10 Architectural Marvels Worth Visiting in Boston

architecture in boston

Folks visit Boston for a range of reasons, generally including history, culture, food, St. Patrick’s Day, the Boston Marathon and more. Our city isn’t lacking for reasons to visit, but we thought it might be fun to throw yet another five-star excuse to plan a trip to Beantown.


Architecture in Boston – Here’s What to See

Where there’s history, one often finds architectural marvels as well, and Boston delivers more than a few. Some are easily found on the iconic Freedom Trail, while others, particularly of the contemporary variety, are hidden in less-famous sections of the city. Below you’ll find 10 of our favorite architectural jewels in Boston; you can easily design a single-day itinerary around!

1. Beaux Arts-Renaissance Revival

For an awe-inspiring dose of our forebear’s artistic merit, head to the McKim Building of the Boston Public Library to enjoy the work of Charles Follen McKim.

2. Romanesque Style

Not only is it among Boston’s oldest buildings, but Trinity Church is also a brilliant demonstration of a church built in the Romanesque Style.

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architecture in boston

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

3. Stark Geometric Design

One would assume any building dedicated as a presidential library and museum to be wondrous, and the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum does not disappoint! Designed by I.M. Pei, the building is starkly geometric and dissimilar to any other building in Boston.

4. Bizarre Yet Intriguing

Anyone with an affinity for contemporary architectural exploration will enjoy a trip to M.I.T. Specifically, though, we are fond of the wild Ray and Marie Stata Center, which was designed by Frank-Gehry to exude freedom, daring, and creativity.

architecture in boston

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

5. Venetian Style Palace

Who wouldn’t want to visit a Venetian style palace? Simply the term sounds enticing. Well, everything about the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is enticing, but most especially the architecture of it!

6. Architecture Inspiration From Boats and Tobacco

There are a variety of boathouses lining the Charles River, but none are quite as unique and innovative as the Community Rowing Boathouse designed by Anmahian Winton Architects. The main building is made of wood panels that open to reveal the hundreds of boats housed inside, which become part of the architecture. The idea for the wood panels opening was taken from the old tobacco barns.

architecture in boston

The Massachusetts State House

7. Golden and Beautiful

Some buildings may be architecturally striking but aesthetically displeasing. The Massachusetts State House is remarkable and stunning, visually on the inside and out. Famous for the enormous golden dome, which is a 23-karat gold coating, it was designed by Charles Bulfinch in 1798.

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8. Architecture For Art

Strikingly poised on the Boston waterfront lies the Institute of Contemporary Art. A sleek, elegant, and contemporary building that was designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro.

9. Federal Style Architecture

The Harrison Gray Otis House (mansion), also designed by Charles Bulfinch, was designed and built in the distinctly Federal Style. It features the classic flat facade and square shape.

architecture in boston

Custom House Tower

10. Neoclassical Brilliance

One of our favorites, aesthetically speaking, is the Custom House Tower. Designed in the Neoclassical style, it used to be the tallest spire in Boston until the Prudential Center was built.

To fully appreciate the various architectural marvels strewn throughout Boston all one needs to do is walk around. Boston houses many more wonders than the ten we love most, and we know you’ll stumble across all sorts of fascinating architecture during your stay. Whether you decide to theme your trip around architecture or enjoy it as you see it, everyone is welcome to take part.

You can even stay in an aesthetically pleasing historical building during your trip by booking a stay at Copley Square Hotel.

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