Boston Architecture

The below photo was taken in true tourist style, with head and camera out of window and plenty of waving to bemused locals who had no idea why I would be happy to be stuck in traffic.  Inadvertently the photo captures the wonderful spread of architecture seen throughout the city, the mixture on offer is a fascinating plethora of styles from new, old and ancient worlds.

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Taken in order of when I photographed them, there was quite a spread in the fairly small circle of walking that we did.

It only took a few minutes of walking to discover the John Ruskin inspired Gothic Revival example of architecture shown in Old South Church, completed in 1873.  Admittedly this is not the best shot of its impressive facade but there are plenty more searchable and impressive photos out there.

SAM_2679I was somewhat distracted as diagonally opposite I came across two examples of design stood side by side that epitomise the changes in architecture through the ages in the most jarring of ways…

SAM_2835Named one of the Ten Most Significant Buildings in the United States by the American Institute of architects (and is the only building still retained  from the original 1885 list), Trinity Church was designed by Henry Hobson Richardson and it is the archetype for the style later known as Richardson Romanesque Revival.

SAM_2680Love it or hate it, Modernism dominates so much of our modern cityscape, the John Hancock Tower, just over the road from Trinity Church is the tallest building in New England.  It’s a prime example of the less is more glass and steel architecture that has the beauty of simplicity to it but lacks the pleasing curves and carvings, that so fascinate the eye.

SAM_2735At first glance I assumed this was some sort of grand mosque but is in fact the state house where all manner of exhilarating (probably) politics happens.  To this unpractised eye it appears this is a mixture of Georgian with a hint of Greek styling.  It marks the first building on the Freedom Trail and thankfully is still within reach of a drinks vendor on a sunny day.

SAM_2825Pottering around the Christian Science Plaza later in the week, there was yet another fascinating juxtaposition of styles, above is the First Church of Christ, Scientist.  A sprawling neoclassical edifice complete with water features and people wandering around asking questions about Britain’s history in the Tour de France.  Below is the original church buttressed between the newer edition to the church and its modern brother and sister structures.

SAM_2830Tremont Temple has a pleasing Middle Eastern look and has been used for many things other than religious services.  It was the first venue for Dickens when he toured through 1867-68 tour, reading from two of his novels, A Christmas Carol and The Pickwick Papers which just happen to be two of my favourites.  Built in 1827.  Sam Houston gave a speech against slavery there in 1855 as well, Boston having a strong Abolitionist streak.

SAM_2742The abundance of unique buildings in the area is a joy and there is something for everybody’s taste.  Although modern tastes aren’t my thing, The John Hancock Tower did give my favourite photo of the whole holiday, which I feel sums up how the architecture of Boston fits together side by side so pleasingly.

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42 Replies to “Boston Architecture”

    1. I wish I would have got some closer up but with all the other buildings, I felt the need to catch as many as possible. It was great to see so much in such a small area.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I think every photographer gets that shot but perhaps I will enter it somewhere, if it helps inspire someone then I am happy. If I can keep up the travelling then maybe I will split the blog with books a little more evenly.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I personally prefer old buildings to modern architectural designs, from an aesthetic point of view, but I suppose we have to move with the times, especially when they come with so many improvements, from a practical / functional point of view. Love that last photo of the reflection! Really cool 🙂

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    1. The newer buildings are less drafty and more earthquake proof and what not. I guess we should be thankful to have such a range of buildings to enjoy. Everybody was taking photos of the reflection, it was almost as big a draw as the market that was going on out of shot.

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  2. I find that jumbled juxtaposition of architecture so fascinating. I’m sticking up for the modernist architecture though, at least it’s honest. I wonder how many of those traditional buildings, while aesthetically pleasing, are pretending to be a lot older than they are?

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    1. That’s a good point, there is a lot of faux architecture around but all these are as reported age wise. Modern buildings have the capacity to fit in with the older structures but usually choose to go the opposite way and it can make appearances unseemly which is a shame but preferences are a subjective thing.

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    1. It’s such a comfortable city to wander around in, very good for photographing and the lemonade isn’t half bad either. Beacon Hill was one of the places I didn’t wander through but looking at it through the internet, I think I will need to go back again.

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    1. It’s a fitting juxtaposition and the reflection shows how far we have come in terms of design. The reflection is a permanent reminder of our constant evolution in thought.

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  3. Hi, Ste J! Yes, I was wondering if you were going to get that juxtaposition of Trinity Church and the buildings around it, the more modern ones. It’s really weird to be there and see the church reflected in the reflective glass of the building behind it, totally modern! It’s a famous sight, but you have snapped it from a new angle. And I hate to burst your bubble about the romance of politics, but much the same (if not more so) bullshit politics tend to go on in the State House here in Massachusetts as in any similar political building and body elsewhere. Some good, some bad, some enlightening, and some simply unbelievable. It’s nice to know that our saintly and scholarly Ste J is capable of leaning out a bus window like anyone else!

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    1. I wanted to end the post on a high note, leading with it would have perhaps have given the impression that all the photos were as fascinating. I’m glad I got a new angle though, there is only so much I can do in my tourist guise, although sometimes I love to get my tourist on and photograph things like drainpipes, just because.

      Politics in all its forms is shocking these days, although there are the odd good ones out there who have not yet succumbed to lining their own pockets. It is ironic that in a country that makes big claims on separating religion and state that it would have a building bearing some resemblance to a mosque.

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  4. I much prefer older architecture than modern and I envision beautiful old buildings where you live instead of the steel and glass monstrosities dotting our city landscapes. I love that last photo Ste J…very well done!

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    1. We have our fair share of this modern architecture but cling on to a lot of beloved buildings. It is sad when local councils seem so willing to tear down old buildings in favour of shiny, usually horrible looking new structures.

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  5. I have never been to Boston. Such gorgeous pictures! You should blow some up and hang them, seriously. There is so much we can miss if we just drive by at 80 miles an hour.

    Since you are such a voracious reader too, I figured you might appreciate my post today. I am responding to a “grammar expert” who thinks proper colon usage equals great humor and has decided to educate me. Your grammar is probably better than mine, so you can give an opinion over there if you wish. 🙂

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    1. Ah you are too kind with your praise. I never thought of hanging any, I may have to do that…it would make cheap Christmas presents if nothing else.

      I shall come over and have a gander in a short while, I look forward to a good rant and a childish snigger because that is the way I roll sometimes.

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  6. Wow, Boston is really a beautiful city. You took fab shots of what you saw, and you’re wonderful for sharing them! TY, Ste J!

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    1. I love sharing photos as you know my friend, I hope they inspire thoughts, words and yearnings to travel, all of which are noble pursuits.

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  7. Great photos Ste especially the reflection one at the end of the post and also the earlier shot of the J Hancock Tower with the sun glinting off it. I usually find I’ve missed the top off a tower with no chance to go back and try for another photo.

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    1. I have a fear of missing a shot so tend to take a shedload just in case and then looking at that little camera screen, I can’t tell if they are actually any good so then just hope for the best. Trying to fit a building into a photo is always stressful I find.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Boston is a lovely contrast, I found Berlin to be a great one for that, it still seems to be fashioning an identity with its mix of architectural styles, fascinating place, a week was not enough to explore it.

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