One reason Boston is so deep in my heart is because its buildings are so darn sexy. They’re sleek, tasteful, not overly huge… and a lot of them are nice and shiny!
This post is the start of a series of odes to Boston architecture, so it’s only right to start with the biggest and best: the Hancock Building.
The John Hancock Building, located right near the Copley stop on the Green Line and the Back Bay stop on the Orange Line (and really any other stop, since Boston is so delightfully walkable) is literally a slice of heaven.
The Hancock is such an aria of mirrors that often you can hardly see that it’s even a building: it just appears as a bend in the sky itself. It’s as if the blue of the sky and the downy white of the clouds were poured into an ice cube tray and frozen. Glorious.
Three things stand out about the Hancock.
First, it came close to killing a lot of people. When the construction workers were first erecting the edifice, the windows kept falling out and smashing to the busy street below! But we like our crushes to be a little dangerous, don’t we?
Second, the Hancock is nestled right next to the classic historical architecture of Trinity Church (visible in the first photo of this article). Whichever way you photograph this unlikely couple, any future admirer of your pictures will squeal: “Oooh, you did such a nice job juxtaposing The Old and The Modern! And look how the church reflects on all that glass. Oh my, I’m feeling strangely warm and happy… Will you marry me, oh great photographer?”
Third, the Hancock is not a rectangle, but instead, it’s an ingenious parallelogram.
This means that from some angles… it looks two dimensional! From these angles, it literally looks like a small child who doesn’t understand perspective traced a rectangle in the sky, with no lines to indicate depth, and declared: “This is a building, Mommy!” Awesome.
Need a little more Hancock love? It’s all over my blog already and I haven’t even been back in Boston three months!
I always feel as if the Hancock is protecting us Bostonians. In any moment of fear you can look up and be soothed by the tall, confident, silver angel standing guard above Boston’s greens and grays and blues. In short, when I think of Boston, I think of the Hancock. Indeed, it literally reflects our city!
The author, Lillie Marshall, is 6-foot-tall National Board Certified Teacher of English, fitness fan, and mother of two who has been a public school educator since 2003. She launched Around the World “L” Travel and Life Blog in 2009, and over 3.7 million readers have now visited this site. Lillie also runs TeachingTraveling.com and DrawingsOf.com. Subscribe to her monthly newsletter, and follow @WorldLillie on social media!