How Can City Hall Plaza Be Improved?

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You can't fight city hall, as the saying goes. But now, everyone has the chance to fight about what it looks like.

Mayor Marty Walsh Monday issued a call for ideas on what to do with the massive brick plaza that surrounds the blocky, brutalist seat of city government.

In his State of the City address in January, Walsh said that change was coming.

"We will put out a call to re-imagine City Hall Plaza as a thriving, healthy innovative space that it should be," said the mayor. "It's time we took real pride in our front yard."

Now, the call is out and the ideas are already coming in. A botanical garden. A space for food trucks. A European-style plaza surrounded by cafes. Walsh says that he wants something in place by the time the MBTA's new Government Center Station renovation project is completed next year.


Brian Sirman, teaches architecture at Boston University. He's working on a forthcoming book on City Hall.

Mike Davis, principal with Boston firm Bergmeyer Associates. Co-chair of the BRA's Boston Civic Design Commission. He tweets @MikeDavisFAIA.


The ARTery: Boston Wants Your Ideas For Reimagining City Hall Plaza

  • "Have an idea to reimagine the oft-barren landscape that is Boston City Hall Plaza? Well, now’s the time to put that idea down on paper (or Twitter) and let the mayor know."

This segment aired on March 10, 2015.


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