Boston Public Library

  • Caption
    View of Exterior
    7/1/2001 (creation)
Related people
McKim, Mead, and White (was created by)
Pierre Puvis de Chavannes (was created by)
Charles Follen McKim (was created by)
1887-1895 (creation)
North and Central America->United States->Massachusetts->Suffolk->Boston
North and Central America->United States->Massachusetts->Suffolk->Boston
The other style of national importance to emerge from Boston in the 1880s was a resurgent neo-classicism led by McKim, Mead & White. Their most influential building, the imposing Boston Public Library, drew on Italian Renaissance, Roman and contemporary French sources. Throughout the building sculpture and mural painting were incorporated in rooms panelled with rare marbles, creating what the Library Trustees called a 'Place for the People'. The murals include those of 1895-1896 (by Pierre Puvis de Chavannes) and 1894 (by Edwin Austin Abbey and John Singer Sargent) and with bronze bas-relief doors by Daniel Chester French.;The Boston Public Library was designed by McKim, Mead & White and is particularly the work of Charles F. McKim. It occupies one side of Copley Plaza, directly opposite Trinity Church (built by H.H. Richardson). The main Library facade has a length of 223 feet on the Plaza, and 227 feet on Boylston Street. The chief architectural feature of these facades is the row of deeply recessed arched windows in the main or second story, which are continuous through both facades. Between are discs carved by Mora, representing book plates of the early printers and book sellers, mainly of sixteenth century. The frieze of the main cornice contains an inscription running the whole length of the facade. Submitted by Jacqueline Gargus for ARCH 602.
Renaissance Revival (AAT)
Neoclassical (AAT)
fresco and mural painting