Massachusetts Historical Commission responds to Hurley Building proposal


Michele Racioppi


Docomomo US staff


Threatened, Advocacy, brutalism
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The Massachusetts Historical Commission (MHC) has provided a strong response in support of preservation to the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM), for its proposal which offered four options to redevelop Paul Rudolph's Boston Government Service Center, all of which included either partial or full demolition of the Hurley Building.

The MHC determined that the proposed project would have an adverse effect on the property, which has been determined eligible for listing in the National Register. Further, MHC has asked that the Request for Proposal "include two additional options: (1) retention and rehabilitation of the Hurley Building and (2) retention and rehabilitation of the Hurley Building with new construction." MHC also requested that the RFP "promote retention of the Hurley Building and should consider impacts to the entire Government Services Center site."

MHC reinforced the significance of the site "for its extraordinary Modern architecture," and pointed out that "Thousands of buildings in the Commonwealth have managed to accomodate modern services while retaining vast amounts of architecturally significant spaces and materials, proving that rehabilitation of historic buildings is a viable option."

This is a positive development for groups including Docomomo US, Docomomo US/New England, the Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation, and Boston Preservation Alliance, who have been urging the State to recognize the significance of the Hurley Building and preserve it. 

Massachusetts Historical Commission Letter