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Tufts New England Medical Center, Boston Floating Hospital

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1982, Perry, Dean, Rogers and Partners. 755 Washington St.
  • Tufts New England Medical Center, Boston Floating Hospital (Keith Morgan)

Beginning in the 1890s, a boat cruising Boston Harbor was launched as a fresh-air program for ghetto children; in addition, it provided free medical care. Though it is landlocked now, the objective has extended to a family medicine system specializing in pediatric medicine. The merging of three separate institutions and schools of medicine and dentistry aimed to provide a more up-to-date teaching facility. At the same time, the center's presence helped to revive a deteriorating part of downtown Boston. Years later, the work is still in progress. Legibility is difficult because of the center's situation on major arteries—Washington and Kneeland streets. The addition of the Boston Floating Hospital serves to connect the complex by forming a bridge across Washington Street, defined by a raised diagonal slab. Nautical elements are visible on the exterior in industrial corrugated aluminum and on the interior in tubular metal railings. Notable details that lend a high-tech quality to the whole are the long, narrow bands of windows, the red structural frame extending to the street's overpass, the strong diagonal shapes and curved access ramps, and the columnar piers of the main building that lift it above the ground.

Writing Credits

Keith N. Morgan


What's Nearby


Keith N. Morgan, "Tufts New England Medical Center, Boston Floating Hospital", [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, 126-127.

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