Architecture: An Airy Fortress

Ever since Boston's new $21.6 million City Hall was designed in 1962, it has been the focus of controversy. Most architecture critics consider it one of the great buildings of the 1960s, a richly textured, concrete-and-brick structure that reflects the influence of the late architect Le Corbusier and, in its emphatic use of raw concrete, of the contemporary English "Brutalists" as well. But to most citizens, it looked too for-tresslike for comfort.

Dedicated last week, the new City Hall draws 5,000 Bostonians every day to register to vote, pay taxes, buy licenses and be assigned...

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