Lost Boston

Front Cover
Univ of Massachusetts Press, 2006 - Architecture - 336 pages
1 Review

At once a fascinating narrative and a visual delight, Lost Boston brings the city's past to life. This updated edition includes a new section illustrating the latest gains and losses in the struggle to preserve Boston 's architectural heritage.

With an engaging text and more than 350 seldom-seen photographs and prints, Lost Boston offers a chance to see the city as it once was, revealing architectural gems lost long ago. An eminently readable history of the city's physical development, the book also makes an eloquent appeal for its preservation. Jane Holtz Kay traces the evolution of Boston from the barren, swampy peninsula of colonial times to the booming metropolis of today. In the process, she creates a family album for the city, infusing the text with the flavor and energy that makes Boston distinct. Amid the grand landmarks she finds the telling details of city life: the neon signs, bygone amusement parks, storefronts, and windows plastered with images of campaigning politicians-sights common in their time but even more meaningful in their absence today.

Kay also brings to life the people who created Boston-architects like Charles Bulfinch and H. H. Richardson, landscape architect and master park-maker Frederick Law Olmsted, and such colorful political figures as Mayors John "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald and James Michael Curley.

The new epilogue brings Boston's story to the end of the twentieth century, showing elements of the city's architecture that were lost in recent years as well as those that were saved and others threatened as the city continues to evolve.


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ibbetson - LibraryThing

Fantastic photographic retrospective of vanished places in a city that is both stiflingly stodgy and persistently innovative in its architecture and urban form. Read full review

Lost Boston

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Kay's 1980 volume is a history of the great city through its architecture, which is being lost to time. This edition has been updated to include Boston's massive undertaking of the construction of an ... Read full review


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About the author (2006)

Jane Holtz Kay, who died in 2012, is author of Asphalt Nation and Preserving New England and was architecture/ planning critic for The Nation.

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