Day 2: UMass Amherst

Presenter Information

Daniel AbramsonFollow

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Location

UMass Amherst

Event Website

www.umassbrut.org

Start Date

23-10-2021 1:40 PM

End Date

23-10-2021 4:00 PM

Abstract

1960s Massachusetts was a Brutalist mecca, much of it with civic dimensions, mediating through architecture citizens' rights and identities. The expanded welfare state's administration in Massachusetts was consolidated in new buildings for federal, state, and municipal workers in Boston's Government Center, a top-down urban renewal process. Government Center's buildings, including Boston City Hall and the Massachusetts State Service Center, embodied Brutalist values of material integrity, monumentality, and abstraction. Little thought was given to the architecture's civic dimensions, how people would engage politically with each other and the state. Subsequently, City Hall Plaza functioned for decades as eastern Massachusetts' civic fairground, while also increasingly commercialized, rented for corporate events. Part of the State Service Center is presently being privatized for commercial development. And City Hall Plaza is being renovated from a regional fairground into a neighborhood park. Where does this Government Center civic Brutalism story lead us Moving Forward with UMass? Perhaps towards advocating for the continued public character of civic Brutalism against its privatization and domestication, and for architectural designs and processes to activate a an inclusive, empowered democratic citizenry, as it works, resides, and is educated o

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Oct 23rd, 1:40 PM Oct 23rd, 4:00 PM

Towards Civic Brutalism

UMass Amherst

1960s Massachusetts was a Brutalist mecca, much of it with civic dimensions, mediating through architecture citizens' rights and identities. The expanded welfare state's administration in Massachusetts was consolidated in new buildings for federal, state, and municipal workers in Boston's Government Center, a top-down urban renewal process. Government Center's buildings, including Boston City Hall and the Massachusetts State Service Center, embodied Brutalist values of material integrity, monumentality, and abstraction. Little thought was given to the architecture's civic dimensions, how people would engage politically with each other and the state. Subsequently, City Hall Plaza functioned for decades as eastern Massachusetts' civic fairground, while also increasingly commercialized, rented for corporate events. Part of the State Service Center is presently being privatized for commercial development. And City Hall Plaza is being renovated from a regional fairground into a neighborhood park. Where does this Government Center civic Brutalism story lead us Moving Forward with UMass? Perhaps towards advocating for the continued public character of civic Brutalism against its privatization and domestication, and for architectural designs and processes to activate a an inclusive, empowered democratic citizenry, as it works, resides, and is educated o

https://scholarworks.umass.edu/umassbrut_community/2021symposium/day_2/4

 

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