This enormous brick complex serves federal, state, and local government agencies dealing with transportation. Successful from an urban viewpoint, it conforms to the irregular Boston street pattern and provides cross-axes to surrounding streets and the Common. Its huge multilevel atrium is framed by a combination of transportation-related public facilities and private enterprises, including a variety of shops and restaurants. Despite innovations in the building's infrastructure, such as new ways of heating public spaces, its architectural massing, spatial distribution, and articulation, within and without remain overwhelmingly monotonous.
At the rear of the State Transportation Building, the constricted Boylston Place extends to Boylston Street. The Tavern Club (4 Boylston Place), historically an exclusive enclave of distinguished Boston gentlemen in literature and the arts, has made this brick row house (c. 1820) home since 1887.