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In the late 1950s, fifty-six acres of downtown Boston were demolished in an
urban renewal project. Many old granite and brick buildings were torn
down and replaced with the John F. Kennedy Towers, Center Plaza, and
the new Boston City Hall. Adams Square and
Scollay Square were completely
eliminated. Scollay Square had evolved into a burlesque area, which helped justify flattening the entire square.
The architectural theme of Government Center was that of an Italian piazza. The open air plaza would
flow into the new Boston City Hall building. Public business would be conducted in the lower levels, and city business
would be conducted in the higher floors. The most important city functions would
be in the highest floors, overlooking the plaza.
Government Center Plaza
Occasionally a master plan does not live up to expectations. Someone once remarked,
made politically correct by this author: “If Boston