2012-2013: Building Boston
Building Boston is a citywide celebration of Boston’s public spaces – the architectural and cultural cornerstones that have provided a place for generations to build and share community.
Throughout the city’s long history, our gardens, sports arenas, libraries, courthouses, public transportation centers, and memorials have represented some of the most distinctive and well-known elements of the cityscape. Building Boston explores the stories behind the creation of these iconic public venues, examining the conceivers, constructors, chroniclers, and ever-changing set of users who call these spaces their own.
Boston Sports Temples
November 17, 2012 – May 31, 2013
Central Library, Johnson Lobby
Boston Sports Temples showcases Boston’s beloved sports venues—most notably the Boston Garden, Fenway Park, Braves Field, and Suffolk Downs. Featuring the Boston Public Library’s outstanding collection of historic sports photography, the exhibition follows the creation and evolution of these four great public venues and their changing roles, functions, and communities of users.
Boston in the Gilded Age: Mapping Public Places
November 16, 2012 – April 23, 2013
Central Library, Norman B. Leventhal Map Center
The Gilded Age—the era from the late 1860s to the late 1890s—was a period of significant growth and transformation in Boston. Designed to document Boston’s radically changing geography, this exhibition focuses on the evolving street pattern and emerging park system, developed for the City’s growing population.
An Elevated View: The Orange Line
October 19, 2012 – January 19, 2013
Central Library, Wiggin Gallery
Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday 9am-5pm,
Tuesday and Thursday 9am-7pm, Sunday 1-5pm
Twenty five years ago, the MBTA relocated the Orange Line, dismantling the elevated rail that had long defined the City’s Southwest Corridor. This exhibition features over 65 photographs documenting the elevated rail and its architectural and social surroundings held by the BPL’s Print Department.
The People’s Own: Construction of the McKim Building
October 9, 2012 – January 31, 2013
Central Library, Rare Books Lobby
This exhibition features historic photographs documenting the library’s construction, dating primarily from August 1888 to December 1889.
Palaces for the People: Guastavino and America’s Great Public Spaces
September 28, 2012 – February 24, 2013
Central Library, Changing Exhibits Gallery
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Boston Public Library partner to present the first major exhibition on the Guastavino Company and its architectural and historical legacy. Rafael Guastavino – Spanish immigrant, innovative builder, and visionary architect – and his son Rafael Jr. contributed to the design and construction of structural tile vaulting in more than 1,000 major buildings across the United States. Watch a video of the model vault construction.
Guastavino at the BPL Tours
Thursdays and Saturdays at 2:00 pm
through February 23, 2013
Central Library in Copley Square
Guided tours of the gallery exhibition Palaces for the People: Guastavino and America’s Great Public Spaces will be followed by a special library tour featuring stunning examples of Guastavino vaulting throughout the building.
The hour-long tours are free and open to the public. No reservations required. Meet in the Palaces for the People exhibition, located in the Changing Exhibits Gallery. For more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-859-2373.
Central Library, Rabb Lecture Hall
The 2012-2013 Lowell Lecture Series: Common Ground celebrates public spaces and their creators, chroniclers, and communities of users. The Lowell Lecture series is generously sponsored by the Lowell Institute, established in 1836 with the specific mission of making great ideas accessible to all people, free of charge.
Architectural illustrator and author of The Way Things Work and Building Big
Thursday, October 11, 2012 • 6:00 pm
Robert Campbell and Peter Vanderwarker
Authors of Cityscapes of Boston
Tuesday, November 13, 2012 • 6:00 pm
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer and Judge Douglas Woodlock
On the building of the John Joseph Moakley Courthouse
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 • 6:00 pm
MIT professor and curator of Palaces for the People: Guastavino and America’s Great Public Spaces
Wednesday, December 5, 2012 • 6:00 pm
Architect of the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial
Thursday, January 24, 2013 • 6:00 pm
Janet Marie Smith
Architect of the Fenway Park restoration
Thursday, March 7, 2013 • 6:00 pm
Tierney Learning Center: Tuesdays, beginning January 9, 2013
Central Library, Orientation Room: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 6:00 pm
Central Library, Abbey Room: Saturday, January 12, 2013 3:00 pm
Central Library, Orientation Room: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 6:00 pm
Central Library, Orientation Room: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 6:00 pm
Central Library, Orientation Room: Wednesday, February 20, 2013, 6:00pm
Adams, A History of Fenway Park: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 6:30 pm
Central Library, Orientation Room: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 6:00pm
Central Library, Orientation Room: Wednesday, March 27, 2013, 6:00pm
Central Library, Orientation Room: Wednesday, April 10, 2013 6:00 pm
Central Library, Orientation Room: Wednesday, May 8, 2013 6:00 pm
Hyde Park: Mondays, beginning October 1, 2012
East Boston: Thursdays, beginning October 4, 2012
Honan-Allston: Tuesdays, beginning October 16, 2012
Central Library, Teen Room: Wednesdays, beginning October 17, 2012
Fields Corner: Fridays, beginning November 9, 2012
Brighton, A History of Fenway Park: Thursday, October 4, 2012
Faneuil, A History of the Boston Garden, Fenway Park, and Braves Field: Tuesday, October 9, 2012
West End, A History of Boston Garden: Thursday, October 11, 2012
Roslindale: Wednesday, October 10, 2012
West End: Thursday, October 18, 2012 6:30 pm
Central Library, Commonwealth Salon: Thursday, November 1, 2012 6:00 pm
West End: Thursday, November 1, 2012 6:30 pm
Central Library, Leventhal Map Center: Wednesday, November 28, 2012 5:30 pm
Central Library, Leventhal Map Center: Saturday, December 1, 2012 1:00 pm
Central Library, Commonwealth Salon: Thursday, December 13, 2012 6:00 pm
Monday Night Film Series: Boston Scenery Cinema
Central Library, Rabb Lecture Hall
Slideshows and Selected Images
Browse images of Boston’s history in our collections on Flickr.