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Boston City Hall: Drawings by Kallmann McKinnell and Knowles on display at BSA Space

East Elevation
Boston City Hall, East Elevation

BOSTON – Boston Society of Architects and Historic New England announce the opening of an exhibition of the original architectural drawings of Boston City Hall by the architects Kallmann McKinnell and Knowles at BSA Space from October 7 to November 15, 2013.

In 1962, Kallmann, McKinnell, and Knowles’s winning design for the new Boston City Hall, selected from a field of 256 entries, created the centerpiece for the revitalized city that Boston has become. Boldly departing from the traditional Neo-Classical Revival style of typical municipal buildings and also from contemporary Modernism’s sleek minimalism, the dramatic sculptural design was widely hailed as a superb achievement. The design’s memorable form, its exposed concrete structure, and its extensive use of local brick made it one of the best-known examples of “New Brutalism” in American architecture. Guest Curator Gary Wolf AIA observes that “This exhibition offers the opportunity to consider the challenges that the architects faced and to examine the inventiveness of their solution, seen in brilliant examples of the now-vanishing art of architectural drawing.” 
Drawn from the collection of Historic New England, the exhibition contains more than forty architectural drawings, including sketches, design studies and presentation drawings that demonstrate the genesis of Boston City Hall from initial concept through design development.  The exhibition also includes photographs, ephemera, and a model of the building.

Boston City Hall: Drawings by Kallmann McKinnell and Knowles is on view and open to the public at BSA Space, 290 Congress Street, Boston through November 17, 2013. The gallery is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on weekdays, and 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on weekends and holidays.


Learn more

For more information on architectural drawings in Historic New England's Library and Archives, see the "Competitions in Architecture" article in the Fall 2012 issue of our magazine.

For more sketches and drawings from the collection donated to Historic New England by Gerhard Kallmann and Michael McKinnell see the "Inventing A City Hall" article in the Winter/Spring 2009 issue of our magazine.

About Historic New England
Historic New England is the oldest, largest, and most comprehensive regional heritage organization in the nation. It owns and operates thirty-six historic homes and landscapes spanning five states and shares the region's history through vast collections, publications, programs, museum properties, archives, and stories that document more than 400 years of life in New England. Visit

About BSA Space
BSA Space is Boston’s leading cultural institution on architecture and design, and is home to the Boston Society of Architects. BSA Space hosts exhibits on design and architecture, architectural boat and walking tours, and other programs and events that foster exchange between design and construction, the profession and the public, and encourage collaboration across the city and world. Visit




Boston City Hall: Drawings by Kallmann McKinnell and Knowles on display at BSA Space