Coalition urges preservation of Rudolph's Hurley Building


Michele Racioppi


Docomomo US staff


Advocacy, brutalism
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As advocacy efforts intensify to save Paul Rudolph's Boston Government Services Center, the Boston Preservation Alliance and the New England chapter of Docomomo US have issued letters to the Massachusetts Historical Commission outlining their stance on what the building's future should be.

The letters are in response to a "Preservation" report commissioned by the Massachusetts Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM) that proposes four development options, each suggesting a progressively larger and larger section of the Hurley Building be demolished. On January 24th, DCAMM filed a Project Notification Form to the Massachusetts Historical Commission for its review, as required by law. 

The letter from Docomomo US/New England questions the "demolition-focused premise of the Project Notification Form," which "presents four different options predicated on partial or total demolition for the development of the Hurley Buiding portion of the site, without an alternative option emphasizing preservation," despite the fact that the site was determined eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991 and as a Boston Landmark in 1990. 

The Boston Preservation Alliance voiced its disappointment over the report's attempt to emphasize the Lindemann Center as the "primary historic resource . . . as a foil to justify demolition of portions, or all of, the Hurley." At the same time, the Alliance points out the hypocrisy of the project in that it "nowhere matches the admitted importance of Lindemann with any sort of comittment to restoration." The Alliance makes clear they are not opposed to thoughtful design interventions to remedy identified issues with the site, but issues the prescient warning the "if we had been convinced by such arguments with Boston City Hall, we very well could have lost that world-renowned building."

Docomomo US and the Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation will both be issuing letters in the coming weeks. 

The family of Constantino Nivola, the Fondazione Nivola, and the Museo Nivola have also spoken out in support of preserving the artist's large-scale mural found in the lobby of the Hurley Building. 

Docomomo US/New England Letter

Boston Preservation Alliance Letter

What you can do
  1. Write a letter to Brona Simon of the Massachusetts Historical Commission. Letters can be sent to:
    Brona Simon, Executive Director
    Massachusetts Historical Commission
    220 Morrissey Boulevard
    Boston, MA 02125
  2. Submit a public comment to DCAMM
  3. Sign the petition