Winners of an open nationwide competition in 1962, the architects of the new City Hall introduced late modernism to Boston, creating a monumentality considered appropriate for municipal government. Their goals were admirable: to connect the principal parts of the city physically, psychologically, and visually to the machinery of civic services; to provide access to all; and, above all, to be a celebration of government.
From a stylistic point of view, the massive concrete and brick structure was radical. Inspired by Le Corbusier's monastery at La Tourette near Lyon, France, the building's different parts articulate the workings of government. Interior functions are visible on the facade; the lower brick stories are tied to the plaza and to the urban fabric of Beacon Hill, making this the area most open to the public. Together with the enormous plaza,