When one thinks of Boston, what comes to mind is its physical landscape and architecture. There are many spectacular buildings which make up the Boston skyline. The city is a lovely blend of colonial-era brick houses as well as historic structures which line the narrow cobblestone streets. Alongside them, there are also many postmodern buildings that dominate the skyline. When in Boston, you definitely will notice this striking element of the city, the fusion of the old and new architecture. Continue reading below to find out about the top famous buildings in Boston, Massachusetts, which will definitely take your breath away. For a place to stay while in town, also check out the best Airbnbs and vacation apartments in the city.
1. Winthrop Building
Winthrop Building is an early skyscraper located at the intersection of Water Street and Washington Street. This isn’t your typical skyscraper. Early skyscrapers are actually shorter than what we know of them now, but they have played a significant role in boosting the economy of the area. This important structure in Boston has only nine levels and is designed after Renaissance Revival by Clarence H. Blackall. It was initially called the Carter Building and completed in 1894. In 1974, Winthrop Building was listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and it became a landmark in 2016.
Address: 7 Water Street, Boston, Massachusetts
2. Simmons Hall
Simmons Hall is a dormitory building in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that was designed by Steven Holl. It was built between 1999 and 2002 and resembles a sponge. Holl designed it in way that it functions as a mini city, with a road system that connects the students’ rooms with other spaces like study rooms and dining rooms. In the building, there are also a 24-hour bar, a gym, and a theater. Simmons Hall is located near the banks of Charles River.
Address: 229 Vassar St, Cambridge, MA 02139, United States
Website: Simmons Hall
3. The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum was once known as Fenway Court. This museum is housed in a three-story, 15th-century Venetian-style palace. There are more than 2000 paintings, sculptures, books and so on in this famous Boston building. As a result, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is known as one of Boston’s treasured and famous cultural landmarks.
The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
Address: 25 Evans Way, Boston, MA 02115, USA
Website: The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
You might be interested in these Airbnbs!
4. 200 Calendron
200 Calendron was previously known as the John Hancock Tower and it is located in the heart of Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood. This is a 62-story building which is New England’s tallest building. This important building in Boston offers one with a 360-degree panoramic view of beautiful sights like the Back Bay, Charles River, Cambridge and the Boston Harbour. The exterior is a glass-covered skyscraper which is built in the shape of a parallelogram. The glass panels are tinted blue and they beautifully reflect the city scenery. The observatory deck at the top of this tower was once open to the public. However, it is now closed since the September 11 2001 terrorist attacks. However, this deck can be booked for private events.
Address: 200 Clarendon Street Boston, MA 02116
Website: 200 Calendron
5. The Pru
The Pru is the colloquial term for the Prudential Building or Prudential Tower located in the center of Boston. This building is part of the Prudential Center complex. On the 52nd floor is a restaurant called ‘Top of the Hub.’ The attraction in this building is a 50th-floor observation deck which is known as the Skywalk Observatory. This observatory is known as the highest observation deck in New England which was open to the public ever since the one at 200 Caledron closed its doors to the public.
Address: 800 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02199
6. Boston City Hall
Boston City Hall is the official seat of the city government of Boston and it includes the offices of the mayor of Boston as well as the Boston City Council. This iconic Boston building was constructed in 1968 in order to replace the Old City Hall. It is an example of Brutalist architecture and was designed by a reputed design firm. The adjoining land is known as City Hall Plaza and it is often used for public events like parades and rallies.
Boston City Halll
Address: 1 City Hall Square, Boston, MA 02201, USA
Website: Boston City Hall
7. Trinity Church
This is one of the most amazing churches in Boston which has excellent architecture. This church is a National Historic Landmark which was constructed in 1877. The church’s facade features heavy walls made of rough stones. The interiors of the church are expansive and beautifully decorated with murals. The opulence of the interiors is further enhanced with the stained glass windows. The church is located near the Public Library and both buildings add beauty to the Boston skyline.
Address: 206 Clarendon St, Boston, MA 02116, USA
Website: Trinity Church
8. Boston Public Library
The Boston Public Library is a public library system in Boston that was founded in 1848. The original Boston Public Library was nicknamed as a “palace for the people” as it provided patrons with a large range of books. Today, this famous architecture in Boston is spread over two buildings, both of which have great design. The library is located only a stone’s throw away from Copley station. The interiors are warm and inviting. This is a great place to relax if you want to browse through some books.
Boston Public Library
Address: 700 Boylston St, Boston, 02116
Website: Boston Public Library
9. MIT Stata Center
MIT Stata Center is also known as the Ray and Maria Stata Center. This is a building that will captivate visitors, warranting them to take a second look. This is a huge academic hub which houses students and the faculty of computer, information and intelligence sciences. It was built in 2004 and is now regarded as one of the most famous buildings in Boston. The building is built on the World War II site.
MIT Stata Centre
Address: 32 Vassar St, Cambridge, MA 02139, Kendall Square/MIT
Website: MIT Stata Center
10. Massachusetts State House
The Massachusetts State House is regarded as a masterpiece of Federal architecture and it was designated as a National Historic Landmark owing to its excellent architecture. The Massachusetts State House serves as a beacon for the city of Boston atop a hill. If you look up at this building, you will notice that it bears a golden dome. This dome is the state house’s most distinct feature.
Massachusetts State House
Address: 24 Beacon St, Boston, 02133
Website: Massachusetts State House
11. Park Street Church
The Park Street Church was built in 1809 and it is located in downtown Boston. This is an active religious institution which sees about 2000 devotees during Sunday masses. This church is currently active in social issues such as helping launch a private high school in Hyde Park and address the educational needs of inner-city Boston kids. The church has members from more than 60 countries, comprising of people of all ages.
Park Street Church
Address: 1 Park St, Boston, MA 02108, USA
Website: Park Street Church
12. Community Rowing Boathouse
Located on the bank of Charles River, the Community Rowing Boathouse is a permanent facility for Community Rowing, the largest public rowing organization in the USA. There are essentially two projects, one smaller one which is a glass-shingled pavilion for single shells. This building displays the boats. The larger building houses the longer boats, several offices and training rooms. The buildings have an innovative design, with inspirations drawn from objects like tobacco barns and covered bridges.
Community Rowing Boathouse
Address: 20 Nonantum Rd, Brighton, MA 02135, USA
Website: Community Rowing Boathouse
Fascinating buildings in Boston
With a beautiful Boston skyline made up of amazing buildings, a trip to Boston is never complete without visiting some of the above-mentioned landmarks. Do add these into your itinerary when planning your trip.
Frequently asked questions about famous buildings in Boston
1. Which are the best architectural buildings in Boston?
200 Calendron, Trinity Church, Boston Public Library, and Park Street Church are the places that have the best architectural buildings in Boston. Make sure to add these to your itinerary!
2. Which are the best architectural buildings in Boston for couples to visit?
Boston is no stranger to romantic places and attractions. If you are in town with your loved one, check out the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Pru, Trinity Church, and Winthrop Building.
3. Which are the best architectural buildings in Boston for travelers on a budget?
Park Street Church, Massachusetts State House, Boston Public Library, and Boston City Hall are the places that provide the best architectural buildings in Boston for those who are traveling on a budget. Admission to these places is free!
Get Trip101 in your inbox