Monday, June 16, 2008

Boston Public Library

This past weekend I was in Boston and stopped by the Boston Public Library, one of my favorite buildings in the city. Designed by McKim, Meade and White and finished in 1895, the building faces Copley Square, the heart of the city, showing the importance of libraries. The facade was modeled after that of the Palazzo della Cancelleria.
the interior courtyard
Inside are a few really beautiful spaces, the old newspaper room on the first floor inside the entrance is now an exhibition space seen here: currently showing a collection of Massachusetts maps.
why aren't plaques this beautiful and artful anymore?the cafe off the exhibition space
The Bates reading room is really the heart of the building and lies at the top of the grand staircase. Before 1933 the entire room was swathed in green velvet to muffle sound and light.the church-like reading roomupper hall at the top of the staircase

beautiful paneled room ( with no apparent use ) off the upper staircase

8 comments:

An Aesthete's Lament said...

Are the Sargent murals there open to the public?

Be the change..... said...

I didn't know there were Sargent Murals! If they're not pictured here I assume that they're not as I didn't see any other murals other than what I pictured here in my awful photographs!

Decor Fellow: James Saavedra said...

That cafe is heavenly!

Be the change..... said...

I love the fact that a library has food services - a USEABLE library! The cafe was really cute with great snacks - there was even a sit down restaurant next door but the decor was a bit watered down traditional and didn't portray the history of the museum very well like the cafe did does.

Pigtown-Design said...

I worked in a McKim building and can see similarities. What a gorgeous place.

Be the change..... said...

Working in a space like that can be magical! I used to work in the old Penn station in downtown Pittsburgh (a big old beaux arts building) and the old grand lobby was converted into our architect's office -it just FELT glamorous!

My Notting Hill said...

Love all these pics - used to live in Boston and have fond memories of this library.

Be the change..... said...

yes, it's a shame that our old carnegie library here in DC across from the convention center is no longer a library! Our library system here in dc is apalling!