Landslide2008: Marvels of Modernism


Photo © Sam Sweezy
Plaza at Night
Courtesy Chris Brazee

The current site of Boston’s City Hall Plaza is a cultural landscape that has undergone dramatic transitions. Over the course of the 18th century, the area became the location of the elegant Pemberton Square and an enclave of townhouses for wealthy Boston merchants. During the 19th century, however, waves of immigrants led to overcrowding in the central business district. The elite abandoned the area, which had come to be known as the West End and Scollay Square, and businesses adapted to meet the immigrants’ needs. By the 1880s, the area was a center of commercial activity in Boston, but was plagued with insufficient infrastructure, blight, and overall disinvestment.

Over the course of the early 20th century, with the construction and expansion of the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority subway system and the advent of the automobile, a number of structures in the district were demolished to make room for public transportation, wider streets, and parking lots.

back | next


List of Marvels

Boston City Hall Plaza
Boston, Massachusetts

Estates Drive Reservoir
Oakland, California

Heritage Plaza
Heritage Park
Fort Worth, Texas

Kaiser Roof Garden
Kaiser Center
Oakland, California

Lake Elizabeth
Allegheny Commons
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Manhattan Square Park
Rochester, New York

Mill Creek Canyon

Kent, Washington

Miller Garden
Columbus, Indiana

El Monte
Hato Rey, Puerto Rico

Pacific Science
Center Courtyard

Seattle, Washington

San Francisco, California

Peavey Plaza
Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, Minnesota

education partners
Garden DesignGeorge Eastman House
Additional Sponsors

American Society of Landscape Architects’ Indiana, Pennsylvania/Delaware, Minnesota, Northern California, Texas, Upstate New York, and Washington Chapters • Astorino • Charles Butt • Design Within Reach • Topher Delaney • Sandy Donnell & Justin Faggioli • Fathom • Tom Fox • Hillman Foundation • Indianapolis Museum of Art • Lorraine Osmundson • Richard T. Murphy • National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Northeast, Southwest, and Western Offices- with funds from the Charles Evans Hughes Memorial Foundation of New York, Dodge Jones Foundation Intervention Fund, and Eastern Massachusetts Preservation Fund • James Richards • Seibert & Rice • Diana & Bruce Shuman • Ann Stack • SWA Group • TBG Partners • Michal and Jeffrey William Tincup • Unilock Inc. • The Woltz Charitable Trust