EXPLORING BOSTON'S ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN HISTORY
As a born and raised New Englander, there are few cities that make my little design heart flutter quite like Boston. It’s a city full of architectural and design inspiration, with a new period of history coming alive at every turn of a corner. From cobble street and brick covered, colonial Faneuil Hall, to the Italianate and Gothic Revival churches and public buildings in the heart of downtown, and the art deco skyscrapers of the financial district - Boston really knows how to make my creative juices get excited. I recently went back to explore for the weekend and gathered some photographs of my favorite corners of this magical city.
The Boston Public Library is one of my favorite hidden gems of downtown Boston. From the outside it looks very stately and grand already, but when you walk inside you feel like you’re stepping into a palace - in fact it was called the "Palace of the People" when it was first designed in the late 1800's. Designed with inspiration from Paris’s Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève , it’s interior is covered in decadent marble, ornately carved archways, and murals by famous painter John Singer Sargent.
I could live in here if you let me!!! I could see using inspiration from this for a grand foyer or entrance way to a home with some of these elements. Upon further exploration, the library opens up to a large Romanesque courtyard right in the middle of the building, complete with classical music playing live from students of Berklee (College of Music).
Perhaps my all time favorite piece of design inspiration in all of Boston though is the Isabella Stewart Gardner Estate and Museum. Tucked away in the Fenway-Kenmore district of Boston, this Venetian Palazzo style palace houses one of the world’s largest collections of artwork and furniture from all periods of history. Isabella was a huge patron of the arts, leaving her entire estate to the city of Boston for public enjoyment - with one exception; absolutely nothing can be moved from where she left it.
Every single inch of this estate is covered in a piece of art, and each room pays homage to specific period in art history. The most amazing part to me? The arboretum centered inside the estate, changed seasonally with specific plants and flora to match. Her estate inspires me to be more playful with ornate and decorative items - it’s exciting to see the little details in every little piece of furniture, ceiling tiles, lighting fixtures, rugs, and even wall coverings made of hand woven silk. This was a woman who was not afraid to be bold!
While Boston is filled with incredible design inspiration spots, these are just a couple of my very favorites - I hope you found a little something to inspire you, or perhaps help you to find your own design inspiration on your next traveling adventure!
Until next time!