Boston’s spooky new T entry

New T station entrance at Government Station.

New T station entrance at Government Station. (Photo by Operative 0054)

An undercover source in deep infrastructure sent me a surreptitiously snapped photo of the new T entrance at Government Center the other day. The photo was too hot to handle, too ugly even to look at, so I left it alone to cool down and also let time elapse so that my source could scurry back into the woodwork from which she – oops, I mean he – occasionally emerges.

My source sent notes on a tape that went up in smoke after I copied it:

  • no sense of context
  • overscaled
  • 32 feet tall (a subway entrance???!) hello!?
  • another box!!
  • will be covered w/ pigeon droppings in a week
  • no way to clean except w/ fork lift
  • architecture obsolete before complete!
  • designed by BSA president Tim Love – a GSD grad – [redacted]
  • poorly detailed – Foster on the cheap – you can’t do high-tech design on the cheap
  • looks like KMart does Renzo

It almost seems as if authorities in Boston want to scare off public use of the facilities they control. Each new item of infrastructure looks scarier than the last. This is not a matter of honesty in design. The structures – some needed to exchange the fetid air of the Big Dig under Rose Greenway – do not express the ugliness of their enclosed machinery on their exterior, like a sort of mini-Pompidou. It is decoration pure and stupid, decoration designed to create not love but loathing for Boston. On the other hand, situated next to Beantown’s famously ugly city hall, maybe its designer thought he could take a vacation. He did. But new ugly does not make old ugly better.

About David Brussat

This blog was begun in 2009 as a feature of the Providence Journal, where I was on the editorial board and wrote a weekly column of architecture criticism for three decades. Architecture Here and There fights the style wars for classical architecture and against modern architecture, no holds barred. History Press asked me to write and in August 2017 published my first book, "Lost Providence." I am now writing my second book. My freelance writing on architecture and other topics addresses issues of design and culture locally and globally. I am a member of the board of the New England chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, which bestowed an Arthur Ross Award on me in 2002. I work from Providence, R.I., where I live with my wife Victoria, my son Billy and our cat Gato. If you would like to employ my writing and editing to improve your work, please email me at my consultancy,, or call 401.351.0457. Testimonial: "Your work is so wonderful - you now enter my mind and write what I would have written." - Nikos Salingaros, mathematician at the University of Texas, architectural theorist and author of many books.
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3 Responses to Boston’s spooky new T entry

  1. Michael J. Tyrrell says:

    Sorry good people, but this is an insult. A “Nuts & Struts: train wreck. A glass Butler Building masquerading as civic architecture. It should have been OVAL in plan (already!)…. and how obvious given the context. Sad to see. No taste.


  2. and as an object is ruins any sense of space, scale or palce. and the beuildings don’t seem best either 😦


  3. David Andreozzi AIA says:

    No sense of context, overscaled, obsolete before complete. I think it compliments the no sense of context, without scale, obsolete before complete city hall very well. Urgh!


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