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Boston Center for the Arts (Cyclorama)

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1884, Cummings and Sears; 1999? Finegold Alexander + Associates. 539 Tremont St.
  • Boston Center for the Arts (Cyclorama) (Keith Morgan)

Now home to the Boston Center for the Arts, the Cyclorama, a circular brick building with domed roof and cupola and castellated details, was constructed for a 400 × 50–foot mural of the battle of Gettysburg painted by the French artist Paul Philippoteaux. In the original multimedia installation, earth was ramped up against the mural, cannon were brought in, the air smelled of gunpowder and Civil War veterans were frequently present. The painting—until recently a focal point of Richard Neutra's Cyclorama Center in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania (which is currently slated for demolition by the National Park Service)—is now on display in the new museum and visitor center there. After the fad for cycloramas passed, the building served as a boxing ring (John L. Sullivan boxed here), a laboratory for the development of the spark plug, and a flower market. Attached to this monumental exhibition space are the two theaters, gallery, and artist lofts of the Boston Center for the Arts.

Writing Credits

Keith N. Morgan


What's Nearby


Keith N. Morgan, "Boston Center for the Arts (Cyclorama)", [Boston, Massachusetts], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Massachusetts

Buildings of Massachusetts: Metropolitan Boston, Keith N. Morgan, with Richard M. Candee, Naomi Miller, Roger G. Reed, and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2009, 133-133.

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