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180 Beacon Street and 330 Beacon Street

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1964, S. J. Kessler; 1959, Hugh Stubbins.
  • 180 Beacon Street and 330 Beacon Street (Keith Morgan)

The construction of these monstrously overscaled apartment buildings cast a shadow over the Back Bay such that only the adoption of height restrictions and architectural controls could forestall more of the same. At 330 Beacon Street the curtain-wall facade is veneered in traditional red brick, but oddly serrated, as if to provide a cubist pendant to the undulating forms of Alvar Aalto's Baker House (MT17) across the river. Worse yet, both hostile to and contemptuous of its context, is 180 Beacon Street, with its mud-brown brick, dark-tinted strip windows, and a walled-off front garden that takes the principle of defensible space to the threshold of urban paranoia.

Writing Credits

Keith N. Morgan


What's Nearby


Keith N. Morgan, "180 Beacon Street and 330 Beacon Street", [Boston, Massachusetts], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

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