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Trinity Church: Boston's Architectural Jewel

At the end of the day, arts and culture are all we have beyond our basic daily business.

As members of the Harvard Business School community, we are blessed to live in a culturally rich city that happens to be home to the greatest variety of architecture in the nation. With its captivating post-modern skyscrapers, Boston’s architecture looks towards the new and builds towards the future. However, in the same vein, Boston’s architecture commemorates the old and treasures its legacy.

Just around the corner in Copley Square, stands the magnificent Trinity Church, considered one of the most outstanding masterpieces in the evolution of American architecture. The world-famous designer of the masterpiece, Henry Hobson Richardson, was the first American architect to attract international recognition, and it was his Trinity Church that laid the foundation to the eclectic Romanesque style.

Educated at the prestigious cole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, Richardson grew well-versed in both nineteenth-century French and English architecture. As a result, the Romanesque style is a synthesis of the best of both worlds-the clarity, symmetry, proportionality, coherence, and stability of nineteenth-century French architecture, fused with the individualism, textural richness, expressiveness, picturesque effects, and massive creational elements of English architecture.

Beauty intoxicates every square centimeter of Trinity Church. The imposing tower at the top center is reminiscent of the picturesque effects of nineteenth-century English architecture, and embodies a glimmering presence. It embodies inspiring beauty. Careful attention is given to accentuate the texture of the masonry, the layout of the stones, and the vividness and variety of the colors. Elaborately decorated figures of saints perfectly and symmetrically surround each side of the rounded arches. The fa‡ade is busy but breathtaking, filled with intricate ornamentation and organic designs. The work of art glimmers and shimmers in shades of gold.

With its massive columns and thick walls, shining gold trimmings, and brilliant stained-glass windows, Trinity Church is a symbol of strength and achievement. Situated only three miles east of the Harvard Business School, we have no excuse not to visit this masterpiece at some point during our residency in Boston. However, Trinity Church is only one of the many architectural jewels that embrace the city. For example, also in the heart of Copley Square rests “the palace of the people,” another work of art that will knock the scales off your eyes: The Boston Public Library. If you are having difficulties discovering the wealth in art and beauty the city has to offer, then you might consider joining the Harvard Business School Art Appreciation Society. The rich art and cultural treasures of Boston are oftentimes easily hidden beneath the dark brutal winters of Boston.

February 5, 2007
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