City View Apartments (Washington Plaza)

This massive slab on the Lower Hill, built in 1964, was designed by I. M. Pei—one of his earlier large works. It was meant as a typically idealistic International-style city-in-a-tower, with shops on the ground floor, recreational opportunities for the residents, and basically no reason ever to leave the premises. Pei might not be too happy about the recent renovations: the interior has been redesigned, and the stark white color has been changed to greyish industrial brown, which is all right if you like that sort of thing.

The building was called “Washington Plaza” for most of its life, but was renamed “City View” last year. Right now, however, it still carries the words “Washington Plaza” and the big trademark W on the west end of the building.

Old Pa Pitt must admit that he has never been a great fan of Pei’s work, but the architectural world at large loves him: his firm designed the John Hancock Tower in Boston, a building most famous for the multiple ways it has attempted to kill innocent Bostonians, but also one given multiple awards by the architecture industry. “Form follows function” is apparently not what architects really believe.

Camera: Kodak EasyShare 1485 IS.
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