Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Boston's beautiful Custom House

For a piece I am writing about possible new uses for an iconic building in Rhode Island, I turned for inspiration to Boston, where the venerable Custom House is now a Marriott Resort. They have beautifully restored this building, which was begun in 1837, completed in 1849, and completed with a 496-foot tower in 1915. General manager Willie Nagda graciously gave me and Providence Journal photographer Steve Szydlowski an hour-and-a-half tour. Starting with views from the 26th-story observation deck:

Buildings to the west. Last time I was up here, in college in the 1970s, I used an 8-by-10 b&w camera.
View to north, overlooking Quincy Marketplace. Fanueil Hall in foreground, City Hall to left; TD Garden, home of Celtics and Bruins,  and Zakim Bridge in distance.

To the east, Boston Harbor, Logan Airport in distance.

Guest loft, made from 1840s office space.

The magnificent dome, 163 years old.

Exterior view from Greenway, where hideous Central Artery once stood. The Big Dig buried the highway and opened up acres of park.

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