Time to Get Away – The Boston Public Library

Time to Get Away: The Boston Public Library

This month we took a trip to the wonderful city of Boston, Massachusetts.  My brother made the move to the east coast about 5 years ago now which has made Boston a destination of mine on more than one occasion.  This city is absolutely amazing.  I would love to tell you all about it now, but trying to cram all the fantastic details of this city into one post just isn’t possible.  That is why I am just going to tell you about one specific place, The Boston Public Library.  If you are a lover of art, architecture, and design then this is a must see for you.  Put it on the list and make sure you add it to your walking tour of Boston.  I had never been in the building before, but made an absolute point of making in there this time and I am so glad we did.  I cannot believe I had not made this more of a priority sooner.  This is an amazing example of architecture.  Buildings are not built like this anymore.

Now I am by no means an expert on the library or its buildings.  We gave ourselves a walking tour of the space all on our own and pretty much just walked around, took pictures, and took in the amazingness that is The Boston Public Library.  I did a little research on the building after returning from the trip and found out that the present location of the library has been its home since 1895 when it was completed by architect Charles Follen McKim who called it his ”palace for the people”.  In 1972, the library added an addition designed by Philip Johnson.  We only made it through the McKim building before we had to run off to another destination (our days were packed full of plans).  I am not going to go into detail here, but if you would like to know more about the library and its buildings you can visit the website at www.bpl.org.

The exterior of the building itself is magnificent with its arched entrance and massive cluster of branching wrought-iron lanterns.  Upon entering the building you are greeted with an amazing set of bronze doors and then step onto marble floors. The marble continues all throughout the space, floors, walls, ceilings, and columns.

Time to Get Away - The Boston Public Library Main Staircase
(image credit: (top & bottom right image) © Noah Ehlert, (bottom left image) ©Studio Em Interiors)

The main staircase, made of more marble, with two lion statues invites you to explore the second floor of the building.  Don’t forget to look up as you walk up the stairs.  The ceiling is amazing and the chandeliers throughout the library add to the design.  Once you walk up the first section of the stairs to the lions stop, turn around, and look up to the second floor to see the archways and murals along the wall.

Time to Get Away - The Boston Public Library - Second Floor
(image credit: (top image) ©Noah Ehlert, (bottom left and right image)©Studio Em Interiors)

Once on the second floor make sure to walk to each end of the building to see the two rooms.  One is lined with old books and gives you the feel you would image in an old library, dark woods, library ladders, and volumes and volumes of wonderful old books.  The other end of the floor has an amazing room that I can only image grand events taking place in. This is another location that you must look up in.  The wood beamed ceiling is a site to be seen.

Time to Get Away - The Boston Public Library - Third Floor Details
(image credit: (top and bottom right image) ©Noah Ehlert, (bottom left image) ©Studio Em Interiors)

The third floor showcases more stonework and gorgeous murals that are not to be missed.  Like I said I am by no means an expert on the space and would love to learn more about all of the architecture and art that you see in this building.  If you would like to learn more the library does offer architectural tours.  Click HERE to see a schedule of public tours or get information of how you can schedule private tours of the space.  If you are interested in a self-guided tour or would simply just love to learn more about the library you can also use the link to find self-guided tour information.  The library provides links to multiple books about the library as well as guides to the art in the McKim Building and the Johnson Building.  While there do not forget to check out the gorgeous courtyard as well.

Have you visited the library before?  If so tell us what your favorite part is?  If this inspired you to go please let us know what you thought!

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