Performing Arts Center, Third Semester Core

by Lauren (Elle) Gerdeman (MArch ’14)

The Government Service Center, voted the ugliest building in Boston, is a controversial, neglected and misunderstood building from Boston’s Brutalist period. The period from 1957-1976 coincided with an explosion of design innovation, large scale urban projects, and explorations of reinforced concrete architecture. Architecture was a primary instrument in what became known as Urban Renewal, which involved the seizure of neighborhoods by eminent domain for the purposes of constructing highways and government buildings. The construction of the Central Artery and Government Center were key elements in the planning of the city to create what was called the “New Boston.”