The Hub on Causeway (née TD Garden Towers) | 80 Causeway Street | West End

chrisbrat

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Johnson shamelessly rip-offed the magnificent bracket lamps of McKim from the BPL which showed up not just in International Place but also 500 Boylston
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It's always interesting to me that when folks are analyzing buildings that they like which borrow elements from previous structures (particularly within the same city/area) it's "a respectful nod to" or "a clever tribute to its neighbor" or "a whimsical echo of," but when they don't like the building in question, the architect is a rip-off artist.

Also, fwiw, the bracket lamps of the BPL -- while undeniably gorgeous -- are not in any way some 100% unique innovation. In addition to plenty of pre-existing lamps in the U.S. that have similar design features, the BPL's lamps are directly inspired by countless simlilar examples in Germany, England, France, Italy... The whole building, itself, takes direct and blatant inspiration from European (specifically France and Italy) structures, so I guess McKim was a rip-off artist, too?
 
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whighlander

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Bananarama

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Those are derivative

the true ripoffs are in the Lobby of International Place

View attachment 10499


View attachment 10500

View attachment 10501

Main entrance.
Photographer: Elwell, Newton W.
Date: 1896
Format: Photographs Prints
Genre: Photomechanical prints
Location: Boston Public Library Rare Books Department
Collection (local): Trustees' Library
Permalink: https://ark.digitalcommonwealth.org/ark:/50959/6h440w199
Oh ok, glad to clarify.
I echo Chris's comment that the response to these would be different if you liked the building in general. I think they're intentionally the same lamp style to relate to the BPL ones (PoMo is known for this sort of operative approach to classical design where cloning, warping, or abstracting those motifs are a part of the humor). Not endorsing Johnson's work overall but I do adore his BPL addition (fight me).

Also thank you for sourcing your photos, but you don't need a detailed list of qualifiers... Just a simple link is fine. "Genre: Photomechanical prints" had me laughing.
 

bigpicture7

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whighlander

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It's always interesting to me that when folks are analyzing building that they like which borrow elements from previous structures (particularly within the same city/area) it's "a respectful nod to" or "a clever tribute to its neighbor" or "a whimsical echo of," but when they don't like the building in question, the architect is a rip-off artist.

Also, fwiw, the bracket lamps of the BPL -- while undeniably gorgeous -- are not in any way some 100% unique innovation. In addition to plenty of simliar pre-existing lamps in the U.S. that have similar design features, the BPL's lamps are directly inspired by countless simlilar examples in Germany, England, France, Italy... The whole building, itself, takes direct and blatant inspiration from European (specifically France and Italy) structures, so I guess McKim was a rip-off artist, too?
I guess its a matter of taste [as they say in the I of the beholder]
a building designed to mimic a Renaissance Palace [as in the BPL as the Palace for the People] should look like a Renaissance Palace or at least a 19th C renewal of that style of design
McKim paid homage to a style with the kind of elegance and substantiality associated with Renaissance Revival in Europe in general , and to Henri Labrouste's Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève in Paris, built 1843-50.

1613845085885.png
1613845581948.png

Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève Facade.jpg
From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository
Original file ‎(1,534 × 2,433 pixels, file size: 1.04 MB, MIME type: image/jpeg);
Architect: Labrouste
Source: Handbuch der Architektur, 1893

Plaster model of the McKim Building with casts of the Boston Public Library Seal
Description: Photograph showing architect's model of the McKim Building with plaster casts of two versions of the BPL Seal for the Dartmouth Street Facade and August Saint-Gaudens statuary in place.
Photo No. 39 by Edward Stevens, Clerk of Works.
Date: December 1888
Format: Photographs
Genre: Photographic print
Architectural models
Location: Boston Public Library Rare Books Department
Collection (local): Trustees' Library
Series: Trustees' McKim Construction Photos

1613848332793.png


Title: Boston Public Library, Copley Square. Courtyard
Date: [1920–1930]
Format: Photographs
Genre: Photographic prints
Location: Boston Public Library Arts Department
Collection (local): Boston Pictorial Archive
Series: Boston Public Library > Exterior & Courtyard
1 photographic print ; 3 1/2 x 2 1/2 in.
Permalink:


McKim was inspired by the Parisian building and used it as a model for its exterior [which he acknowledged] -- However, he created something uniquely Boston -- both in terms of the architecture, and the art and even the furnishings in the building [e.g. Bates Hall reading tables and lamps]
Finally the BPL's setting in the newly created Back Bay, is compatible with the other great edifices nearby:
facing across Copley Square, Richardson's sublime and uniquely American Richardsonian Romanesque Trinity Church [built from Roxbury Conglomerate, a local stone and completed in 1877]
across Boylston Street from the Venetian Gothic Revival style New Old South Church of Charles Amos Cummings and Willard T. Sears [1873] [built of Roxbury Conglomerate]




On the other hand one of the largest and tallest structures built in Boston in the past 50 years -- should not try to imitate the courtyard of a Renaissance Palace in its lobby
Johnson could have plopped International Place down in Atlanta or Houston -- outside of the lamps in the lobby -- there is noting connected to Boston in the entire building
 

chrisbrat

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There is nothing about the lamps in IP's lobby that "rips off" the BPL. Again, lamps of that type are in existance throughout the Western World. It's truly a bizarre bit of minutae to get all butt-hurt about.

And who made you arbiter of what an architect can use as inspiration? Johnson "should not try to imitate" whatever? So long as his client is happy and no codes are violated, laws broken, or people hurt then what the hell are you talking about? Whether one likes IP or not is an individual thing, a subjective thing -- if you hate that complex, super. All your other "arguments" are wobbly at best.

Ok, I gotta get back to working on my manifesto that really shames NYC for how the MTA ripped off the subway tiles originally used in Boston.
 

whighlander

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There is nothing about the lamps in IP's lobby that "rips off" the BPL. Again, lamps of that type are in existance throughout the Western World. It's truly a bizarre bit of minutae to get all butt-hurt about.

And who made you arbiter of what an architect can use as inspiration? Johnson "should not try to imitate" whatever? So long as his client is happy and no codes are violated, laws broken, or people hurt then what the hell are you talking about? Whether one likes IP or not is an individual thing, a subjective thing -- if you hate that complex, super. All your other "arguments" are wobbly at best.

Ok, I gotta get back to working on my manifesto that really shames NYC for how the MTA ripped off the subway tiles originally used in Boston.
Chriosbrat -- I believe that Johnson acknowledged that he used McKim's lamps and even the brackets from the BPL exterior in his interior

The most inappropriate aspect of the International Place interior of the lobby -- its actually based on a Renaissance-style courtyard -- not an interior
nothing in that lobby is "right" for an interior
 

chrisbrat

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You're clearly only digesting what fits in line with your bizarre thesis. Johnson (or anyone else) making stylistic nods to earlier, iconic buildings in an area in which they are designing/building new construction is neither "being a rip-off artist" or "not allowed." Hell, MT's horizontal "stripes" are a tribute to the JHT. Why are you so laser-focused on and (clearly) personally offended by some frickin lamps?
 

found5dollar

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While we are discussing Philip Johnson I just want to remind everyone he was a literal Nazi. He tried to form an American Fascist Party. He was listed as one of the Leading American Nazis in 1940. He published a glowing review of Mein Kampf, followed by articles decrying the decline in fertility of the "white race" and describing how "the Jews" were gaining power unfairly. He based his design for the Glass House off a burned out jewish shtetl he went on a tour of when on a trip to Nazi Germany because he found the destruction of the settlement so beautiful.

This article is a good place to start if you didn't know this:

You can have views about his architectural merit, but you need to know that he actively advocated for the Nazi regime and pushed their politics through his buildings.
 
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DigitalSciGuy

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Looking at it more closely, I feel the distortion of the wide lens somehow emphasizes how this side of Causeway Street triggers a level of agoraphobia for me and I think it's specific to this corner. The crossing at Haverhill Street (bottom left corner) is disproportionately wide to the traffic volumes at 2 lanes across; the sidewalk is narrow and on the other side is interrupted by the 5G-enabled light post and two traffic lights right in the flow of pedestrian traffic; and you're very exposed to 2 roaring lanes of northbound Causeway St traffic, often gunning the light to make it through to North Washington. It doesn't help that the Orange Line head house here is still a busy main entrance that makes this corner extremely uncomfortable to walk past.

Thankfully the Garden side of the street is graciously wide and I think this angle really shows off how much has changed here since just under 4 years ago. The road diet for Causeway Street really should've been down to a single travel lane in each direction. (The northbound lanes facing me in this photo are actually going to be 3 across with 2 through lanes and one left-turn bay into the garage.) Now that we've got a solid street wall, we'll see how the streetscape fares in the years ahead...
 

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