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Boston?s new City Hall was one of the most controversial became one of the most controversial structures in the metropolis when it was built from 1963 to 1968. The infamous building served as the second city government headquarters which replaced a grand Second Empire inspired structure which was finished in 1865. The municipal government transferred to the new City Hall in 1969 and the ?Old City Hall? has been made into an office building.

The building of the new Boston City Hall was prompted by the local government?s Government Center Master Plan in partnership with architectural firm I.M. Pei and Partners. A design competition was held which drew in approximately 250 architects. Three architects who were also professors from Columbia University namely Edward F. Knowles, Noel M. McKinell and Gerhard M. Kallman emerged victorious.

The second the design of the new Boston City Hall was released, it caused divided opinions ? some praised it while others thought it was ugly. The trio came up with a ?brutalist? blueprint which was adapted from the French design Beton brut which means raw concrete. Buildings constructed employing this principle usually sport facades with recurring geometric shapes and the concrete frequently shows the texture of the wooden posts utilized to create the structural framework which was assembled on-site.

The City Hall is segmented into three parts. The bottom section is cladded with brick and part follows the contour of the nearby hillside. This section can be accessed by the public. According to the designer, they employed earth-hued for this part of the building to make it more accommodating and welcoming. A courtyard used to adjoin this to the City Hall?s fourth level was shut down due to security reasons.

The middle segment of the City Hall is where the offices can be found including the Mayor?s office. The architects opted for the office spaces to extend to the outside giving the building an irregular look. This, according to the designers, is to underscore the connection of these elected officials to their constituents. In contrast to this rather odd look, the upper floors of the structure employ a no-nonsense design just like a typical office building.

The brutalist design of Boston?s City Hall started a boom of other building created in the similar manner and flourished during the 1960s and 1970s, not just in the United States but across the globe. However, the practicality of the building is constantly being questioned and proposals for a new City Hall has surfaced. Today, a group of architects and other interest groups are fighting for the City Hall to be recognized as a landmark to avoid its demolition.
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