Sustainability was the theme of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) 2007 National Convention and Design Exposition. Although green will be a leitmotif at this year’s event in Boston, which is themed “We the People,” the AIA hopes that from the standpoint of producing less waste and carbon emissions, the conference will be its greenest yet. RECORD’s news editor, James Murdock, recently chatted with Christopher Gribbs, Assoc. AIA, senior director of conventions, to learn about some of the AIA’s sustainable strategies—and its city selection criteria. Photo courtesy American Institute of Architects Christopher Gribbs, Assoc. AIA James Murdock: First of all,
Approximate length = 1.8 miles Estimated walking time = 2 hours Begin your tour at the Downtown Crossing stop on the Red and Orange subway lines. At street level in the entry to Filene’s Basement department store, you’ll see a pavement marking that declares this spot to be the Hub of the Universe, one of Boston’s many nicknames. The moniker is derived from an earlier version coined by poet Oliver Wendell Holmes, who dubbed Boston “Hub of the Solar System.” Photo courtesy Greater Boston CVB/ FayFoto A street in Boston’s historic Beacon Hill neighborhood. Related Links: History/overview Museums Galleries Shopping
Boston has its fair share of upscale shopping malls and fashion boutiques but for the real deal—a Boston original—begin your shopping day at LouisBoston, the name in high fashion and bespoke tailoring since the late 1800s. Located in an Italianate-style building originally erected in 1863 as the city’s natural history museum, designed by William G. Preston, LouisBoston is a touch of Paris in Boston’s Back Bay. If you’ve been to Paris’s trendy Colette boutique, you’ll feel right at home here. The ground floor features an elegant housewares department, a candy bar—a counter where you can buy hand-crafted gourmet chocolates—unique art
Boston was founded by Puritans and some might say that its nightlife retains an echo of this heritage: unlike clubs in New York, the city that never sleeps, Boston establishments close at 2:00 a.m. That may seem early, but you can pack a lot in before last call—and Boston might surprise you in just how much it has to offer. Photo courtesy Greater Boston CVB/ FayFoto Faneuil Hall Marketplace at night. Related Links: History/overview Museums Galleries Shopping Dining Nightlife Walking Tour Bars and light-night nibbles Saint, in the Copley Square Hotel, is among the city’s swankiest, most exclusive bars—something that
The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is unique among museums in the United States, if not the world, in that it was founded, designed, and curated by a woman—its namesake—at a time before women had earned the right to vote.
Architectural History If you come to Boston expecting to see a city full of buildings that date back to Colonial America, you will probably be disappointed. While there are a few surviving examples of traditional New England architecture—salt box houses with small windows and wooden clapboards—like most U.S. cities, Boston has had several face lifts over the years. And now, with the completion of the Big Dig and the removal of its old elevated highway Central Artery, it’s in the midst of yet another. Photo courtesy Greater Boston CVB/ FayFoto The Old State House, built in 1713—and decommissioned in 1798—it
Boston is sometimes accused of having an inferiority complex compared to New York City, its larger, louder neighbor to the south. There’s a hint of jealousy in one of Boston’s many nicknames, “the hub of the universe,” but Beantown, a more humble moniker that refers to a dietary staple during colonial times, has several sides to its personality. Today, Boston has more art and culture venues per capita than its southern neighbor—and architecture that’s every bit as good. This is reflected in yet another sobriquet: “The Athens of America.” The Puritans founded Boston in 1626, just six years after the