MAS Context Fall Talks 2015

Chris Grimley and Mark Pasnik: Heroic

November 12, 2015 at 6PM

Lecture by Chris Grimley and Mark Pasnik that took place at the historic Charnley-Persky House. This talk was organized in collaboration with the Society of Architectural Historians and presented in partnership with the Chicago Architecture Biennial.



After decades of stagnancy, Boston initiated a radical transformation in the 1960s under the banner of the New Boston. Controversial urban renewal programs and monumental architectural works like Boston City Hall, the Christian Science Center, and the Government Service Center were used to change a “hopeless backwater” into a modern, thriving city. Heroic: Concrete Architecture and the New Boston presents the historical context, buildings, and architects—including luminaries such as Le Corbusier, I. M. Pei, Paul Rudolph, and Marcel Breuer—that defined Boston during this remarkable period. It outlines the compelling story of a city, a material, and a movement while considering anew this earlier generation’s legacies—both troubled and inspired. Many of the structures from this era have since suffered from neglect, misleading labels like “Brutalism,” and have fallen dramatically from public favor. Authors Mark Pasnik and Chris Grimley discussed their original civic-minded aspirations as well as the cultural and aesthetic implications of preservation today.

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