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.
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.
Named 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.
Love 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.
At 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.
Pottering 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.
Tremont 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.
The 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.