Hollyhock House, the US Capitol, the Lincoln Memorial, Richardson's Trinity Church, the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, IIT Crown Hall, 860-880 Lake Shore Drive, the Gamble House, the Tribune Tower, the Auditorium Building, the Wainwright Building, the Bradbury Building, the Kimbell Art Museum, the Lovell House, Independence Hall, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Sullivan's banks taken as one, the LA Public Library, the Jefferson Memorial, the River Rouge plant, and the Guardian Building in Detroit. That's amazing. So amazing, it's dead wrong.

He goes through the history of the building, from the architects thoughts to local politicians' and Boston residents' comments. It is a very entertaining read.

He has reviews of many other buildings, including another city hall: Pasadena City Hall.

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